It’s not the climbs. It’s the sound of my own nerve-wracked thoughts leading up to the base of them. Anticipatory dread is my specialty. It’s likely for this reason that turning 40 years old never bothered me. What I couldn’t shake was the worry about being worried about it. So I made a plan for the fateful day: Play Peter Pan, which meant a 4 day camp in Girona, Spain with my best training pals and ride myself into the ground every day with the simple sense of purpose that, at age 40, life no longer permits.
The art of the preamble is something I often practice in here in What’s New. This time around, though, the words aren’t coming. All I have is something I hardly expected: contentment. My 4 days were like a fast lane to gratitude: For the great friends that were there; for the inner workings of a family & a business that permit absences like this; for the fact that I’ve reached the point that terrifies every bike racer — my racing days are done, will I still ride for the love of it? — and it appears that, yes, this may indeed turn out to be a sport for a lifetime.
Turning 40 was touted to be about the twin tyrannies of dewy-eyed wistfulness and regret. My experience couldn’t have been any more different. Perhaps surviving to 40 — that’s the whole point, after all. Maybe it’s the kickoff of the better half. We shall see. But the initial signs are positive —