Monday, March 24, 2008

Sitting on the Launchpad....


In a mere three days, I shall cut my tethers to a normal life and embark on an odyssey of unknown outcome. My life as a full-time amateur bicycle racer is upon me, thank goodness. This Thursday I will be packing nearly everything I own into my truck, and (loosely) relocating to the Seattle area. As I speak, I am in the process of streamlining my life so that I might be light and agile -- selling or donating unnecessary belongings, phasing myself out of my job, consolidating and organizing the supplies I require, and perhaps most importantly: mentally preparing for a nomadic lifestyle. Like an astronaut awaiting ignition who second guesses the wisdom of strapping oneself to a giant rocket, I'll have my moments of doubt. That's natural; I'm having them now -- I'm not sure where exactly I will sleep Thursday night -- but my course has been set. Even if I wanted to, I've prepared far too well, and sacrificed far too much to turn back now. I can hardly sleep for the excitement.

For the first time in my life, I will not have a bedroom designated as my own, anywhere. For at least the next five months, I will be a guest no matter where I am. I will have to be patient, flexible, accommodating and gracious wherever I go -- and even then, I don't fool myself into thinking I'll always have a place to sleep, or a hot meal to eat. I will have to be self reliant. There are those who might consider my flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants approach foolish or reckless. I would agree with those people. Yes, I am recklessly chasing the sport of professional cycling. Yes, I am foolishly plowing headlong into an uncertain situation. I don't have much to say in my defence; I'm doing what I love, and hopefully in the end the benefits will outweigh the costs. They certainly have so far.

Obviously my plan hinges upon receiving a colossal amount of hospitality from both family and friends, and loose acquaintances and total strangers alike. My deepest thanks in advance to those who will support me, through whatever means -- from my primary sponsors, to those who do nothing more than read my blog. If, by sharing a tiny taste of my life, I can be the slightest bit interesting, amusing, or exciting -- hell, I'll even settle for distracting -- if I can be the slightest bit distracting I will have succeeded. For ultimately, cyclists are just performers. In the words of Johnathan Vaughters, the Confucius of cycling when it comes to quality quotations:

"Athletes are humans - entertainers - and very fragile humans at that. Think of them as shivering greyhounds on a cold day. All they want is to go fast so they can see the smile on your face."

Let the party begin in T-minus 3 days and counting.

4 comments:

Nate said...

Good luck! Your posts have always been interesting and entertaining and I look forward to reading more.

J. Mayfield said...

Kerouac would be proud. I'd wish you luck, but your adventure will be it's own reward, so really I'm just jealous.

Alex said...

You know you'll always be welcome at mine and Aaron's apartment in the Bay Area if you ever find yourself down here. I won't wish you good luck because you are absolutely filthy on that bike, so I'm sure you'll be fine. Go get 'em!

Anonymous said...

Sammy-J,
There's always a bed for you in Walla Walla. Always.
Love,
Eli