I’ve been hanging out in my motel room all day, fiddling with my new bike set-up and stalling. The check-in process for the Dirty Kanza gravel camp started downtown at 1, but the kickoff meeting / meal isn’t until 5, so I didn’t want to have to find 4 hours of entertainment in Emporia, Kansas or (God forbid) make 4 hours of small talk in a bike shop.

Yes, I found something to shift my focus (and my freak-out) so I’m not focusing (or freaking out) about next week’s surgery – riding 200 miles of Flint Hills gravel. Perfect!
And I am freaking out *a little.*
Not at the distance, I can ride 50 miles of gravel.  Tomorrow’s mileage is 50 miles.  Not at the weather, I’ve ridden in everything, and I packed for anything.  Tomorrow will be cold & maybe snowy.

I’m freaking out over the stupidest thing, which is FOSPD, or Fear of Slowing People Down, or inconveniencing them (FOIP?) because I know I am DANNNNG slow, the slowest I’ve been in my adult cycling life, and in an elite camp like this, it’s gonna be super obvious super fast that I’m not in their league.
It’s stupid because gravel riders are a pretty laid-back, helpful bunch. 
It’s stupider because there’s nothing I can do to change my physical abilities at this moment.
It’s stupidest because we’re not even riding tonight… just meeting & eating—I’m pretty good at that second part! I’m borrowing from tomorrow’s concerns, and that’s not helping.
Stupid or not, I’m feeling intimidated okay nervous, scared, and freaked out anyway.

Here’s a thing: no one here knows me. I can go this whole weekend without saying or hearing the word “cancer” or “surgery” or any kind of blaming on anything from the past 2 years.  I get to be a lousy bike rider all on my own merit, ha!
I’m both excited and nervous about that. Mostly excited!  

None of this means I won’t be careful. Ask anyone who rides with me: I’m tough & don’t quit… until I need to quit, and then I do.

Alright. This entry turned out to be a pep talk… for me!  I’m going… now! shift

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