Sunday, March 17, 2013

N'y jamais plus

Never again.

This is what we tell ourselves out in the deep, dark nights of Basse Normandie. And even a year later, recalling fatigue, disorientation, pain, not to mention expense. We can't believe we thought it would be a good time. How something that starts out as a bike ride could become...well, a nightmare. How we could have voluntarily sacrificed so much for this experience, thus engineering our own demise.

Getting what you wished for. That's why PBP happens every four years. After a year or so of licking wounds you stop thinking woe is me and start thinking whoa! that's me...
Comparing notes on the vicious cycle...

Sometimes you can have a foot in both worlds, on the ride itself.

It was the topic of conversation with Joe Brown in the wee hours of the morning in Mortagne au Perche. My espresso growing cold on the counter. Both of us were here last time and what the hell are we doing here again!

Thirty-six hours later, safely in Paris, the same guy was skipping around telling anyone who would listen what a great ride it was... After one night's sleep he looked so altered, I had to look twice to make sure it was him.

Since the accident this cycle has twisted into something completely different. In 2009 the little voice that normally would have been saying maybe...what if.... was saying something else. Oh I'll never do that againThere was not a shadow of a doubt. Out of the question.

It was surreal, watching past PBPs from the outside as a different person altogether, a spectator. I'll never do that again.


Still a spectator I observed myself thinking those days are over. No way could I handle that again. Unable to put a name on it and completely sure this was abnormal. This was not me.

Artifacts of woe-is-me-whoa!-that's-me
It had to be the brain injury talking. In 2011 I fought back hard, threw everything at it. Bike, shorts, helmet, check. Signs pointing the way, check! Fellow crazy at the bar in Mortagne, check! As far as I know there is no French word for couch potato. En 2011 j'ai reussi encore une fois.

Unfortunately the couch-potato feeling is back. Right now I do not have the desire to ride my bicycle long distances. Just no motivation.

Normally at this point a randonneur would be dreaming and strategizing for 2015. Or, Super Brevet Scandinavia 2013! In fact, this very moment randonneurs are tearing up the pavement in Northern California. A portable riding frenzy, spring fever. I'm at home indoors on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Alone again with this feeling. Where's the whoa!-that's-me?

Don't know if it's the brain injury, the detachment thing where nothing sounds worth doing. Or the tsunami of life events and destruction that came after. Or maybe the lack of work pressure driving it all. Or too many projects at the moment. I do not see myself there.

If it's the brain injury, time to fight. Trick myself into training. For something, anything. Any other reason, time to back off. Focus on figuring out where life is realistically heading. Find the route. Invest time and energy in that project instead.

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