Two weeks ago I hit a low spot in my triathlon training. Motivation was down. Way down. The weather was pretty crappy (it still is) and I was quite liberal with the rest days. The high point was going to be riding the Springwater Trail in Portland during a trip down there with Jackie for a baby shower, but we got to the trailhead and it was closed.
Last week was an improvement as I pushed myself to get out there and seize the short stints of warm, sunny weather we had. A couple days into that I got just the encouragement I needed.
I was riding along the Burke pulling Ian in the trailer when another cyclist pulled up next to me. He looked legitimate, the real deal.
As he glided by he said “I’m impressed. Strong, steady cadence. Nice.” Then he slowly waved his fist back and forth, the way a coach does when they’re pleased with their player.
I think he whizzed by too fast to see my mouth hanging open in confusion. When I got my bearings, I started to comprehend what he said. And thanks to my triathlon training book, I knew what the word cadence meant! I wasn’t trying to achieve a “strong, steady cadence” but apparently I was doing so. Oh yeah.
It wasn’t until he was about 300 meters down the trail that it dawned on me I hadn’t said a word to him. And in that moment I wanted to yell ahead “Wait! Stop! THANK YOU!”
In the moments after this all happened I had the fleeting thought (okay maybe it was more than fleeting) that one day I would become an amazing cyclist, doing all kinds of races and amazing everyone. The cover of Cycling World would read “Wife and mother of 18-month-old picks up bike and becomes cycling superstar.”
Just a thought.
But then a rather large bug flew into my left nostril and that pretty much brought me back to earth, or at least a little closer to it.
If that encouragement wasn’t enough, there’s more.
A couple days ago, I started out on a long run and about 10 minutes in I passed by little girl and her dad near the zoo. She looked to be maybe 3 or 4 years old. As I ran by I heard her say “Wow, she’s fast!”
Absolutely perfect. I went on to run a great eight-miler.
Thank you, legitimate cyclist man and cute little encouraging girl. As of late, you have made my training days. I’ll be sure to publicly thank you when they interview me for that cover story.