Pictured below- a slice of bacon and a doughnut that was handed to me by Chris, of Dharma Wheels Cyclery, during a recent cyclocross race. Weirdness like this is totally in the spirit of ‘cross. I stuffed them in my skinsuit mid-race, and wolfed them down after the finish- completely satisfied in mind, body, & soul.

The fast twitch muscle fibers that make me a good sprint speedskater makes me a mediocre cyclocrosser; but I don’t care, it’s so much fun.

Note in the background of the above picture the bent angle of my saddle. My rear wheel was also so smashed up, it barely made it through the frame.

It’s refreshing to not care where I finish. I get far more worked up & focused/worried about an 800m tempo than 40 minutes of max bike effort. It’s enough just to go out into the woods & mash about, to suffer on something more varied than the frozen hamster wheel. It feels like freedom.

My absence has not just been just from writing here, people have been asking me/emailing me about where I am- friends at the oval ask “are you ok”. It is completely normal for speedskaters to have a November slump.

However, what I am experiencing is severe life turbulence, even though I am fine.

Being a deeply involved dad & a professional at my job is hugely important to me. I train when I can, but just realized I have not been able to train hard enough to really need a true rest week since July, and that was hugely depressing.

I remember reading a quote from Bjorn Daehlie, the best XC ski racer of all time, basically saying “you need to make sure your skiing and training commitments always come first”. For years of my life, that is how I lived, I was 100% committed to skating.

However, those times are over, and they pale with moment like RZ saying her first word a few days ago (just to me, she won’t say it to anyone else). Her first word was not mom, or dad, it was TEETH!!!

She loves teeth, and is always poking her hand in my mouth to grab mine. My racing gets a bit slower every year, I’m fading into the back of the pack at local cyclocross races, but other things are filling me up with so much joy.

I will keep writing when I can, it’s Olympic year after all!

Writing this down makes me feel better about it too… But I still hate what the stopwatch/electronic eye says about me when they pronounce judgement on a skating effort.

12 Responses to “Turbulence”

  1. That bacon doesn’t look cooked. Was it supposed to finish cooking next to your chest during the race?

  2. possibly, but it was very yummy…. If I race, do I deserve a doughnut?

  3. Mom’s comment had me lol… :)
    the doughnut had far less calories than you burned, if that matters. yes you can have it! and if it was Enteman’s, it had no trans fat! >:)
    i have reached a point myself where everyone is talking about how much working out they’re doing, but school+work+a 6-week-long cold have left me wheezing after a 30 second bike effort and very sub-par in skating, the couple times a week i actually do it. sometimes i get bent out of shape about everyone kicking my butt this winter, but i don’t have the energy to even care usually, and that makes me sad sometimes…but i tell myself that if i really do love skating or cycling, i’ll find a way to come crawling back eventually. i may take a year off. or even retire from competitive cycling. sounds like you don’t have this kind of motivational problem fortunately, and you can use that to your advantage for making a ‘comeback’ when the time is right! so hang in there, you’re still in phenomenal shape and have the dedication and talent to continue doing great things. ;)

  4. […] Love added a new entry to his site; Turbulence; I will keep writing when I can, it’s Olympic year after […]

  5. Dear Andrew,
    Relax a bit about training for a few years when RZ is young, and then start training seriously again when she needs you less.
    Skating is fun even when it goes a bit slower.
    All the best, Arne (M75)

  6. Hey Andrew: Nothing turbulent here just a question - the US SS site has the Sprint Masters meet listed as Feb 27-28? Can you confirm that they’ve got it wrong and it should be Feb 6-7. Thanks

  7. Bless all the things going well.Take care!

  8. Dave-
    The Feb 27-28 meet is the metric/pack meet traditionally held @ Pettit yearly. USS is in charge of registrations, etc. for this meet, which is why it’s listed on their site. Feb 6-7 is the World Master’s Sprints, also @ Pettit this year (rotates internationally). To register for this meet, you need to go through the international master’s group and USS has nothing to do with it. So you’re right that there is a sprint meet on Feb 6-7, and USS is right that there’s a meet Feb 27-28.

  9. Skating’s just one event; I bet you’re getting a 9.9 in the much more demanding Parent-a-thon.

  10. Is that a Twin 6 shirt I see?

  11. Linda,

    Yes, a Fat Cyclist Jersey! quite appropriate…


    I did not know you spoke fluent speedskater-compliment-ese… yes, I am doing well in that.. I aspire to be world class (that would be a 9.6 to a 9.9)

  12. Andrew; you are now a research rat for your daughter’s future in sports, dance, or learning. I often talk about using Katherine’s skating as a chance to show her that hard work and problem solving will lead to achieving goals in any discipline. We used to adapt weight training, slide board, dry skating or stationary bike to compensate for lack of on ice training. Achieving a goal and setting another in training many times leads to better performance in the ‘big test’. Finding key contributors like power output or endurance help to build potential in any sport. The same principle works for learning such as math skills, vocabulary, or writing skills. Training can become a game or an afternoon with Dad, and have endless and varied rewards!

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