Saturday, July 10, 2010


I was going to start this post about the pancakes I made this morning, which weren't anything special except for the fact that I topped them with a fried egg. I've often thought about re-naming this blog "Better With An Egg," because then I'd have an unending source of material about which to write. What isn't better with an egg on top of it? Amy often challenges others to come up with things that wouldn't go well with Peanut Butter, and I feel the same way about eggs. Sitting here this morning, feeling the cooler air of today coming in through the window, listening to the classical singer doing scales a few doors down, I cannot imagine any food that wouldn't be improved by the presence of a fried egg.

Now I'm trying to figure out ways of wresting that statement about the versatility of eggs into a statement about racing form, which strikes me as, perhaps, a metaphor too far. The only thing I can come up with comes from this post at Red Kite Prayer, which states that a rider in form can ride just about any bicycle—whether it fits or not, whether or not it is the bike of his chosen discipline, no matter what the weather is doing. It strikes me as funny that the words we choose to talk about our ability to race (or even go out for an hour's run) all derive from structural words: fit, shape, form. The goal of anyone who makes daily exercise a lovely ritual (or a dangerous obsession, or an impressive burning drive) is the same goal as the sculptor's: to bring out a desired vision from something formless. Don't get me wrong, even though I'm using sight words such as "vision" to talk about this; I'm not talking about physical appearance, although the physical usually does change as people come into fitness, shape, form. Form is a feeling that you can do anything: cover an attack, run quickly up a hill, catch those two guys who beat you off the line to the first buoy. It's the sense that distances are closer, that the rim really isn't ten feet above, that you could, in Napolean Dynamite's Uncle's words, "Throw this football over those mountains."

I've never felt this feeling before, until this week, when, despite the increased volume of my Canada preparation, I had the sense that I could drop anyone who ran with me, that the swim speed was never desperate. Watching the Tour every morning helps (anyone else getting weird hiccups on their Versus feeds?), because the Tour is one giant dream dreamt by the 180 men who begin the race every year. Their combined imaginations fuel the whole colorful, glitzy affair, because all of them, even the ones who are their just to work, see themselves every day chasing that 1 km banner alone, the entire field minutes behind, dreaming the beautiful dream of form.

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