5.19.2004

The Emotions of the 12 Hours of Lodi Farms
In my previous post on the 12 Hours of Lodi Farms I gave a skeletal description of the evenings onto mornings events. The earlier rants just scratched the surface of the whole event and the struggle of mind and body. In an event like this there is a battle, as the body tries to cave in, it is vital for the strength of the mind overpower the weakness of the body. Testing one's personal limits, questioning the body's limitations, demanding the peak performance from a sleep deprived system are at the core of such an event. The rants posted earlier made mention of one lap that took place a short time after midnight, that in itself is no great feat, but to demand the body to replicate the same level of performance five times over the next twelve hours can tax one's body. It can be a dramatic event. The trauma on the body is great, the will of the mind falls weak, the desire to pack it all up and sleep is over powering, each sore muscles throbbing pain is amplified. In my case I have to constantly remind myself that I will feel better once on the bike. Each time my body responds to that natural experience of the bicycle and quickly forgets the pain and fatigue and concentrates on the activity at hand. Deep into the race during one of my nights lap I was feeling good. My body felt one with the bike, my mind was focused, then I thought about my actions. Almost outside myself watching as I rode up, down, and around on the wooded trail. The whole process started to intrigue me. All the variables, all the demands, and somehow the body takes it all in and answers to the task. The action felt ballistic. My mind was not really active, my body was just responding. There is no way that I could give a play by play of each minimal reaction and action that my body was going through. It was intense. An almost religious experience. I felt incredible, the clarity was beyond explanation, yet I ramble on. What makes it all so odd was that at the campsite between laps I was hypoxic. Like the astronaut tests we all have seen in the movies, where the actors portray oxygen deprived astronauts playing Black Jack or other simple games and can not rationalize the most basic combinations. In one of these breaks between laps I had one of these episodes where I could not manage the basic problems, I was trying to recharge my lights and I was trying to connect the head lamp to the charger rather than the batter to the charger. It did not go on that long, after a minute or so I managed to catch myself, but my behavior was being dictated by my sleep deprived brains. Well, I am no astronaut, I don't even play one on TV. But I was having some similar symptoms or so I thought in my over exhausted, over exerted, sleep deprived body and mind. This is a recurring experience for me in these mountainbike relay races. I have conversations with God, Yoda, and myself. It can all be very amazing, a bit odd but amazing. My body is lose, limber, and strong; while my mind is euphoric in a natural drug state. I try to stay focused and ride fast and hard, but somehow I still manage drift off to this land of HR Puffin Stuff, that is without the magic flute.

too tired to continue
each night I write one of these posts thinking I will edit it at work in the morning
but instead it just remains posted and unchanged
somehow I don't think that this rambling rant will be any different
as mentioned prior I am an unlikely editor
in college it was not uncommon for me to hand in papers with the spelling unchecked and the ink still wet
not something that I am proud of
just the reality that is my past

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