I woke up bright and early this morning to head out on my bike. In total, I rode 35 miles, the first 20 of which were hilly and terrible. The last 15 were less hilly and even less terrible. Surprisingly, the ride felt great. But, man, cycling makes me feel like an impostor. Sure, I have the bike. I have the equipment. I have the clothes. I ride the bike. I like to ride the bike. But then I get passed by a group of real cyclists and squirm.
Hills kill me. I spent a chunk of this morning's ride on a portion of the Ironman Wisconsin course, and those hills s-u-c-k. Hard. Like, I'm out of the saddle, pumping the pedals, almost at a complete standstill, hard.
How do people do that? How do they make it look so effortless? Why does it make me want to die?
As I passed other cyclists, most of them nodded or waved. Camaraderie. I waved or smiled in return. But I felt like such a fake. Oh, hi, do you see that hill back there? IT JUST KILLED ME. Have fun kicking its ass.
Instead, I found myself drawn to the runners along the way. I'd try to smile or wave, and some would respond. But to them, I was a cyclist. Not the same. I wanted to be like, "No! I run! I'm a runner! Help!"
I don't know if I'll ever be both, a cyclist and a runner. I'm not so much a cyclist as a person who cycles. A runner who cycles. A runner who has fun cycling. A runner who cycles for exercise and enjoys doing so.
Kind of a mouthful, but feels more appropriate.