Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Into the Abyss...

It's not all rainbows and butterflies out there.

Sometimes it miles and miles and miles of this....soothing or maddening? Depends largely on sleep and calories.  

I found my precious solitude versus deeply lonely precipice in Pinedale, Wyoming. I sat for hours. Paralyzed. Helmet on. Gloves on. Rig ready to roll.

But I sat. And sat and sat.

Absolutely unable to force my self to swing my right leg over that saddle and turn the crank. I tried. I tried convincing, chastising, questioning, teasing, persuading and even yelling at myself. I was floundering along the stony bottom of the great abyss of exhaustion--mostly mental. Ok, so my butt was a little chaffed, but nothing that was stopping me from moving.

Tears came. Tears went. Then they came again. And went.

Still no forward movement. I was so lonely and so tired of gravel.

I got out my journal and fire came from the pages. I hesitated a second before posting this as it is a look at my complete mental collapse and I suppose it could be embarrassing and really is pretty personal. But, as I mentioned before, I can't write another traditional race report "tied up neatly with a bow" (MB, you are a wizard with words sometimes!). And I have to say, this was a huge turning point as I found where solitude became loneliness and how I reacted. Anger, sadness, frustration, self-punching....and in the end all I really needed was some sleep (and French Toast). Funny creatures. Funny, funny creatures that choose to bikepack.

So, uh, here goes:

June 27, 2014

What is it I am doing? I don't care to get on my bike and mindlessly suffer down another stupid gravel road. Instead of relishing and enjoying, I am thinking of my GPS, the miles elapsed and still to ride and FACEBOOK COMMENTS....seriously, Jill? You are thinking about Facebook??????? Aaaaaaaaurrrrgh!!

I think constantly about the rain forecast and how getting soaked does not sound appealing. AT ALL. I think about my daily average miles and how they are not up to my standard. I think about the blue and pink dots out there and wonder if I will ever see another racer.

WTF? Who am I and what have I become?

I have become what I despise. My loneliness has trumped my desire for adventure, my yearning to see new places, to be self-reliant/sufficient, wild and free. I surged through New Mexico with a rabid hunger for miles and mountains. Excited. Motivated. Invigorated. The remoteness of the state was uplifting and towns didn't suck the time away as much.

But in the last few days, each town I get to I log in to #$%^&@ Facebook. And see pictures and posts and comments from other racers. I read BS from those who don't do, only talk and talk and talk. Ah, but it is my choice to read all the crap. So why? Why do I read it? Why do I post my thoughts? Why do I feel the need to check back for comments? Why do I feel the need to "share" while I am racing my bike.

KEYWORD: while


Is it a game of can this be topped? Can I "out-epic" you?

When do I rest my mind? Isn't that part of why I am doing this? What about the Triple Crown? Do I even care anymore? Is it that important? Really? Or is it the smell of the hayfields outside Boulder, WY and bonfires shared with strangers from ABQ? Is the small talk with random people who see the weird, skinny girl all alone with a bunch of bags strapped to her bike more comforting? What has this evolved into? What does it even mean to me? Whose journey is this?

I am so damn lonely. Yep, I said it.

Lonely. Lonely. Lonely.

One of my most favorite things to do is to find the most serene, remote and comfortable places to stop pedaling, roll out the bivvy and savor what is around me. But my loneliness (I guess?) drives me to obsess over miles my body is happy to cover but my mind and spirit want to enjoy. I wanted to stay at LaGunitas campground, Brush Mountain Lodge and Cochetopa. I want to share that in REAL LIFE with someone. Tangible. Conversation. Laughter. Not clever captions I find myself creating as I pedal.

Where has real life gone? Is it all a mirage? Can I live it without sharing it?

The lonlieness I feel drives me to share when I would much rather be sharing with a real person I enjoy being with. True story. I do not think about social media when I am "sharing" my adventures and passion in real life.

Ah, what a twisted mess my brain is. I need to sleep.