I wonder if I didn't drink so much. I wonder if I weighed less. I wonder if I rested more. I wonder if I trained with more intensity. I wonder if I trained more hrs. I wonder if I had a pro contract and didn't have to work. I wonder if I would have started racing at a younger age. I wonder if my bike was lighter. I wonder if I wore blue socks instead of black... and the list goes on and on.
I've been at this for over 10 years now, and while I think I have answers for most of those "wonder ifs", the dreams still haunt me, at least for another year. Well, I'm 32 years old now. It's right in that age catagory where experience meets the limits of a young adults physiology. And let's face it, the dream of doing this racing gig full time went up in smoke somewhere in my 20's. But the dream of the "perfect race" still holds a coveted spot in my heart and I still haven't convinced myself I've gotton there yet.
With that being said, 2012 is the year I settle all my wonder ifs. That's the goal. I want to be at peace with this cycling stuff at some point in my life. Some day I'd like to be a guy that enjoys a slow pace group ride, or shows up to the local race series with the winter beer belly still in tact. But this year, THIS YEAR, I'm going to accept all the mandatory requirements to survive on this planet and refuse to let them be "excuses." At the end of the day, I'm happy with the choices I've made so far. I mean, you can't be a pro forever. It's nice to have a career in place and the finances squared away. Something I'm proud to say I've managed to work in tandem with this whole cycling thing.
But I'm convinced you don't need to have a full time pro contract to compete and win against the pro's in the sport of mountain biking in the United States. Sure it makes it easier, but only a handful have the luxury, and I'm not going to let it be an "excuse". So at least I have an answer for that big "wonder if." But what about all the others? Well I guess I can't answer them all, but there are still a few left within my power to answer this year, and hopefully that's enough to satisfy my hunger for the perfect race. Hope to see you out there at the races answering all your "wonder ifs", and hopefully one day I'll be happy to just enjoy that slow group ride on a nice warm sunny day.