Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Taco Tuesday

Night sky at Phat Burrito

Tuesday nights mean two things to me:

  1. Group ride
  2. Taco/Phat Tuesday
I have been riding every Tuesday for about four years now. Triathlon season is slowly coming to a close and cycling season officially ended with last weekend's High Point Cycling Classic. Yes obviously there is quite a bit of seasonal ebb and flow to the local group rides but last night I started the ride with about 7 people, a far cry from the regular 20+ . By the end of the ride there were a mere 4 of us. By 7 PM we all had our blinking lights on. I took my sunglasses off at 7:15. The rider next to me pointed out we are just as close to the shortest day of the year as we are from the longest day of the year. I cried a little inside. We had already taken one short cut and as we pedaled in we contemplated the merits of adding another short cut next week. I cried inside . . . again. 

Alas.

Another season has passed and the initial excitement of long hot summer evenings pounding it out on a brutal group ride has long petered out . . . but this is not what I reflected on as I sat alone on the patio of Phat Burrito. I was reminded of the first post ride Taco Tuesdays I went to. At first there were only about 3 or 4 of us on any given night. Over time Taco Tuesday grew to 8+. A mix of riders, significant others, and friends all gathered together to enjoy bad tacos (and I am not kidding when I say bad tacos. The place ended up going out of business. What Mexican restaurant goes out of business?) Every week involved a slightly different group of folks. We were a mix of salty, sweaty, and happy. It was grand. It was great. It was a good time.

I no longer see the faces that comprised the backbone of what once was the famous Taco Tuesday. And I am not just talking about on Tuesday nights. I am talking about ever.

On the surface this seemed like such a sad revelation. Over time priorities change. People change. Circumstances change. I stay the same. But on further reflection I realized this is a good thing. This is the very nature of triathlon.

I love training for triathlons because I train in three different disciplines. After a lifetime of swimming this appeals to me. I am rarely bored. When I get tired of swimming I run. When I get tired of biking I run. When I get tired of running I run  . . . wait a minute . . . 

But the downside of triathlon is the amount of turnover in the sport. People come and people go. It is hard to swim, bike, and run all the time. Maintaining a certain level of fitness in all three sports takes time, energy, and commitment. I get it but I still miss the people who have entered and left my life because of triathlon. These people never would have crossed my path if it was not for this sport. And for that I am very thankful . . . so much so I finished my quesadilla got a cupcake to celebrate. 

Vanilla on vanilla