|From the Renegade Gent's Race 2011|
I was pretty pumped last year in January thinking that I'd be partaking in my tenth Renegade Gent's event in a row. But, ya know....... No need to remind anyone why that didn't happen, right? Of course, there was the thought that maybe the pandemic would ease off in the Fall and, ya know, we'd get the band back together then. Well, yeah...... Now it is 2021 and we've still to get around to that bit just yet.
There is chatter that the "Gents" will happen in June this year, and maybe it will. I don't know what is going to happen, but I told one of my "Careless Whispers" teammates that if it does, count me in. So, maybe we'll have a bit of a reunion then. It will be odd not to be doing this in April, but we'll see. No matter what, it won't quite be the same anyway.
Why? Because June weather will be totally different. Why? Because of COVID-19 precautions. Why? Because my team is changed. Things are different now. Does that mean it is going to be a bad time, or "less than good"? No, no it doesn't. It just means it won't be the same anymore. It may end up being even better than before, or not, but one thing I know is that it will not be the same.
We have this thing called 'nostalgia'. The familiar, the comfortable, and the 'known' are all things that make us want for the 'old times'. But if the Gent's thing does happen, I will go and it will be a thing I have no idea about. I will have (probably) two new teammates due to circumstances of the time. I will have a completely new weather experience, and with COVID protocols in place, I don't know that the situation I once knew will happen. In fact, I know it won't.
But that's all good. New isn't necessarily 'bad', it's just most definitely 'different', and maybe uncomfortable. I don't have to make that a 'worse than' situation, but I should make that an opportunity, just like the first Gent's race was an opportunity. I mean, talk about your chances for things to suck! A new event, three people I needed to work with that I had never met before, and an area I had never ridden in before. It all could have gone completely pear shaped, and before it happened? I was anxious, nervous, and afraid.
|Team captain, Steve Fuller,won't be able to attend in '21.|
I was really nervous about that first Gent's event. "Would these guys like me? Would I be treated as the 'outsider'? Because on my team, I was the only one not from the Des Moines cycling community, and I figured that humans being what they are, cliques and friendships may find me on the outside looking in. Much like it was when I went to visit in Minneapolis.
But nothing could have been further from the truth. In fact, quite the opposite happened. I was taken in and treated as an equal, and more than that, friendships were formed that last until this day. I had no reason to believe that would happen before the event. It was going to be a HUGE change for me. But I am so glad I was able to break through that wall of fear that could have kept me from experiencing almost a decade of awesome times.
The memories of the Renegade Gent's Race will always be something I cherish the rest of my life. If I can add to those in a way that is meaningful? Why not? Yes, things have changed. It never will be like the old times, but then again- it shouldn't be. Why not get a bit uncomfortable, charge into a new-ish situation, and see if there might be something there that can make me grow?
So, again- maybe it won't happen,but if it does, I am already willing and able to accept a new deal. A new situation that may be great in its own way and that may give me things I never dreamed I'd gain in life. It will be fun if I let it be fun. I have a big say in the outcome, I realize that. I'll be making sure that I take the opportunity seriously if it happens.
And if I never ride another Renegade Gent's Race again? I'm good with that. I will never be bitter about that possibility. I have already made so many great memories that it cannot be measured in value. Friendships were made. Experiences shared. Things I am not very proud of and things I am extremely proud of are parts of those memories. The Gent's Race will always be a highlight of my life. The possibility of adding to that? I'll take the chances......