The Five Stages of Getting Dropped

Getting dropped is a lot to handle — but it's easier to manage if you know what to expect.

Gloria Liu |

We’ve all been dropped — if you haven’t endured it yet, don’t worry, you will. The predominant emotion is usually embarrassment, but after it’s happened enough times, you learn that getting dropped is a little more complicated than that. Over the years, I’ve come to recognise that I generally experience five distinct stages on the emotional rollercoaster of being dropped.

It goes a little something like this.

Stage 1: Shock And Denial

You shift up. You shift down. You grind. You stand. You watch with disbelief as riders pass on either side. You are like Moses standing still as a sea of Lycra parts around you. The realisation sinks in: Your people are going, and they’re going without you.

Stage 2: Anger

You get mad at everyone: your riding companions, your coach, the hamburger you had for lunch. But you mostly get mad at yourself. That pain in your legs? It’s weakness leaching out of your body.

Stage 3: Bargaining

You start making deals. I will stop eating pizza. I’ll quit sugar again, too. I’ll lose 10 kilograms. I’ll ride more. I will be a better cyclist. A better person. I will turn it all around if I can just … hang … on.

Stage 4: Depression And Loneliness

The group is gone. You try to answer existential questions like whether you will ever amount to anything and why you are still doing this stupid sport. There must be something you are better at. Like lying on the couch.

Stage 5: Acceptance And Hope

You remember that everyone gets dropped. It’s going to be okay! You are now free to live out the rest of this ride in quiet solitude. A sense of peace settles over you. Because now you are just out for a ride. And that’s always a good thing.

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