Sunday, February 6, 2011

on aging

I'm 29. in two months and ten days I turn 30. I just started thinking about it yesterday. I wouldn't say it "hit" me, but it occurred to me, for the first

I always like the old adage that you're only as old as you feel. and it's been easy for me to say, since I've been in my 20's for 9 years, 9 months, and 20 some odd days. until I busted up my knee last year, I pretty much assumed I was invincible. but ever since I busted up my knee, I don't really feel so young anymore. I also assumed as soon as the knee was 95%, I'd start to feel like a 20 year old again. recently, I've been questioning this assumption (and you know what happens when you assume). maybe it's the beer, maybe it's the knee or my diet, but I'm not so convinced anymore. I fully intend to continue along in denial of reality, I know guys that are older than me that still rip, but it's got me thinking...

read a couple books lately. one called Off The Deep End, a sad story about a delusional 40 something who's convinced if he trains hard enough, he can be an olympic swimmer. this dude, Hodding Carter, wasn't even an exceptional swimmer in his youth, but he's convinced he can become one in his 40's. you can see how this ends up. I also just finished Ten Points by Bill Strickland, 49 year old editor of Bicycling Magazine. it's a tale about trying to score some points in the local crit series. a crit, for the uninitiated, is like cyclocross without all the good stuff and all the bad stuff. roadies, pavement, short laps, an hour of racing, lots of sprinting and pain. Bill's a great writer and went through some terrible stuff as a child, so it's a great read. the descriptions of the races are riveting (to a bike dork like me), he's racing against people of all ages, national champions, pro cyclists, but in the end, he doesn't get his ten points.

I know a really really fast guy named Troy, he's an amazing physical specimen, I'd guess he's about as thin and strong as he could possibly be.

Troy's a cool cat, super nice, and though I think we've got some pretty substantial ideological differences (just like I have with damn near everyone down here) and we've only really talked in short sentences, I think of him as a friend. I think we've raced maybe 5 or 6 times and every time he's finished in front of me. I followed him around, sucking his wheel for at least 5 laps in Birmingham this season. I managed to keep up with him and the only other Pro1/2 in Chattanooga two seasons ago in my last weekend as a 3, I was even leading for half a lap after he and the other guy got tangled up in the sand. Troy's a hoss, fast as hell and consistent, even though he's riding less than he used to (TBAR and State Cyclocross Champion in '08). He's got a wife and two kids and I assume a full-time job and he still kicks ass. Troy gives me hope and keeps me in denial. I still believe...

this looks awesome, modern free-riding at it's best

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