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Gloucester


Rapha Supercross Gloucester

This is a Parcheesi blockade on the highway.

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Have you played Parcheesi? If so you know that if you can land two of your little people pieces (like the yellow pieces below) on the same space on the board, no one can get past you (blue piece waiting behind).

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My siblings and I had a tradition to play Parcheesi with our grandmother when we visited her down in New Jersey, and that move always irked me. Cars like to pull that move on the highway too, driving at identical speeds in parallel lanes while you have places to go. I hated being blockaded in Parchessi, I hate being held up on the highway. I have a #blockadehate problem.

The first several weeks of this season I’ve been stuck behind my own internal Parcheesi block. My cross Chi has been disturbed, and I miss feeling that flow. This year, I am so fortunate to have the opportunity of combining the amazing team support of Optum with a year off of teaching, and I really want to make the most of it. So far, things just haven't come together. I’ve been playing a game of Whack-a-mole scrambling to fix little things here and there - getting the gearing dialed, pre-race meal, starts, etc. But for some reason it’s been hard to just relax and enjoy the ride. I’ve been making mistakes, and haven’t found my groove.

A few years ago, I was dabbling in the local Cat 3/4 races, then in the local semi-serious scene. Now, I’m fortunate enough to race against the most talented CX racers in the world. Most races in fact feature Katie Compton, who is just on another level all together and helps us all step up our game. Mentally, it’s a different mindset to go into a race of this caliber and decide on a different definition of success than necessarily winning. It’s also requires a different mindset than that of the underdog, or the working Pro. No longer is the motivation that of proving I can do it against the odds. Perhaps it's the Puritanical influence of growing up in New England, or just a personality thing, but it just doesn't feel right if I'm not slaving away or trying to prove something. I'm sure there are therapists for that.

The better you get, the harder it is to win. Everyone is extremely fit and extremely talented. The mental game of who wants it most is huge, and by wanting, I don’t mean just drooling over thoughts of a podium, or trying really hard. I always try hard, I always want to win. It’s something else somewhere in the space between, when doing the right thing becomes easy, and suffering is just part of what you do, and the little setbacks or mistakes don’t derail you. It’s flow.