THE FIRST CRIT SERIES I EVER DID made all the difference in the world.  Not because it was well run, or fancy, or challenging, or had any fans at all...

... it was the opposite.

The amount of blood I shed on the second race still stains my memory.

Who would go back to that week after week?


Here's why.

The race was put on by the college ski coach, to help his athletes stay in shape. They raced the B race.  The actually racers did the A...

... newbs like me the C.

Like all asphalt-roots crits, this one was staged in an out of the way place...

... the giant, aging football stadium parking lot.

It was more packed gravel than pavement in spots, particularly the the turn I slid out in.

I didn't care.

Only 10 guys lined up.
None of us knew what we were doing.
Most of us placed, and occasionally won on a hot summer night.

I was hooked.

I hadn't won anything sporty to speak of since grade school...

... I was a very, very, very late bloomer.

Finally, I'd bloomed and found something I was good at.

But, what if first race was a legit California crit as a Cat IV?  
150+ racers on the line was common back then.
The speeds seemed insane.

It's hard to imagine surviving a few laps.

Nope, I needed Bobby Bills and his girlfriend telling us to Go!,
Holding their silly posters with laps remaining,
The ensuing squabble over who won.

No photos or video,
No race numbers on our back,
No friends or family or spectators of any sort.

A handful of athletes...

... tasting victory for the very first time.

That's often all it takes to find a whole new world of adventure and the pursuit of personal excellence.




7.5 hrs
1 round of cross training
20 minutes recovery  
60 minutes reading + Journaling