Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mud, Sweat, and Beers

Today was the Mud, Sweat, and Beers race. They didn’t have a Sport Single Speed class, and I knew I would have my ass handed to me in Open Single Speed, so I dropped down to Sport 45 – 49. I finished 13 out of 70 (I think), further proof I can have a good time and still finish poorly.

I had a little trouble finding my starting wave. Normally finding my group is easy; it's towards the front of the sea of racers and the bikes only have one gear. Saturday I had to work my way back until I found my age group. First the Single Speeders, then teens, next guys in their 20’s, further back men in their 30’s. I finally came to a group of older men with grey goatees. Their eyes looked tired.

I am likely delusional and I have an irrational (?) fear of aging but I scanned their faces and could not believe I was that old. What the hell happened? I mean, I don’t feel old. I like to think I am really immature for my age. My skin tingled and heart raced, like when you start to go over the bars but at the last second save it only to immediately hit something else and jettison from the bike, and as you are soaring across the sky you have a moment of hyper-clarity. It’s funny the things you consider in a moment like this. Perhaps it was just a clerical error on my birth certificate. I thought about how Shirley Temple found out her mom had been lying to her and the public about Shirley's age for years. Maybe I wasn’t old. Maybe this was all just a horrible misunderstanding.

I sheepishly asked a gray goateed racer if this was 45 – 49 Sport, like I was walking into a Leper Colony for the first time. “No” he said, “Those are the old guys behind us.”

It was a good race but I felt guilty for going. I missed my kids' dance competition last weekend so I could race at Fort Custer, leaving me riddled with guilt. Last night I left the kids before Cindy got home so I could drive to Traverse City early. Allie didn't want me to go. I told her she could come with me. She decided to stay home but as I drove up North, Allie kept shooting me with arrows made of pointed texts telling me how selfish I was, very well thought out texts for a 10 year old but her spelling is atrocious. They hurt because they're true.


  1. Amazing how bad (guilty) the kids can make you feel huh.

  2. Ain't easy sometimes fitting everything into one's life. Time can be tight.

    Dude, if I came in 13th out 70 - I'd be psyched. Almost top ten!