Sometimes it can be incredibly excruciating to admit that something you love is bad for you. When you've dedicated years of hard work, and you look forward to the time each Fall when you get to spend your weekends playing in the mud with your friends. The red zone efforts and hour-long pushes to stay in the pack as best you can, the exhilaration and pain of just toughing it out when you come around and don't get the bell and realize you've got TWO laps to go, but your heart is about the burst, but even so, two laps later, you're still pushing even harder. That was cyclocross for me. And I'm walking away this year.
In fact, I sold my bike this week. I zipped up my skinsuit for exactly one race this September, and on the first lap felt a pop in my knee while jumping a barrier. Me being myself, I of course kept racing. There was a soft-pedal lap, then a realization I was falling off the woman I was chasing, so I laid the hammer down and again and pushed, pushed, pushed. A week of swollen knee, a fear of another ACL surgery, a few more calls to the insurance company to get approval for an MRI. An hour outlining my medical history with a random person from the doctor's office on the phone. Then putting my bike on the market.
After three years of not living up to my potential as a racer and constant fear that I was going to do something terrible to my knee this time, I made the much-too-late decision to walk away. But I've also found that it's not necessary to abandon the sport completely! I'm a fan. I have a spouse who races, I'm on a team still. So this week I came out to the next installment of the race I hurt myself on and just took pictures and cheered. It was great! The weather was amazing, the sunset was epic. We had tacos. And I walked away with money in my pocket and one less bike in my garage.