Nate has been doing well on Tuesday nights. I’ve been struggling. Getting yo-yoed at the back. Accelerating, then slowing, then speeding up again before falling off the back. Four weeks ago I was mad at Nate, as he made the podium for the month in 3/ 4 race. It was a goal I started the month with, before my form took a dive. On the week that Nate clinched his spot I was dying in the wind in the faster race. I was mad, but I shouldn’t have been. How is it my problem if Nate decided to stick it out in with the lower cats?
Honestly, I held my self up. “I’m the one who is becoming stronger!” I’d scream to myself. The next week Nate stepped up and took eleventh. This week, when I was at home resting Nate was taking sixth. I wish my first response was “That’s great!”. It wasn’t. I was jealous and angry.
Nate and I go, or went about things in a different way over the winter. I logged thousands of miles, woke up early to do intervals, stayed away from booze, but ate just a enough to stay the same weight, but not lose anything. Nate hung out, rode a little bit, wrote papers for class and lived off of soup and beer. All those hours and all those early mornings seem to amount to nothing. At least not anything tangible. There is something there, but that’s not what the post is about.
Why aren’t I celebrating a teammate (well at least not as enthusiastically as I should be)? Its simple. I’m jealous. I hate admitting that, but its true. All the miles, time in the weight room, all the spread sheets and logging of resting heart rate haven’t made me fast. Or, perhaps much more insidious, they have and I’m not big enough to own up to that.
What upsets me isn’t Nate’s success, or even the fact that he is doing better than I am. It is because it tells me that I’m to afraid to believe that I can be someplace other than the back of the pack. I’m afraid that I’m a better cyclist than I currently think I am. My envy reflects my own inadequacies – my own lack of belief in myself and what I’m capable of. Instead of beating myself up over it I should take it as a cue to focus on what’s important. Which is focusing myself, my own cycling experience and my belief in myself. Focusing on anything else is a lie I use to distract myself from doing my true work.
Keep riding hard Nate.