Sunday, March 9, 2014

Winning the Lottery?!

Is that Ron Jeremy winning the Lottery?
The lottery. The thought of a lottery tends to get people all lathered up. The idea of a life changing win is exciting to contemplate. While a lottery win always changes a person's life, it isn't always for the better. Tales of the lottery winner's rags-to-riches-to-rags run rampant and are so common that it's surprising that any one ever plays the lottery. But, there are always the people that think the lottery won't change them, that if they win they'll be the same person yet were before. HA!

"Not-So-Serious, did you win the lottery?" I hear you asking. I'll tell you up front that while I won a lottery, I didn't win the lottery (meaning the multi-million dollar one).

You may remember a few years ago when long time friends Cleaver and Al "won" the lottery and got
Al and Cleaver the last
time they got into Leadville.
into the Leadville 100 and my Lovely and the Boy went to run support for them. When they lined up that morning, I remember pangs of jealousy, thinking I should be lining up with them, although at the time I thought the chance of me riding 100 miles off road were just a pipe dream. It would take a lot of work on my part just to be able to ride 100 miles, much less do it in a race.

So many people want to race Leadville that they have made it a lottery system. $15 gets you a chance in the game. If you're lucky enough to win, you're instantly charged the entry fee for your non-refundable, non-transferable place in the race. Basically, if you win, you better get it in gear cause you're going to Leadville.

Well, that didn't prevent me from entering the Leadville lottery the next year, thinking that if I did get in, that would be great motivation for me to get ready for that race. I signed up and shortly after the 1st of March I got my "Dear John" e-mail saying thanks for the 15 bucks, but unfortunately (or possibly fortunately) you didn't get in, thanks for playing, try again next year.

Then, the Tatanka 100 came about and it was my opportunity to see if I could do 100 miles off road much closer to home. Of course, you all know I was able to complete that first edition of the race, and although it was a bit ugly on my part, I gained valuable knowledge of how to do a 100 miler.

The next year came and so did another entry into Leadville, with the exact same results. Einstein once said (supposedly, although it's also been attributed to Franklin and Twain) the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Thinking I wanted to get into Leadville was definitely insane. And once again, I raced the Tatanka 100 with much improved results.

So, yet again this year, feeling much like Bill Murray's iconic character Phil Conner and after a
You see that first line?  
slightly drunken pact with Cleaver in a booth at the Dark Horse Saloon at Terry Peak, I signed up for Leadville expecting the same results.  On Tuesday, March 4th, I got my e-mail, only this time it was different.

You know when you get an e-mail and you can see the first line of text on the page showing all your e-mails?  Well, this time it didn't say, "Thanks for the $15 chump and SUCK IT" like it usually does, it said, "Congratulations".  I almost puked when I saw it.  What?  Really?  No.  Yes! NO! YES!  I couldn't wrap my brain around it.  I sent a quick text to Cleaver and my Lovely to make it all seem real, to make sure I wasn't dreaming.  As of this point Cleaver hadn't heard anything, so he was assuming he wasn't in.  I had to let it all sink in.  I swam a quite a bit harder and further than normal the next morning and rode harder the next morning on the rollers.  This was going to mean a LOT of riding this summer.  C'mon snow, melt!

Early the next morning, my shrieking text alert (a sound that my Lovely absolutely HATES) went off.  Naturally, since we've all become slaves to our smarter-than-us phones, I checked to see who/what it was.  It was Cleaver, saying he got his e-mail, which had gone into his junk folder, and HE GOT IN TOO!  I was freakin' stoked!  Sure, there was a bit that was excited as I could glean knowledge from him about the race since he was a veteran now, but more importantly, I was going to get to ride it with one of my best, long time friends!
One of the views at Leadville I probably won't get to enjoy.

I'm not going to sit here and tell you that winning this lottery won't change me, because it will.  And as long as the elevation doesn't kill me, it will for the better.