Yesterday things would seem maybe even less clear, but I need to explain.
I described it to someone today. Since late last year I was finding that because others had question me and speculated about me cycling or rowing I got caught up in the bubble of other opinions. My ego was fueled I guess and the ability to distinguish between others ideas, influences and speculation and my own was tough. The all came about because after Beijing I really did sign off on being able to do anything like it again. It was the end and I remember thinking through the games week of competition that if I could only hold it together that I was done. This was in light of my situation with my back and never wanting to be in that predicament again. Never I told myself and then to go through surgery and labor along with the recover I just figured the strong feeling of never again would never be replaced.
They were replaced though and initially I fought the idea as I just couldn’t even imagine it being possible. Then and this is less clear I started getting influenced by what others were saying and suggesting. It was about this time I think I started to focus on the pointing finger rather than what was being pointed at. I started buying into the sensational ideas of others and even told my self a few stories. This was the bullshit element. To work towards winning Gold in either cycling or rowing is not the issue. Having a crack at cycling was not the issue it was getting drawn into a false sense of reality. That was the bullshit part. Ignorantly or naively I chased after something that was… flawed. In the past when I have allowed this to happen in rowing I have not performed any where near optimal. So when I disconnected and focused on work it was a step towards facing up to an inevitable need. To then start aligning my effort to a possible rowing path had me once again trying to grasp at some thing tangible. Something stable, yet with out a solid sense within I guess I had been drawn into others ideas.
This is all very hard to explain because it seems and feel like a blur and only over the last few months and then some time away have I seen that I was being fuel by external factors or influences. Long term this is a no win situation and I think it happened because much of my energy was used up to deal with nagging thoughts or pain, tingles, twinges and flickers or sensation reminding me of my limitations.
After the last post someone commented about which part was bullshit going after cycling or now going after rowing. Embarrassingly I am trying to say both hopes are bullshit I think. What I am really after is to be able to move freely. To be able to flow, perform, let go and fly. As abstract as that might start to sound, it’s the feeling of freedom which I am now seeing as critical not the ideas of making the cycling team or rowing team. It’s not winning gold, or competing, it’s not so many things I have worried about or thought I wanted over the last 12months. The bullshit has been how influenced I have been and confused. Focusing less on what matters most and more on things I know better not focus on.
The position I am currently in means that I can’t full explain the physical feelings all that well. When I bend forward my back catches and twitches about 10 degrees from vertical and I have had days when I can get off the floor or even bend over with out supporting myself with extra movements like I have a body which is not my own. This is the reason why I cycled and will continue too. And this is why I am working to row. I see that to train and prepare for something is better than nothing. For if I have no purpose I don’t move. My purpose is past the obvious content of my expressions.
Finally I see that somethings are not as I thought or what others have thought, so simply to be free is my purpose. Free to move, this is all I really want. What that leads to is less important to me and to my family.
The question then is that with this focus can I still be an athlete on a bike or in a boat? Yes, but not as an athlete.
Can I be a person who embraces my weaknesses and frailty? Yes and I think now I can see a way to use it to enable an unearthing of improved ways for me to move.
Can I live with out fear of breaking down? Yes, this could be the hardest part, but I won’t break down if I stay true to moving freely.
Here’s to freedom. To speaking, to moving and to make no sense at times. Got to love the workings of a thought process exposed.