Originally posted 2/3/16
By Cheri Felix
Whether you are a man or woman, pull up a chair. This applies to all of us. From the average (like me) to the very best and most talented.
I’ve never done a “farmer’s blow” or “snot rocket”. By that I mean I use a tissue when I need to blow my nose on the trail. Which means I stop the bike, reach into the pack for a tissue and proceed to clear the passages. I just don’t know how to do it any other way but during the fat bike race in Fraser my nose was able to manufacture an alarming combination of frozen and drippy snot. And I won’t stop during a race (unless I’ve fallen in the snow) but I had to clear my nose and so I tried it. No go. I inhaled when I was supposed to exhale. So typical of me. I almost choked on my own snot which almost made me panic. Clearly this is not a good option for me.
There are some things I’m just not good at and snot rockets are one of them. Yes, I could get better with practice but really, it’s not on my top 10 list. Or top 20. I’m also not great at peeing with my skin suit on without letting the arms dangle to the floor. Of the port-o-potty. I also have to step completely OUT of my shorts to pee off trail (look for this show in Fruita coming this spring). There are other things too. You have a list too. I’m sure of it. We all have things we’re not great at (like me trying to figure out how to end a sentence without a preposition).
Since it’s a new year and I know many of us are filling the calendar with race dates and bike trips and training camps and god only knows what else, let’s dial this in now. There’s always going to be someone who is better than you at applying chamois creme, pulling the ponytail through the helmet (don’t get me started), starts, turns, finishes, the uphill, the downhill, training, pinning on the race bib, changing a tire, talking about changing a tire, riding rocks, blah blah blah.
No matter what your proverbial ‘snot rocket’ is, accept it and move on. Use your own measuring stick. Don’t compare yourself to others unless you can do it in a constructive way. Measure up to no one but yourself. Weird and unrealistic expectations can make all sorts of people do things to win (like racing with motorized bikes). And at the end of the day, you are more than your bike (even if it’s carbon) and you are more than a race (even if you come in second to last place or 1st) and you are certainly more than how fast you can ride up a hill. Now go on, get. Find your snot rocket.