Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Why I Do This
I don’t have a lot of time this morning for a big, flashy blog post, so I figured I would take a few minutes to reflect on some things I learned over the weekend. As you may know, Saturday was the start of the Burn24 up in Wilkesboro. I didn’t race in it, but it sure felt like I did. I hung out there pretty much all weekend, although I didn’t camp out overnight (I drove back and forth from Charlotte both days.) I still had a good time though.
I showed up to support Little Miss Sunshine and her Dirt Diva teammates, and also to get in a ride or two. Also, I got to hang out with a lot of my cycling friends out there. That’s one of my favorite things about these events: the people. I haven’t always been a social butterfly, but I’ve made a lot of friends from this mountain biking stuff, and they are good people. I look forward to seeing them at each and every event, even if I’m not racing.
While I talked to these folks and watched most of them race (some were there just for support like me), I realized why I go out and race. It’s not because I’m actually good at it, or because I am a fierce competitor. It’s not because I want to collect sponsors and be famous on the Internets. It’s not because I have nothing better to do than to spend my money on bikes, entry fees, and gas to travel all over the place. After watching people race over the weekend, I learned the main reason why I do this stuff.
I like what these races force you to do. You push yourself harder than you would sitting behind a desk at work, or when you’re out mowing the lawn or whatever it is you do. I saw all kinds of people out there competing, with abilities ranging from professionals, all the way down to beginners (and even kids.) Every single one of them had something to prove, and they had to push themselves in their own way.
Some of these people have years of training that makes it seem effortless, but even they have to work hard during these events just to get a podium spot. As for the beginners, some of them are just trying to survive their first race (or even a lap.) Each one of them has the same drive, albeit for different reasons. That made me proud to be a part of the mountain biking community, and maybe it will help me the next time I’m out there working hard on the race course. Who knows, maybe I’ll even be able to inspire someone to race for the first time.
That’s pretty much all I have for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with some sort of recap of the Burn 24. I got some photos, and even went for a few laps myself. Maybe that will give me enough to talk about for the rest of the week.