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The Day I Quit Racing–by Margie Nolan, BSS Women’s Mountain Team

March 8, 2010

I have the misfortune of turning 40 this year, which means… well… worse than black balloons… worse than wearing bifocals… I have to race in the Class of Death (for me at least)… Cat 2 Women’s 40+.  Now these women 40+ are generally faster, have more experience, and have been racing longer.  Once you reach 40, you are at a point in your life you have nothing else to live for, so you might as well ride!

Nevertheless, I survived my first cross-country race of the season at The Warda Race.  It was nice to come up to the start line and see so many women, several of us coming up from 30-39 and turning 40 and a few that came up from Cat 3.  Great seeing old friends and meeting new friends.

I’ve been racing for a couple of seasons now, and I’ve never taken 1st.  This season, unless something unforeseen happens or if there are not many women in my class, EVERY race I line up to, I know that I will not podium.  I know that the top racers will have changed their clothes and had lunch by the time I come across the finish line.  Heck, I know that in some races, I’ll be battling it out for “last”.

Sadly, I hear too many racers saying, “If I Cat-up I won’t podium”, or “If I Cat-up, I’ll come in last”, or “I just don’t want to come in last”, or “I won’t race until my fitness is better” or “I don’t want XYZ person to beat me”.  We’ve all heard all of the comments.

Racing isn’t about staying in a Class to make sure you can take 1st, it’s not about making sure you get a podium finish, it’s not about “staying out of last”.  It’s certainly not about beating yourself to death because some racer is now faster than you.  Racing is about riding hard and pushing yourself to your body’s physical limits, it’s about setting goals and challenging yourself, even if that means the best you can do for that day is to place last.  It’s about encouraging others and cheering for them during and after the race.  The most important thing about racing is to HAVE FUN!

The day I quit racing won’t be because I’m scared of coming in last, or that I won’t podium.  The day I quit racing will be when I am no longer having fun.

One Comment leave one →
  1. kristi permalink
    March 8, 2010 10:53 pm

    Well said Margie 🙂

    If that were the case for me, I would have quit a looooong time ago! AGREED plus 10…it’s about having some FUN!

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