I got some bad news the other day. My brother is getting married. Which isn't bad news in itself, I guess - his fiancee is pretty rad, and I suppose it's nice for them to have the ceremony and all of that jazz. The bad news was the date. March 11. Labour day long weekend. Or, as I like to think of it, Madison weekend.
Ever since I got sick and realized I probably wouldn't be firing on all cylinders by the Christmas Carnivals, I'd been thinking about the Bendigo Madison. I knew that I wouldn't be able to win the damn thing, but I also knew that every year they invite a bunch of locals and other likely suspects to ride it. And I figured I could be one of those blokes. So I set it as my target and asked my coach to build me up to it.
So perhaps you won't be so incredulous when I tell you I asked my brother to consider changing the date. He said no, telling me to wait til next year (and also suggesting I could probably do with the extra 12 months training, indicating that the competitive spirit that drove us both through our childhood years still exists). I then asked my parents to ask him, but they wouldn't, probably because they realized - a good hour before I did - that I was probably a little out of line.
My old man, however, loves a good metaphor, and asked me if, now that I've been forced to miss the Olympics, I could instead aim for the World Championships. I like metaphors too, so I got to thinking. The Austral is the week after the Madison, but I've never been too stoked on the Austral, so didn't want to consider it. However, if the tradition continues, the last race of the evening will be the Victorian 15k Scratch Race Championships - the race I wrote about here. Given the standard of the folks who turn out for the Austral Carnival I probably won't win it, but this year I'd like to finish in the bunch, and at least give some future Olympians a good run for their money.
So consider me refocused. My brother's nuptials may be a blessing in disguise.