I’ve gotten a lot of stuff in the mail lately. Bike-related stuff. And since my bike-riding antics are currently limited to spinning on the rollers while I watch an episode of some show or another each morning at 5:00, this seems like a good time for me to talk about what’s shown up in the mailbox.
In the next few days, I will talk about the following things, each of which has arrived in the mail: a book by Jill Homer, a book about the history of competition bicycles, a backpack, a video about the birth of mountain biking, a new flavor and packaging treatment for Shot Bloks, and an exercise video.
But first, I’m going to talk about the postcard I got last Saturday.
Here it is:
This is the confirmation postcard I look forward to getting every year — the postcard that tells me that once again my registration for the Leadville Trail 100 has been accepted.
I’ve started — and completed — this race 12 times, in 12 years. This will be number 13.
This year, though, I wasn’t sure I should enter. I mean, I simply do not know how I could leave Susan for even a single night, much less the three nights this race requires. And I mean that in two ways: first, there are things I help Susan with that nobody else has helped her with before, and that list is getting longer, not shorter.
But, obviously, I’ve signed up. Because this is one tradition I have a really difficult time imagining skipping, even for one year. As I registered, I told myself that August is a long ways away and I have time to get others to learn to help Susan, letting me take a few days off to do something I really love.
And that’s where the second way I have a hard time imagining leaving for a few days: Even if I figure out the logistics for helping Susan out while I’m gone for four days and three nights, I honestly can’t see myself leaving her for that long. I’m looking for a different word than “betrayal” to describe how it would feel — that’s too dramatic of a word for this — but I can’t think of one.
Maybe “selfish” comes close.
I understand that there was a huge influx of race entries for the Leadville 100 this year, partly due to the publicity that Lance Armstrong brings to it. I have no idea how many people didn’t get in, but I would guess the number goes into the hundreds, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it goes into the thousands.
Probably, at least a few of those people who didn’t get in will see this entry and pull out their hair, bothered by the unfairness of my new uncertainty about going to this race, when they would absolutely positively moved heaven and earth to do this race, had they only received a postcard like mine.
I would like to remind those people that my dilemma sucks much, much worse than theirs.
I suspect that I will, over the course of the next several months, piece together a way for me to go to this race, and do it in such a way that I can feel pretty comfortable in leaving Susan for a few days. Apart from being a hilarious and award-winning cycling comedian mastermind, my other real-life superpower is to figure out a way to make things possible.
Plus, I have a bunch of family members who know that this one race matters to me a lot, and they’ll pitch in. Especially now that they’ve seen me mope my way through this post.
However, I doubt that I will hang out in Leadville for quite so long before or after the race this year.