Tuesday, April 22, 2008

In the Moment

Ok...so prepare yourself for a really corny post, but I need to write about my experience this weekend. At Carl Dolan on Sunday, I found myself in my first REAL solo break (by "real" I mean I didn't fly off the front of the field, look behind me 2 seconds later, and sit up because riding in the wind by yourself = pain). Out there all alone, it was eerily and intensely quiet. The moto was buzzing beside me and I know the occasional road guard screamed my name (thanks, Jason!) but I don't think I consciously heard it. Then, as the field swallowed me up a lap later, I realized the same thing. Even among the metal-on-metal crunch of changing gears and the breathing of the girls on either side, there was still silence. Nothing existed beyond the road under my wheels and the girls in front of me...and all these things were moving in sloooooow motion. I was at the center of a tornado with chaos (aka the rest of the world, time) swirling violently around me, but in that center there was calm. I wasn't thinking about the exams I needed to grade or that I needed to stop by the grocery store because I was out of milk or any of the million stupid things I had to do when I got home. I was focused on turning my pedals.

And thats when I realized something kind of cool....I was living in the moment. I spend so much of my life waiting for the next big thing. Waiting for the end of a particularly rough training week, waiting to find out about a big grant (or promotion for you non-science nerds), waiting for that great vacation a month from now, waiting to meet the right guy, etc, etc that I wish away my days in anticipation. My eyes are so often focused on the future, largely at the expense of the present. It was such an intense moment to be in the present...I can't do it justice with words.

I don't know if other people experience this on a regular basis, or if this is just the corny commentary of a sad little graduate student. But I think I could get used to enjoying the clarity and calmness that comes with being in the moment....I just need to figure out how to get there off of the bike. For now, I'll just sit here on this Tuesday evening wishing my week away so that I can get back to racing on Saturday and enjoy being in the moment :)

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