We all know that almost anything worthwhile, sports, not sports, whatever, can only be achieved through of combination of luck, hard work, and talent. What combination and in what mix is up for debate. (For our purposes here, let’s put ‘systemic inequities that make certain opportunities far less accessible to some people’ under “luck.”)
You can’t really do much worth doing without those three all coming together. And you can’t always control if they do. So you do what you can about the parts you can control. You work hard, you plan and prepare so the odds of an unlucky break go down, and you hope.
I have had a string of weird bad luck lately. I had a cold. I had a stupid insane amount of work. I’ve been struggling to get my foot ready to run an Ironman in a month when it couldn’t even run an hour a week ago. I had the seat clamp on my saddle bizarrely shear off. My metal computer mount snapped on a ride the other day. And then my Di2 went dead halfway into a five-hour ride, when it shouldn’t have gone dead.
I know, I know, that when things are going wrong more things are likely to go wrong. Because you’re tired, you make mistakes, you forget stuff. That’s how it works in life. The $2 you forgot for the bus means you’re late for work, means you get in shit with your boss, means you don’t get the next assignment, you get fired. We know this is how things work.
When my Di2 went dead on Thursday, after so many other things, I pulled over in this trailhead parking lot to see if I could fix it. I pulled out my phone and of course it was dead too, because my phone sucks but I’ve had no time to go get a new one. Because that’s how these things go. And then I decided it was time to demand some new luck, time to have a talk with myself, my bike, my equipment, right there in the middle of the trailhead parking lot. Out loud. (After I had a fit first.)
“Look,” I said, “we need to pull it togther. Come on. We’re going to do great shit, we just need to all get along first, make it through a few months. You can do this.”
I had this talk once before. That summer before IM Canda, when everything was going wrong, when I broke my teeth and tore my foot muscle and crashed the car and forgot our passports. I remember sitting in the car after it died on the way to the airport and saying, “Come on, car, you and me.”
Alyssa wanted to know if that worked. Yeah, sometimes. Enough?