It’s 12:40 am on Christmas morning. While my children are all snug in their bed, even as teens, visions of sugar plums, dance in their heads. As it turns out, even though we have moved, I believe Santa has found us. With a sigh of relief, I am happy he has. Dare I peek out my bed room door to see what he may have left behind? As I had just heard the pitter patter of dancing hooves, I sprang to the big picture window to catch a glimpse of the man in red. I squint to see a bright red light rising high over the water behind our home and I hear bells jingle until they have faded away. Why, it must be been ole Saint Nick heading high into the sky to carry on his work. While the festivities will flash by us in an instant tomorrow, this is my one moment to take it all in while no creatures stir. Since Santa has left, I take my chance to breath. I nibble on the other half of the cookie Santa has left behind and live in the moment that twinkles within the light of the lit tree. Christmas allows nostalgia to swirl through my mind. My childhood memories linger on in my grown up mind. So many Christmas’s have come and gone, it’s hard to fathom how I got to this point. I can’t help think of those that we have lost as well as a sharp reminder that all of this is so fleeting and a true blessing to experience year after year. In the same thought, there may be no better day to enjoy time with our families and friends and inhale the joy it brings. With Miles at my feet, he nudges me unknowingly as he drifts into a deep sleep. Perhaps he also dreams of Christmas and his hopes of a new box of lacrosse balls to enjoy. What ever is your joy, I hope you find it on Christmas morning and throughout your day. Merry Christmas everyone!
While cycling has a huge global appeal to its many fans, I like the fact that on a local scale it’s small enough to feel like a family gathering. Last year, back in February, Pete donned his warmest clothes and headed out for a ride. He loves the independence that it affords him as well as the impression of uniqueness that comes with being one of the few kids in his school that does the sport. During his chilly ride, a large peloton of cyclist passed him by on their Sunday training ride. Now further ahead, he saw one of the group members peel off and come back towards him. They struck up a conversation leading to an invitation by man who turned out to be a coach of a youth cycling team. Peter came home excited about the invitation. Unbeknownst to Peter, I had met the same coach years ago when Peter was in second grade. As I was starting up the Go Far program, Aidan Charles’s fledgling CCAP program was in its infancy. I distinctly remember telling him to keep his eyes peeled for Peter sometime around the time he could reach his pedals. Well as fate had it, their February meeting would finally bring Peter into the world of cycle racing. While he has always been a home grown product of our triathlon community, this new opportunity would begin to teach him even more about the gears that turn his his wheels. Once again, my hope would be to put him in a situation where great mentors would open his eyes to the sport. Quickly he found that with the coaches within CCAP program. He would meet kids his own age, bend a set or two of handlebars and solidify his love for the sport. The cycling community feels much like the rowing community I grew up in. It's quirky, intense, intelligent and driven. Now from this mother’s eyes, who spent her entire youth getting doused by the cold backsplash of salt water during many a January rows, I understand cycling’s appeal to a kid looking for adventure. On this chilly December morning, I watched him navigate this newfound learning curve through an orchard deep in central Connecticut. He would bring home mud as a souvenir as well as some very cold toes. On the way home, he would talk about how excited he was to take his new skills back to his triathlon community and feel the warmth of his favorite season on his now freezing toes. June can’t come fast enough. But first, he will venture out on many a Sunday ride with the group who had picked him up just by chance.