I no longer mark the change of season by the solstice. My winter begins when muddy fenders, a thermal jacket, and my winter training boots become daily work attire, and that would be now.
Training rides, timed according to hourly precipitation and temperature forecasts, are pedaled in solitude. No team camps. No races. No radio. Just the bike and the horizon and me, accountable only to myself.
Long, cold winter hours reveal an athlete in stark honesty and distill from all distraction and influence a heart of pure dedication. In honor of our greatest dreams, we humbly submit to the elements and surrender to the process of becoming; we discover new definitions of self, new depths and capabilities. To find joy in this surrender, in honoring one’s commitments to oneself, is to find the path beyond the obstacle.
The cold means nothing in the face of great dreams.
(image by me)