Saturday was the Rapha Prestige Midwest ride, which was hosted by Axletree. An amazing Rapha event, held locally, and hosted by my group. Knowing my love of riding and my love of Rapha, you’d expect me to be there, but I wasn’t.
You see, a few weeks before Rapha decided on that date, I bought tickets to Taylor Swift for my daughter, and told her I’d take her. And then the RPM date was announced, and I went into a moral crisis. Take my 7 year old to her first concert and miss an amazing cycling event, or go to the cycling event and break my word to my daughter? Yeah, I know. I know. When you phrase it that way, the answer is pretty clear. So with a bit of a heavy heart, I decided I had to go to the concert.
When Dana and I were expecting our child, we both knew it was going to be a boy. I mean, we didn’t find out from the doctor–we just knew it. We were completely confident. We were so confident that when Lu was born, I did a double-take. I was pretty sure something was missing. In her first few days, I spent some time wondering if I was going to be a good “girl’s father.” I mean, I knew I was going to try as hard as I could, but it seemed like a lot of my interests were more boy oriented. As a kid, I spent a lot of time outside with my brother, or working in the shop with my father and grandfather. We didn’t really do sports, but we spent a lot of time doing activities that are stereotypically man-centric.
The universe has a way of working things out. With the passage of time and accrual of some small amount of wisdom, I’ve come to realize that there are no activities that are man-centric or mans-clusive. And I’ve come to realize that I was destined to have a daughter. An amazing, wonderful, brilliant, curious, enthusiastic, courageous daughter. A daughter who does everything–from working in the garage to hitting the American Girl Doll store. And so, as I held her tiny hand in mine and we walked into the Taylor Swift concert on Saturday night, the RPM ride was the furthest thing from my mind.
I’m not ashamed to admit that this is a new leaf for me. Honestly, a few months ago–or even a year ago–I might have made a different decision. I might have justified it to myself by saying that my daughter is only 7 and there will be more concerts. Or I would have gone to the concert and been bitter about missing the ride. For all of my angst about Dirty Kanza, and for all of the mixed feelings that it’s given me about cycling, it has been a rebirth of sorts for me. It has reminded me of the things in life that are more important than cycling. This has been a tumultuous summer.
So my congrats to the ladies and gentlemen that rode and finished RPM. Personally, I think that if you weren’t screaming Shake It Off at the top of your lungs Saturday night, dancing with a 7 year old, you’re the one that missed out.