I have been staring at the blank Word document for over an hour trying to come up with a clever way to describe my current situation and the events that have brought me to this exact moment of sitting at a kitchen table that looks nothing like my old one, without using lame bike racing metaphors or quotes that I just looked up on the Google. I wanted to share profound life lessons about things running their course, and change being hard, and hearts being broken, but all that has already been said many times in countless ways by literally everybody else. The Cat, who sat on the keyboard while I got up to stir some food, suggested “Fffffhffhfhhfhfh” with his asshole, but that doesn’t quite fully describe what happened either.

I can only say that I got to a point where I was tired of crying in loaders and dump trucks about my failing marriage anytime some sad song came on the radio for the past year, so I am no longer running heavy equipment for a living, and I am working on dissolving the marriage. I can’t show enough gratitude to the people who non-judgmentally listened to me and supported me, from the first spoken grievances and concerns about my life as it was, through the inevitable fallout after I blew it all up, and finally, as I am rebuilding with the optimism that everything will be OK. I can’t apologize enough to the people this has impacted, beyond Lee and I; to our families, to any friends who feel like they are caught in the middle, and to the community who has only known the two of us as a couple. I see all of you.  And finally, to Lee, I appreciate all the ways in which the past 11 years together have shaped me into who I am today. There was a lot of good in there too, and I will always give him credit where credit is due.

Within the past few months that I moved out, moved forward with the divorce, and started a new career, I also decided to take on the LeadBoat Challenge. For the uninitiated, the Challenge arose when the organizers of Steamboat Gravel, a very new and already wildly popular race, scheduled the 2020 event the day after the Leadville 100. Since there are enough crazies in the endurance world that would happily do both had the races remained  within a week of each other like last year, it made sense to see how many of them would be interested in completing both races in the same weekend. The rejection email for my application stated that hundreds of people applied, and only 50 riders were selected to participate. Too stupid to give up, I was already registered for Leadville through a 2019 qualifier, so really, all I had to do was get into Steamboat Gravel, and like magic I did.

As with my Singlespeed endeavor last year, it is on this platform that I will state my goal and track my progress. I want to finish the Leadville 100 in under nine hours then get my ass up to Steamboat and finish the 140-mile gravel course within the allotted time the next day. I will do both races on geared bikes. Like last year, I am going all in. I am working with an awesome coach, I am mindful of diet and always trying to do better, I’m still not drinking, and I am constantly working on my mindset. I am very aware of the additional challenges that I am facing this year in light of all that has happened, and I am looking forward to facing them head on. I hope to share it all here, as I do. Stay tuned.

Published by Veronika Hewitt

Writer. Cyclist. Cat Lady.

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