Today. Somewhere in Boulder. Early morning.
I rolled over and saw 6:42 on my alarm clock. Did someone just knock on my door? A neighbor? Something broken or leaking…
I scrambled to put clothes on. Light was just starting to creep in through the window, but my eyes were failing to adjust. I flicked on some lights, opened the door, and let the man in. His name was Richard. While rubbing the gunk from my eyes and waking myself up, I grinned. His nickname might be Dick.
We continued to exchange pleasantries, and then I proceeded to take out my penis, in full view of this stranger, and watch him watch me pee into a cup.
I guess I should back up.
After winning the team pursuit at track nationals, at the behest of USA Cycling I was placed in the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s RTP, or registered testing pool, meaning I was subject to unannounced out-of-competition drug tests at any time, anywhere. In order for them to know where to show up unannounced, an RTP member (there I go again) needs to submit quarterly whereabouts information, as well as update via text or email whenever he deviates from that schedule.
So prior to December 31, 2013, I was required to use a very Google-Calendar type thing online to fill in where I would be, and when, on January 1st. And also January 2nd. And so on, up until the end of Q1, March 31. In 30 minute increments. Not daunting in the least!
It’s a wholly bizarre process, I must admit. Especially when I don’t even show up to work at the exact same time every morning.
When: Every day, maybe? Except when my legs hurt. From, like, 10am to 3pm on weekends and maybe noon to 2pm on weekdays, except on rest weeks, when I probably won’t ride all that much during the week, probably only about noon to 1pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but then it really depends on if I actually got to work at 7am, because if I ride for 4 hours I won’t get back until 12 hours later, and if I get in at 9, that means I don’t get home until 9pm, ungh.
Where: Roads? In Boulder County? Maybe some trails if I decide to take my mountain bike out? Carter Lake? Possibly Peak-to-Peak? Perhaps in Golden somewhere?
When you train on a bicycle, out on the open roads, and have to contend with traffic and weather and your job, you don’t always go out right at noon and come back right at 3pm. This made filling out the form a bit… haphazard? Loosy-goosey?
Part of me thought, this must be so much easier for pros who don’t have full-time jobs, to know when they’re going to be training, when they’ll be sleeping. Then I realized: wait, if I didn’t have even the slightest bit of a set work schedule, this would be nearly impossible! If I didn’t have a day job, I might be sleeping in until 1pm, training until 6pm, or maybe I’ll put “when the sun sets” as my end time, what the hell?
Any time I’ve gone to Denver, I have texted USADA to tell them where I’m going and the exact coordinates or address of where I’ll be. It’s almost like I’m 10 again, except USADA doesn’t even tell me, “OK, just be home by dinner!” like my mommy used to.
Back to present day.
So I peed into a cup, utilized my kitchen counter for its inaugural urine-pouring (I don’t know the guy who lived here before me, but I can only assume) as I had to transfer the “sample” into an A and B vial, and signed a bunch of stuff on Richard’s iPad.
As we were wrapping up, I asked Richard if USADA had a system where I could rate him and any other DCOs (doping control officer) on a scale of 1-10. He said he wasn’t sure, why? Because I’d rate you a seven, I said.
“Just a seven?” he asked as he helped himself out of my apartment.
“Nah, I’m just kidding,” I said as I began to shut the door. “Urinate.”