It was just one of those days.
I woke up normal. I rode with Benjamin that morning and felt okay. But when I took those first 30 pedal strokes of the mountain bike race in Castle Rock, I knew something was up. My body protested. My mind screamed. And for once, after pushing it for an hour - thinking I would come through it, that it was just the cobwebs from resting all week - I gave in. I allowed myself to stop.
That's right, I quit.
I pulled by the finish line for the second of three laps after passing all of the encouraging bystanders, found an open spot, put my bike down and laid down.
"That's it!?" a girl next to me asked.
My eyes were still closed.
"Yep. I'm done."
And after a few moments in the fetal position, cursing my womanhood, and cursing my competitive streak of wanting to keep going, but knowing better - I rolled up on my side and talked to the voice. Turns out she's brand new to road racing this year and cheering on her hubby who prefers mountain biking. I told her these days are normal every once in a while. That it's normal to have a bad day. That's what makes the good days good.
As Benjamin put it, some days you're the hammer and other days you're the nail (in the coffin).
The next day we had a road race in Deer Creek, a two hour drive from Colorado Springs. Being a new day, I focused on positive imagery and knew that the previous day was a fluke. That I'm only human. And that I have the power to make the most out of the next opportunity. I had five category three teammates toe to the line so the day was focused on mentoring and trying different tactics on the group to see what works and what doesn't. It was a great experience. And as we were setting up for the final few kilometers, I knew something good was going to happen. I had practiced it in my head that morning.
I waited, I was patient and then I sprinted like hell. And guess what happened?
I won. Again.
Some days you are the hammer.