Off-Season: Let It Go
9“It’s the off-season – time to sit on my couch and eat 10Cheetos®.” Dave Harr, weekend warrior
Bike riding often attracts lovers of solitude, whose familiarity with isolation grows into fondness for its refuge. Many hours spent training alone, while beloved and protected – sometimes fiercely fought for – are then managed with many more hours seeking and absorbing the approval of many. This pendulum that swings between disciplined singular hardships and short-term public affirmations takes its toll after a long, even successful race season.
Beyond the physical need for rest, an emotional change is necessary that moves from responsiveness and approval to deliberation and self-acceptance. The racing lifestyle is about moving, travel, transport, staying in uncertain circumstances for varying amounts of time, keeping things fast, loose, and in the air – ready for dreams to be met and opportunities to unfold on the fly, in the moment, and spontaneously. Risk-takers are rewarded. The successful speculators soar in these spring and summer breezes. Yet even freedom-loving eagles have nests and must land at times. Digging in to re-group and ground one’s heart in stillness, predictability, and privacy during the autumn and winter gives annual balance. Even the trees are stretching in anticipation of a winter break to release their unnecessary burdens for those months.
Let the shedding leaves be your signal to let it go, let it go. Let past expectations and results fall away and land upon new refreshing ground. This is unshakeable ground that knows that everything has its time, and its efforts are the reward.
Prayer for Release
“There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth…
A right time to hold on and another to let go…” 11Ecclesiastes 3:1, 5
We acknowledge that we are an insecure group of athletes. We are performance-driven and need regular recognition. We are grateful that our completion comes in being, not just doing. We pray for relaxation and for release from expectations.
Ponder little. Enjoy some delicious moments just as they are! Who can share these gentle times with you? Who can you refresh with quietness? Affirm I am loved even when I’m still. I am worthy even when I’m not achieving extrinsically – rather when my efforts are within. Watch how well the world greets you while you smile at it.
9Outspok’n is the newsletter of the International Christian Cycling, circa 1994. Quote by Dave Harr, Club President at that time
10Cheetos® are a registered trademark of the Frito-Lay Corporation. This product’s motto is, “It’s not easy being cheesy!” Definitely atypical cycling nutrition for an atypical time of year in the life of a pro cyclist.
11The Message, Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson