Home. The word has become relative in my existence. “Home is where the heart is”…”home is wherever I’m with you”…home IS where I lay my head at night and brush my teeth in the morning. Invite a cyclist into your home and as soon as that duffel explodes, your home will suddenly become theirs. I’ve been “home” to Colorado for over a month now, but didn’t actually move into my apartment until April Fool’s Day. It feels good to sprawl, leave my bed un-made, cook and spill, dance about naked. I digress. I’m back in my routine and that feels good. To ride in the mountains and feel I am breathing through a straw. To see friends and laugh about everything and nothing at all.
I couldn't quite tell you what I was feeling as I boarded my flight from Belgium to the US on February 28th. It was a concoction of a lot of emotions from good to bad, sad to mad to happy, relief, readjustment, realism, reassessment, reassurance.
I first touched ground in the US at Newark Airport and the passport control man went out of his way to be unfriendly. Sure he let me back into the country, but as I entered the baggage re-check area I contemplated climbing back up the luggage shoot. That's when I realized that instead of internalizing this exuberant welcome back and the rip-off $5 luggage carts, I now had a limitless data plan iPhone in my carry-on; I could lament my frustrations over the twittersphere. My phone had been shut off for five months; being reacquainted was like flooding a dam.
I wasn’t back to Colorado long before I jetted off to Boise to see friends I had missed like crazy and then to Vermont to hang with the best Dad in existence. Between these trips, because I wasn’t able to go back to my apartment and huddle up like a hermit as I tend to do, I was lucky to have friends gracious enough to take me in as a nomad. Like living a rock n’ roll life style I had a crib in the mountains around Nederland, a Ninja Pony Ranch to be exact, another in the mountains around Genesee and another in Boulder proper. It was refreshing to leave the bike stuff in my garage and load a suitcase up with fresh and grown-up-people clothes, leaving behind my winter outfits of sweatpants and hoodies. I put all those clothes in a bag of their own which I recently opened to an overwhelming whiff of my Belgian apartment. Scent, like a pinprick of emotion and memories. I focused on being a social butterfly instead of a hibernating hermit. I spent time with my niece who is the most beautiful being this world has created. I finished writing my poetry book, which I started amidst my health slump in Belgium. More than anything it was time to focus my energy on people I may have neglected when I was away.
Training on the bike commenced about two weeks ago and I can tell my break was more than adequate – I was hungry to get back training and my shorts were tough to pull on. I am putting my energy into the training on & off the bike and I am motivated because once again, I am without a team or a sponsor. This I am jaded by, but it is my own fault, for being picky and stubborn about my goals and dreams. However, I believe there is a metric sh!t-ton to be said for an athlete who knows what she or he wants. In 2012-2013 I am a cyclocross racer and the dreams within are too big to sacrifice.