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"it's okay if it's not always perfect."
It's almost NEVER perfect! Back when I was chasing finish lines, I would have one, maybe two, really good races a season. Those days were unpredictable and magic. I spent years trying to have more of them without really laying down any disciplined groundwork. That kept them elusive, but there was a tangible frustration the rest of the time that so many races _could_ have been better.
It must have taken a full decade to undo that wiring, and begin to enjoy riding again at whatever pace that conditions or partners or fitness or lack of fitness dictated. Now, I very rarely have perfect rides, but I am realizing more and more that I am enjoying EVERY ride. That was not always the case. To quote a Ray Wylie Hubbard lyric that I have trotted out more than once elsewhere: "The days when I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, I have very good days"...
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