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Normalcy-Blog by Carmen Small

The Webster” dictionary definition of normalcy is “the state or fact of being normal.”  So what is normal?  The word “normal” has many different definitions so I will use this one: “according with, constituting, or not deviating from a norm, rule or principle.”  However, I especially liked this one: a. “of relating to, or characterized by average intelligence or development,” b. “free from mental disorder.”  Often times I feel myself thinking I have a mental disorder.  So many times “we” (cyclists) are so obsessive compulsive or feel so un-normal that there has to be something wrong with us.  Sometimes I feel so tired from training or racing (or both) that my brain is functioning well below average intelligence, and so the running joke has become, “cyclists… we are all getting dumber every day.”  Thus I’ve my personal ”operation re-smart” has been in  motion for awhile, and for all my effort I have at least remained the same (I think…), but definitely have not noticed an increase in my intelligence. See! Case in point: I can’t even stay focused…Back to the topic I began with!  NORMALCY!
Normalcy is obviously different for everyone. I have been pondering this for awhile and even more so recently (and with more intensity) when I asked my mom to come and visit me in Italy.  This is a huge trip for her and to be honest I don’t even think twice about it anymore.  She kept emailing me with so many questions that I probably had when I took the trip for my first time, but now it’s so second nature.
The thought came up for me at the begining of the season when I was boarding a flight to Portugal for team camp.  Most people I randomly ran in to before I left had the same response.  After I told them I was leaving the next day for team camp in Portugal they would say,  “Wow, that’s great!  When do you leave?” or “Are you packed?” This was my favorite, “You leave tomorrow? But you are out and not home preparing?”  Yes, it has become so “normal” to me that I no longer have to prepare.  Getting on another flight to another country has become my normal.  I am so blessed to be able to travel the world through cycling.  Yet att the same time it is very weird to think that it is normal for me to go from team camp in Mallorca then right to Qatar for a race.  I never think twice about “preparing” for the trip.  I simply go.  It is my job.  And as my teammates like to say to me, it’s AMAZING!  And it is…
I am now in Italy after another normal trip from Qatar through the middle of the night and arriving the next day in Frankfurt. And the plane running late as has happened so many times that it has become normal as well.  Miss your flight, get on another flight, make it to your destination, and get a few weeks of relief and rejuvenation before doing it all over again.  Others see my life is so far from being average, but it is all so normal for me.