Comparing ourselves to various animals is nothing new and I would bet any number of us have compared ourselves to different animals at different times. Having worked on a few ranches in TX, it’s hard not to compare myself to cattle when I feel my individualism has been stripped away.
Or having watched trout darting in and out of holes in mountain creeks while stream fishing in CO, changing course so rapidly and so fluidly, I often try to emulate that when I’m riding a trail, or at least the state of mind when I’m racing. And I think the state of mind is one of the most important aspects of training and racing. So how do you keep that state of mind when you’re injured?
I sometimes think of bicycle racing as little more than a glamorized version of horse racing; just with people instead of animals. Though in reality, we must be the less glamorous version of horse racing. Have you seen the crowds that show up at the Del Mar race track?
But what I’ve been wondering this morning is how the mental state of a horse would compare to my own mental state when it’s injured. Would the horse fair better; worse? I have more methods to communicate than a horse when I have a problem, being able to tell a doctor how I feel physically, and I can blog… I’d like to see a horse try to type this (he may spell better).
Competitive cycling is very consuming. Calling it a hobby is a bit of an insult. Losing it abruptly at the height of a season has definitely been hard, weekends especially . It doesn’t really matter if there is a race or not. It has more to do with the time on my hands which feels directionless. With a full time job, family, house… there isn’t a ton “free time” on weekends anyway. But it’s enough. And because of the injury, it’s not like I can use the time to repair the retaining wall in the back yard or lay the flagstone patio I keep telling the Professor about. So with the loss of a defining daily ritual and no physical outlet for release, I tend to get a little moody. But at least it gives me the free time to contemplate the universal psychological parallels of horses and people.