Friday, September 27, 2013

Going to Uranus? Hire a Coach

I'm Drunk and I'm Skinny!
He knows bourbon.  Like the Southern Comfort on a canoe trip in my youth where I never actually paddled the boat, I will never drink it again.  While Southern Comfort made me spend a beautiful blue sky Wisconsin summer day lying in a gravel parking lot along the Crystal River, Bourbon made me shout at Sven Nys, “I’m drunk and I’m skinny!”  Then it made me spend the night laying on the bathroom tile after the Cyclocross World Championships in Louisville.  Bourbon is out of my league.  I don’t get it.

While he’s a virtual genius at select Kentucky beverages and can make anyone faster on a bike, he is not a Marvel super hero.  The guy I’m talking about is a lot like you or me, a person who is passionately involved in the things he loves, maybe a chromosome or two from being a full on savant.  While I’m into writing and music, can expound on the beauty of a worn sunburst Strat and tell you exactly why the new Fitz and the Tantrum’s song “Out of My League” sounds like the Cure’s “A Forest” from 1980, he is one of a handful of people that doesn’t get an itchy heat rash and headache trying to decipher a pro’s power meter graph posted on Velonews.  He knows bourbon and bike racing.  He’s my coach. 

Do I need a coach?  Yes.  Yes I do.  Take these awesome blue suede pointy shoes I got from Banana Republic.  You want to touch them don’t you?  Don’t get your oily fingers on them.  Just know they feel like the silky top of a cat’s head.  Purrr.  For you, maybe they’re not your bag, hipster dufus material.  They’ll likely be at the outlet store in November.  I need them.  For me, working in an industry like pop radio, where the feeling of youth and cool is part of the product, these shoes help me, a middle aged creative, stay in touch with fashion and trends, the same qualities that our listeners hold dear.  Your frugal cycling side may see an unwarranted expense.  I admit.  I do feel a bit out of my skin as I wrestle them on with a shoe horn in the morning, but I see it sort of as an investment.  The second I lose sight of or fail to be directly involved in what our listeners hold dear, like (egads!) an appreciation for Miley Cyrus, I may be looking for a job at the oldies station.

It makes me want to get a fake ID to actually lower my age, but I’ve been racing and ridiculously involved in cycling for longer than most juniors have been alive.  For God’s sake, there’s a 1991 Breezer Thunder in our bike stable, and that’s not even the vintage one in my book.  Every one of those juniors should know who Joe Breeze is.  I own a truing stand.  In my junior aged days, I circumnavigated Waukesha County on a bike with down-tube shifters and a boombox strapped to my front rack blaring “The Who.”  I’ve come back from ACL reconstruction surgery where my wife had to help me as I grunted attempting a single leg lift.  You’d think I’d know it all by now: training, mechanics, skills, speed, and history.  Yet, I have a coach. 

I look at having a coach like a trip to Uranus.  You might troll the boneyard next to the airport for parts, camp out in the science section of the library and actually build a rockin’ 1978 VW shaped spaceship, but you’re not going to feel the soft pale Uranus dirt between your toes without a little input from say perhaps…an actual rocket scientist.  The main reason I have a coach is so someone, a certified cycling dork, is vested as a shareholder in team Joe.  It’s no different than having a personal mentor or work consultant.  I could go pretty far on my own, perhaps land that VW mothership in a swimming pool the next county over and be on TMZ.  But, like those swanky blue shoes, my coach will take me where I’ve never been Uranus.  

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