By Cheri Felix
I love when you tell a friend, “I had an intimate relationship with a bag of Redvines last week” and she doesn’t even ask for clarification. She just knows.
I’m coming off an injury. Something we’ll call compressed ribs with a large side of intercostal neuritis. You can also call it “painful as bleep”. That works too. Either way, between that, the holidays and winter, I am just getting back to the bike after a three month break. Kind of like the period after a really bad breakup in high school; you’re not sure how to quite hit the reset button. But hit the reset button you must. Or at least I must. Enter the Redvines. I love them. And yes, they are fake as all get out but they’re my go-to on road trips and apparently when I’m feeling too smug to just have a donut, I go for red dye #whatever.
Don’t we all have those moments? Those days? Those weeks? Months? Where we just can’t seem to remember who we are or what we’re up to? Like, we can’t find the discipline? And Netflix and Redvines just seems like a better combination than electrolyte chews and a good ride? Maybe you’re not like me. Maybe your well of motivation and self-discipline and passion is never far from empty. Maybe you have as they say, a second gear. Or a third or a fourth. I’m fairly lucky (or crazy). I can usually find the gumption even when it’s cold or snowy. Early morning rides? You bet! But every once in a while it’s hard. And not hard in the way that some people’s lives are (I don’t need comments reminding me of my privilege) but hard in the way where you just forget how to load the bike, fill the pack, check your gear, match (or not) the socks and find the dirt.
It’s humbling when this happens. I’ve come back after a major health shift, three pregnancies, two parent’s deaths, ACL surgery and other minor setbacks. So, I know how to do it. But there’s something to be said for having a few Redvines too. In our culture (called Boulder) of always doing, always going, Strava, Instagram, PR’s and god only knows what else, we rarely rest. And I’m not talking about a scheduled rest day. I’m talking about eating a Redvine or two. And then you hit the reset button cause we all have one of those. I guess what I’m saying is it’s okay to take a break. And if you’re like me, not sponsored, not pro, not paid and in fact, paying for every race, not breaking any land records (or records for that matter) and certainly and quite honestly, not getting faster at this point in my life, you’ll be okay.
Life isn’t about what you do or how great you are. It’s about how you handle it when you’re NOT doing your thing or when you’re NOT great or fast or strong.
Life’s about how you handle the proverbial off-season. Sometimes, life’s about Redvines and Netflix.