Sinking in

Sometimes, when you chase a goal for years, it doesn't seem like reality when you finally reach it. From crewing for Nick at his solo singlespeed race the first year 24 hour nationals was in Palmer Park (our home course!) to placing second against Sonya and Jonathon the following year in the co-ed duo class to last year's rained out stage race, it seemed like we were always so close but so far away. Even throughout most of the race this year, actually reaching my goal just dangled in front of me. And then - suddenly it was there - within reach. All I had to do was ride my bike and it would become reality. The top step of the podium - a stars and stripes national championship jersey.

On the drive out of the venue, I sent a message to Coach Adam "mission accomplished - more details later." Despite having the jersey in my lap, I still didn't quite believe what I'd accomplished. So I took a picture and posted it for the world to see. And my digital world proceed to blow up with everyone sending me congratulations.
I didn't want to let it go while driving home
At the second Ascent Cycling race, with some photo ops with the jersey and the entire riding community wishing me well, it was clearer. I'd just won a national championship and joined a very elite group of ultra endurance mountain bikers. Wow.

But it didn't really sink in until this morning. Back at work, walking into my senior exercise class that I teach M/W/F. They heard me coming - the doors of the stairs are very loud closing - and when I walked in, I was greeted with a standing ovation. From a group of people who think riding around in circles - and riding at night - is just nuts. At first, I played it off - after all, I'd been gone for four classes and they tolerate my sub. But I knew that wasn't why they were clapping, especially after one of them handed me the article from the Gazette. To have that kind of reception from my class was touching - and solidified that it was real. I'd finally achieved a goal I'd been chasing after for over three years. 

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