Cyclocross has got to be my most unlucky endeavor I have ever been apart of!  It all started this weekend 2 years ago, on my mountain bike at a small farm in Walla Walla.  Each loop had a set of barriers, 2 creek crossings, a couple of run-ups and a pin-wheel formation.  Just how everyone starts, I had no idea what I was doing, but it didn’t matter.  I went hard when I could, and spent the rest of the time with a single goal in mind, not to crash.  Simple, yet effective.  
Now here we are 2 years later, 2 bikes later, a replaced broken rear derailleur, 1 right hip hematoma, a 1 fat lip, 1 black eye, and a broken arm.  It’s the sport where it’s not how you fall, but how you pick yourself back up that matters, originated. That, and a few other things.   In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s the only sport I’ve done that the head official announces before every race that beer hand-ups are an automatic disqualification.
It’s fun, different and completely out of my element, making it absolutely perfect for an off-season activity.  
Here it is, Sunday morning in Bend, OR.  Day 2 of 2 Cross Crusade races.  
Bend is a high desert in central oregon.  A beautiful area, home to any outdoor sport and/or recreation you can imagine.  I love Bend.
The race course was 1/2 in grass and 1/2 in dirt, and lots of it!  The dirt in was deep, soft and powdery, causing a lot more problems than I imagined.  I am still sloughing dirt out of my sinuses and lungs.  Gross.  Every item we own is coated in dusty dirt.
Oh well.
The race itself was awesome.  I was the only one of our group that liked it, probably because it was really hard and I like to make myself suffer.  Lots of turns in soft dirt, some gigantic logs to jump over, a set of barriers, 2 small barriers strategically placed to force two small run-ups and a set of stairs.  By the time I was done, I couldn’t see a thing, couldn’t breathe, my throat was raw and my quads were cramping...apparently I have a warped perception of fun.  But, I already knew that.  My goal for the race was to kill the start, go hard when I could and be patient on the technical sections.  It worked!
Just one more step in becoming a calmer me.  Not only did I win :)  but I felt so much better!  Those two things probably go hand in hand, it’s always fun to win.  But it’s much more fun to win when you aren’t frustrated and disappointed!  Who would have thought that the toughest racing conditions you can compete in would lead me to find more peace within myself.  
Today is the costume race, and I can’t wait to go have more fun!  Hopefully my disguise will work, I'm sure no one will know to look out for the triathlete.  What?  I was on a budget.

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