A Perfect Trip

“I have a bad habit of continually striving to be better at the cost of enjoying what I have achieved.  I’ll try to be more mindful of that.”

I wrote that recently to my coach.  It was a reflection on last year and wrapping up the cyclocross season. An apology of sorts.  One laced with good intentions going forward – “no more Manic Mondays.”

Monday was the day where I would scrutinize every aspect of my previous week’s performance, probably before Coach had even had a chance to look at the data files.  I was my own worst Monday Morning  Quarterback.

It was never podiums that I was after.  Although once I had a few, I confess, it was nice standing on the steps. But I think I was looking for perfect technical form and was mesmerized by the performance numbers.  I was a data junkie searching for the ultimate combination.  I was certain it must exist.  I wanted that “perfect trip.”

If I found the holeshot, if I maintained the speed, if the corners were perfect, if I didn’t fade, and if the equipment didn’t falter….

As I warmed up in the tent before my race at

Cyclocross Nationals a woman who had just raced the Master’s 60+ division said to me, “One time around is never enough is it?”  She may have actually only raced one lap that day,  but I knew what she really meant. We always want more.

Austin Cyclocross Nationals:
elusive holeshot
a rough few turns
racers yelling, then running
crowds cheering
cold, damp, wet
focus, repeat
faster, repeat,
faster, focus, FOCUS, repeat…

Three weeks later I understand what I may have missed all along.  It’s true — one time is never enough. But, for that one time, live in that moment.  Breathe deeply.  Savor it.  The perfect trip happens when you let it.  And even if it doesn’t, you still have that moment.

Thank you to Coach Tucker Olander for a perfect season.

Image courtesy or Terri Irsik Smith – Racer Shots