Sunday, September 19, 2010

this one time, at sprint camp...

It's beyond difficult to watch the edited-for-TV version of Matrix Revolutions and still cobble together any coherent thoughts. Terrible dialogue, heavy religious undertones, flashing lights, those sunglasses! Can. Not. Look. Away.

These last two weeks on the track have been tough, but rewarding. Between flat tires, expensive tubulars self-destructing and wrong gears, it's been less than relaxing. Fortunately, this is not a vacation, and relaxation is not the name of the game.

It's a funny thing working with someone you've admired for many years. Monday I felt more nerves about meeting and being judged by Jamie than I've felt before any race in my career. Sat in the parking lot of the velodrome for a good 10 minutes trying to calm down. Fortunately, he's great. Very low-key, very down to earth. Stays mostly in the background with a clipboard and a stopwatch, only chiming in when neccessary. When he does speak up, everyone hears it. He has a voice that carries, and he uses almost exclusively for encouragement during efforts. Never a negative word. If you don't hear anything, that's your negative word. He's one of the few people I've ever heard in mid-start. In the span of two weeks, I've gone from being mildly terrified of Jamie Staff to feeling comfortable enough to sit down and chat about whatever.

Speaking of starts, mine haven't been quite what I wanted, but times are dropping every time I come out of the gate. Hearing Jamie say "those are fuckin' lightning, man!" was probably the best thing I've ever heard. Still one more start training session before the team sprint. Lots to do and lots to not do. In the end, I came out of the camp optimistic, and with a few new goals on the horizon.

No, I haven't been hanging out on the beach. Maybe I should be, I dont know. I tried. The beach in Los Angeles isn't really my scene. Guess I'd rather be completely ignored in some coffee house or quiet bar, instead of in an environment where everyone looks at each other and waits to be looked at.

While we've been turning circles in our Siberian pine wonderland, the news been tapping out the furious cadence of the election cycle. Another thing I cannot tear myself away from. You forget the hilarious drama of cable news when you live without it for so long. Some of these well-funded hacks are despicable people, but wonderful entertainment. If American politics didn't have so many real world consequences, it would be a lot more fun. And a lot more funny. Now I have nothing to do all day but flip between 24 hr news and movies we've all seen plenty of times. Took a break last weekend and read Chris Hoy's autobiography. Good stuff, good guy.

2 Hours to track time so it's time to strap on the feed bag, so to speak. From smogville, over and out.