Thursday, 19 July 2012

Twenty-One: Am I mad or marvellously mad?

The last few months have been madness. Other teachers will understand.

There has been the mad panic of the missing controlled assessments needing to be completed; the mad rush of revision for the approaching exams; then there has been the madness for those mad teachers who mark the exams and some are mad enough to mark twice! And, all of this madness is iced with the madness of the summer term.

Teachers will understand how I am feeling today. At last, I can take a deep breath ... for a little while at least, because, I am still a parent of an increasingly energetic toddler! (Holidays? What are holidays?)

The last few months have been exhausting. I have neglected my writing, which is my therapy – I need it as much, as I need my bike, to think and reflect. I have neglected my bike – and being on it. And, just as my workload was increasing, my daughter has been becoming more and more and more energetic. In fact, I’m falling behind her.

How on earth can someone, weighing less than 12kg and standing less than 50cm tall, be so bloody intensely quick and consuming? I thought I was quite energetic but she floors me, literally!

Thankfully, my school-work is up to date (except one scheme of work I owe, sorry Shelley and Paul.) And my GCSE and A2 level exam papers are marked and returned. Now, I can settle into a chilled few weeks of bike-riding and baby-loving ...

Though there is one small problem. I’ve entered quite an important mountain-bike race.

I have madly entered myself into the British National Cross-Country Mountain Bike Championships.


Not as a senior – there is no way I could race for 4 laps. However, I am not quite sure I will be able to race for the three laps applicable to Masters women. It will be my first race as a proper Master. I have a baby and a job and I am over 30 – the perfect qualifications. However, the field is made from some incredibly strong and tough and quick women. I am worried.

Nick thinks my doing this is a joke.

But I’m serious. And, I am actually quite excited, in a strange way.

Of course, I know, my bike is not a race-worthy bike and is heavier than me. I know I haven’t raced properly since May 2009. I know I am not national-level race fit. I know it will be a huge awakening. But it is an awakening I need.

I want to race my mountain-bike again – and I want Willow to see me doing this. Admittedly, she will see me doing this quite badly on Sunday but she’s one, she’ll never remember! It will be next year and the year after that she does and I don’t want to let her down; I want to race well and show her.

This weekend is all about seeing how much I have actually lost so I know how much I need to do to get it back. I will be an athlete again!

The National Championships are at Wasing, near Reading, this weekend and I will be going. To race! Race myself.

I need to.

What the hell am I doing?!

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