Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One pedal stroke ahead of Father Time

Boston, threatening rain.

This morning brought a sobering reality. While working on this cyclocross article for the Boston Globe, I was interviewing Paul Boudreau, a longtime Essex County Velo teammate and race director for the upcoming Gran Prix of Gloucester event. I asked when the first race was held. "Eleven years ago," answered Paul. I was stunned. Could that possibly be right? Could it really have been that long ago? See the skinny guy above? That's me, competing in the second ECV cyclocross race at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester (check out this link for the original story ... after all this time, it's still one of my all-time favorites).

Ten years gone by, and about 20 extra pounds packed on. To think that my youngest, Brynne, wasn't even a year old when I first did this race is a bit mind-boggling. But I guess that's why we, as older athletes, keep soldiering on. Our bodies age, but our minds practice a rose-colored deception, focusing on our physical heyday and conveniently erasing the ensuing years. I'm almost 52, and although I've got the scars and nagging aches and pains to prove it, I don't like giving in so easily to Father Time. I'd much rather go down swinging. Which is exactly why I'm going to bring this entry to a quick close. I'm going to walk downstairs, squeeze into that same ECV kit (thank god for Spandex!), and head out for a spin. I'm sure Father Time will be right on my wheels, but I'm going to try like all hell to pedal away from him ...


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