So why is it that regardless of how fast or slow I am, I have this death wish? It's something I consider every day. I have talked to multiple doctors about it. "Just stop." How easy. How....simple. No silly race is worth months or a lifetime of recovery. And yet, I do not stop. I have not stopped. I still don't know if I can stop and listen to this rational, quite normal voice in my head.
Is it still okay to puke over my handlebars while I'm riding?
Is it still okay to puke while I run?
Is it still okay to push my heart rate into the 190's to catch someone in front of me?
Will I recognize the warning systems like, not urinating for hours, headaches, tremors, seizures, cramping, lack of breath, unable to bend my legs, pain in my lower back and torn ribs?
Will I still use trigger words to subconsciously unlock a place in my head where there is no time, space or pain, only extremely focused effort until the wheels fall off?
Realize that I don't like pain, at all, but I can ignore it. I fractured my tibia with 12 miles left on the bike, in a triathlon. I got off and ran 6.2 miles in utter agony to finish the race. Though it was an Epic Fail, I pushed myself to the point of death in my last race, "He probably won't make it till sunrise," they told my wife in the ER, and yet here I am. Still recovering 13 months later.
I consider that comment on a daily basis. I know that everyone else sees the absurdity and clarity of the statement. I see the letters, read the words, recognize the enormity of the sentence and yet still seek...something that I may never find, may never exist. I don't know what it is. So I think about it. Hoping it will come to me as it has I am quite sure clearly come to you.
I can't even mention some of the thoughts I have had this year regarding racing. It may horrify you. It horrifies me. Mentioning some of these to my closest friends they almost physically recoil in shock as if to say, "Have you learned nothing?"
I have learned mortality. I don't think I have mastered control. And that is what is going to determine my capacity to enter a race next year. I am only now trying to bend my will around the thought of racing in a context that does not involve pushing my physical limits to an absolute limit. To a finality.
To continue to want to race is a contradiction. But one I continue to ponder.