Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Up and Down, Around and Around

The credential program has been two parts disheartening and two parts helpful. Each day is a new day bringing a new mood swing, new experiences and a new set of challenges to overcome. It's been especially difficult to stay on top of my personal life when everything in my "professional" life is in constant motion and is constantly working against my own actions. It has been more than a challenge to stay motivated and creative in an atmosphere that is not conducive to creativity and individuality.

Students and teachers don't really seem too much bothered by my presence in the classroom, yet I'm having a hard time finding my place, my stride, and my rhythm on a day to day basis. In the middle school, I had a schedule, a plan, a structure. It has been tough to find the same things at the HS. The students, however, are amazing, and every day I've been very grateful to have the opportunity to interact with them, to learn from them, and to teach them a thing or two (I'm able to do that, you know).

Leading the chase at the Island View Classic, 2010

The bike racing, as usual, has been keeping me somewhat sane. Let's take a look:

No results to speak of
No primes to show for the effort
Been riding more than ever

Okay, so maybe things haven't been going to plan. I had been bragging about a cat. 3 upgrade through the entire winter break/off-season (if you can call it that, with the teaching and school), but things are not coming together at this point in time. It has been nice to see my friends and riding buddies having success, and it has been nice to find a new level of fitness and experience more racing, but I'd really like to have some results of my own. I suppose I'll just have to keep training.

So the Santa Barbara race weekend came and went, as they all do. Some guy from UCLA keeps ruining all my races. Not in the traditional sense; he and I are by no means battling. He is much stronger than myself. No, he continues to ruin my races by generally saying things that are either rude, foolish, or both. I'm not one for smack talk in bike races, especially between racers of different abilities. We're talking about a guy who lapped the entire field to take the win at a notoriously tough early season criterium, and me, half student teacher-half average bike racer. It's a matter of interaction.

Everyone I've met in the collegiate racing scene is upbeat, chill, and generally fun to talk to. Before the race, afterwards, even during, most guys know what is going on, especially considering that we're in the B category. But this guy, God Bless him, says things like, "come on SDSU, help chase. quit blocking SDSU. what's the deal? are you guys going to chase?" Sorry buddy, but if you haven't been paying attention, we have a guy who's been in the break for the past 25 minutes. If you have no cool information, fun facts, or good jokes, don't talk to me.

So we move on. The racing was fast and crash free. The crit was fast and fun as myself, Logan and Dan worked extremely hard for Eric in the break. Unfortunately for E-love, the wind picked up like a mother, and a break of two could not stay away. We sprinted for 11th, 4th and 12th respectively. Elove got a standing ovation for his work off the front, as I've been told. The road race on Sunday was a blur. A short, 11 mile lap with one punchy 4-5 minute climb was to be repeated 4 times. Logan got away. I held on. After the break was decided (Logan had to deal with UCLA guy, thankfully) the group had some good laughs, and kept the tempo steady, ensuring that Logan would be credited with at least a 4th. E-love sat in the pack like a champ. Even through the attacks on the final lap, he was money.

"you gonna attack on the climb?"

"no, I think i'm gonna try for the field sprint." epic.

So Logan got his 3rd and, of course, Eric took a sweet victory in the field sprint to give him 4th. I was somewhere in there, happy to have finished in the bunch and to have been competitive. Awesome times.

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