The cool grayness of the morning sneaks through a crack in the drapes, the distant hum of car tires, the songs of the morning birds, I dare not look at the clock knowing all too well it is mere minutes before the alarm sounds. Shuffling towards the stairs, the creaking floors dashes any hopes of a stealth exit, greeted by the whisper of my sons voice “Are we going to the skatepark today?” A question that should bring joy only leaves a dull emptiness in my guts as I answer “ehh…not today buddy I am going to Rochester”
“Oh” and with that my son disappeared into his room, I knew all summer that this weekend was coming, the weekend that I would have to decide between a sport I have chased around for nearly 15 years and a sport I have had a love affair with most of my life, a sport that I now enjoy with my son.
I looked at my bags on the floor in front of the door, what was once two bikes and a pile of wheels is now a bag full of camera equipment and running shoes. The night before I reasoned with myself, this will be the last year, the mile markers ticked off on the highway and I wondered if I had anything new to offer to this season or am I just doing a different version of the same song. I wondered when bands go on tour and night after night they play the same setlist if it gets old?
Greeted by the volunteer at the entry for team parking I blurt out a team name that I know is on the list, she looks down the list to confirm and says “alright, have a great day!” The familiar buzz of gas powered generators and power washers, the synchronized beat of a bass drum coming from the PA system, the smell of freshly torn up grass and soil. Hi-fives, hugs and pleasantries are exchange as the anticipation for the days races builds, I click off the first few actuations of the shutter, the air is cool and I graciously accept.