Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I have 2 bulletin boards on opposite walls of my office.

This is the one that sits to my right when I sit at my desk: signed posters acquired at Interbike and my race numbers, the bottom row is the 2007 cyclocross season, the top numbers are this years campaign.

Some people give me crap for keeping my numbers, but they are a source of inspiration. Whether I did well (Dekalb) or not (Hawthorn), they let me know where I have been: either pride in a good performance or lessons to be learned.
Then I saw Mud and Cowbells wall of fame and said to myself "That's alot of fricking numbers!" His corresponding post wasn't about the race numbers though, it was about seeking balance, which leads me to the other bulletin board which sits to my left.

Mostly photos of family including Elora's first ultrasound, her first birthday, her and I in front of "Man with Fish," some pieces of her art, thank-you letters from clients. The "other" sources of inspiration. I try to have Elora come to the races when it makes sense, basically if I know there will be a park she can play at and if there's open space where she can run around without fear that she might get hit by riders warming up for their races. Campton was great for that, Bartlett no way. Even though she can't yell very loudly, I can usually hear her voice above all others. It was easier when she called me "Papa." She is now calling me "Jim" because she says she wants to call me what everyone else calls me. No chance of me trying to correct her on that.

She knows the people I race with and the guys at the shop and will even sometimes come up to them and say "give me bones" and put her fist out for a fist bump. She asks questions about the bikes and the course, like "why are there barriers?" Even though she is only 3, she soaks it up, even the heckling. When she gets bored she pretends we are an entire crocodile family that must swim around on our hands and knees.

Whether I place well or not, every race presents me with 2 opportunities. The first is individual to me, my race. Last week's race presented me with 2 mental obstacles, first the fact that I didn't like the course and second, the flat. Each race also gives me the opportunity to share cross with Elora. I think she looks forward to race days as much as I do.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Jim, awesome. So cool, and great to see Elora out there! Northbrook has a great playground if I remember correctly.

I have a friend who puts all his numbers in order on a ring through their corner, with category and result written on the back. They're in his "man bathroom" at his house. Very cool can reading.