On June 10th, 2012 at 7am I awoke from a bad sleep feeling drained of life. Sore, achy and without energy I sat on the edge of the bed and stared at the red numbers on the alarm clock. It was Sunday, a day for worship in the church of BMX.
We were having our first Race for Life at Charlotte and due to the special meaning behind this glorified local, we had to race way earlier than normal. My body was rejecting the invitation.
Most of the time a small surge of adrenaline would spark my sunrise reluctance but not on this day. On this Sunday I moved slowly. Lethargic steps delivered me directly into a hot shower in the hopes that warmer muscles will welcome the inevitable. No such luck.
Why was I so beat up? It's not age, I'm only 39 years old. It's not fitness, I train like a mad man. My problem was that I didn't rest sufficiently so that my body would be fresh on race day. Granted this is part of my new training regimen, turning race days into training days but in this particular case the task was daunting.
Half a cup of coffee and an egg sandwich later I dared to enter my training room for a pre-race warm-up. Since I have a tendency to overtrain, I have developed a test to gauge my readiness. The rule is simple, if you can't do the warm-up, you can't do the workout. Ten minutes later I was awake, with a hop in my step we left for the track.
The race itself was a proper challenge. One Expert rider lead the way while new faces brought fresh enthusiasm to the proceedings. I spent most of the motos reintroducing myself to the feel of the bike after having been off it for two weeks. By the main I was back up to speed and stayed close to the pack scoring 4th place.
I accept that there will be lots of days like this. As we age our ability to accelerate gradually slows. However, once we are warmed up, staring down the hill as the gate is about to drop with our hearts beating a little faster, we are kids again. If only for that one moment we are fully alive.