so today i raced my first cyclocross race. it's been a long time comin', but i finally did it!
i don't think a better sport exists for camaraderie. for the weeks leading up to today's charm city cross, i was pretty anxious. come day-of, i realized i couldn't ask for more positive support and feedback from a community, one to which i have not really yet been introduced.
i actually started out toward the front of the pack. i can hustle on pavement, but once i hit grass, i really had to focus on controlling my movements. at the end of the first lap i was going too fast coming around a curve, right before the last hurdle/dismount, stopped short, and flew over my handlebars and smashed into the ground. i was okay, my bike was okay, and i got up and everyone cheered, and i laughed a little bit to myself because there's no shame in crashing, no shame in being lapped, no shame in riding across the finish line no matter where you are in relation to the pack. as i finished my second to last lap i looked at the official as i passed, expecting to be cut and he just said, "i know you have another one in you!" and as brutal as that last lap was, the atmosphere was so refreshing and reviving that my energy surged. that's what i love about cyclocross- everyone supports one another, truly. you push hard and they push you harder, and make you feel good about it, and motivate you to keep going because we're all out there to enjoy the ride (just like the proteus jerseys say!). and every cheer is genuine and sincere. i couldn't ask for more from any sort of significant gathering of people, let alone a competitive one.
i didn't know until later this afternoon where i came in- and i'm happy to say IT WASN'T LAST! but frankly i don't care much about it because i finished, and i am really proud of just being able to do that.
...although it does rule that i placed.
being out on the course with everyone was absolutely rad. hopefully i can make it out to a few more races this season!