TL;DR: another piece of introspection.
Looking back, it has been interesting year from the racing and training perspective. Lots of introspection, illusion breaking and reframing the question of why racing is important to me.
I would like to highlight this question.
Do I race because of boredom? Is it my inherent competitive drive that pushes me? Is it my way to find an outlet for stress and negative emotions?
To a degree, all explanations above is true. Yet, all of them miss the point.
I race because I want to build a system where I can constantly control my personal growth. And I need this control so that I can constantly improve. And I need to constantly improve because I ultimately believe there is no stable point. Either we are improving or we are losing our edge. There is no such thing as “reaching stable point and relaxing. Life is a dynamic balance.”
As I type it, I hear a voice in my head “wait a second, Rhynolite. At any given second there is somebody you know that has hit a plato and is trying hard to push through it. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?“
To answer this, I would like to first recall the wonderful world of Planiverse, of which I read 30 years ago in the amazing book “The New Mathematical Diversions” by Martin Gardner. Planiverse, a world created by A.K. Dewdney, everything is, flat. The earth is flat (yet round), and the people are flat. More than that, men are always facing right, and women are always facing left. Which makes it really handy for dating, but what if a teenage boy wants to have a serious talk to his father? We can only hope the Dad did enough waiters walks to be able to hold the boy upside down for the duration of the talk… or maybe they should use Flat version of Skype… I diverge.
Well, if we were living in Planiverse, and we were single dimensional, and everything would be measured on a single plane, then of course, the model of “Dynamic Balance” would ensure we would never see any plato.
However, we are multidimensional (or at least meant to be such) and we can happily improve at one direction while losing in other… projected into our favorite activity that would mean no progress at all.
On the other hand, projecting the progress into a simple system – such as bicycle racing, I can see my progress and I can develop the basic skills I need to keep myself from stagnating, and eventually becoming irrelevant.