Life is a chess board. I have made a move. My retirement has been announced. I am officially breathing.
The process of getting to this point is another book entirely. But that is for some other time. Right now I am at peace. The chaos and confusion in my head has been replaced by crisp cool stillness. There is a space between my heart and my thoughts that is brand new to me.
Or is this just relief again? Relief is a feeling I have been chasing most of my life. Myles mentioned once that I was the “Black Swan” of mountain biking. The internal battle, oh, how intense it was. But I just jumped off the cliff. My wings have never felt bigger.
For some, racing may be simply racing. That is not how I set up the game for myself. Racing was a mystery, one for me to untangle, one for me to get trapped in, and then remove myself from. The truth is, I never loved racing. Maybe it was because I never had the experience of riding without a race in front of me. I raced a few days after my first mountain bike ride. If you have read my book, or some of my blogs, you may already know that. Racing owned me. I was it’s gladiator slave. And I was a good gladiator at that. One of the best. But it did not bring me much joy. What it brought was always closer to relief. Relief that I made it out alive. Relief that I didn’t suck. Relief that my body didn’t have another scar. Relief that maybe the prize money would pay the rent. Rarely joy. Rarely peace. Never stillness.
Since I discovered I was pregnant with Raven, the hold racing had on me began to unravel. Bike racing is an illusion, and the illusion serves a purpose. We all create our own illusions, in our own way. Within the illusion lessons can be learned, healing can be gained and karmic cycles completed. But what happens when the illusion no longer serves the highest and greatest good? I was the only person who could break the chains and set myself free. As I began to see through the illusion, it was my wish to dissolve it. When you see the illusion for what it is, it begins to cause unnecessary suffering. They say be careful what you wish for don’t they? The theme song for Gladiator just came onto my Pandora “chill” station. I kid you not. I digress.
Anyway, I have been seeing clearly lately. At everything I always ran away from looking at. Racing served a purpose. It cleansed me. It polished my soul. It freed me from huge chunks of pain and shame and it sent me around the world. I pushed through, time and again. I got up when I fell. Over and over. I sometimes raised my hands in victory, and I learned to survive defeat. I had the best intentions to return to racing with a new sense of perspective.
But I am awake. I can not go back to sleep. In giving birth to my daughter, I also gave birth to an aspect of myself that was buried deep within. The woman. The lover. The feminine mysteries. I have found a love that transcends bike racing. I needed to love myself enough to let the cause of my discontent dissolve into the nothingness from where it came. I know that as Rumi says “the cause of my pain, was the cause of my cure”, but after the cure, there is no valor in the suffering. There is only suffering. So I had a choice. I can continue to be sick, have my baby be sick, have my marriage suffer and my mind by ill at ease, or I can let it go.
At first, I thought letting it go meant letting go of the Olympic Dream and focusing on the end of the season. Then I realized even that was not honoring my soul. Letting go meant letting it ALL go. The whole package. Letting go is not quitting. Letting go is leaving behind that which no longer serves you. It is living with integrity. It is listening to what the soul needs, not what the ego wants.
My soul needs stillness. My soul needs my baby. My soul needs laughter and contentment. My soul has expanded, and I had to let myself catch up with it. When I was in South Africa, I looked around and everything felt wrong. My heart and soul were not there anymore. My body was a shell of it’s former self, just going through the motions. Living is not going through the motions. Living is being engaged, with awe and wonder, in every moment. I have decided to live.
I am sure there will be a ride I do this year where I feel like I am made of fairy dust. And a thought will creep in. ”I wonder?” And then I will let it go to where it came from. Into the infinite nothing. Into the infinite everything.
I am a woman now. Having a child changes everything. I am no longer the warrioress who would cut off a breast so the bow and arrow would fit her like a man. I am now an earth mother goddess. And I want to immerse myself in the magic of that. I want to BE a woman. I want to BE a mother. I want to BE a wife. These things I choose with pride and from a space of love.
I am thankful. I am thankful to all of you who read my words. You are blessings. I am thankful for the bike. It has been the vehicle to this moment. I have a beautiful daughter and a husband who is a man of all men. I am blessed. I am expansive and ever-evolving. I am at the edge of newness, and it is beautiful. Embrace your own apocalypse. Leave behind what no longer serves you. Live. Make your life what you want it to be, from the INSIDE out. Nourish that space inside that gives you guidance, that encourages you to follow your bliss.
My next path is already unfolding before me with grace and ease. I want to work with women. Athletes yes, but women in general. Healing, encouraging, nurturing. But I have time to stand still. I have no income and my debts are impressive. I gave everything I had to this dream, this illusion. EVERYTHING. On every level of my being. I look forward to enjoying what the universe offers for free. My plans are to drink lemon water, take epsom salt baths, cry if I need to, write if I want to, soak up the sun, kiss my baby, make love to my husband, walk slowly, reach my arms to the stars and be thankful for all I have.
Thank you to everyone that has supported me on this adventure! I am eternally grateful. I especially want to thank Martin Whitely from TWR for exploring this journey of the soul with me. He gave me a choice, and without a choice, I would have never been able to surrender in peace. Thank you Martin.
Evolve. Expand. When life asks you to change, change with it. That is the trick. That is the game. At the end of this lifetime I will not wonder if a different color medal would have changed my life. I will ask myself, did I love? Did I heal? Did I follow my joy? The answer will be yes. Be a champion of the soul.Love, love , love.
Updated on May 14, 2013, 9:06am