In a previous life I was a USA Cycling Team mechanic.
Specifically, Iwas the US National Sprint Team mechanic.
I was the guy at the Velodrome 2 hours before everyone else, and 2 hours after everyone left.
I was the guy who set up the pit area. Hauling in (and out) all the tools, rollers, wheels, and necessary equipment needed by hand. Everyday.
I was the guy pumping up 20 sets of tires to 180psi, everyday, one handed, by myself. (no one has made a pump 'chuck' yet that'll stay on by itself at that pressure)
I often spent hours working on a bike...for 10 seconds of racing.
I was the guy gluing tires till 3am. Glue in one hand. Beer in the other. Glazed look on my face provided by all three.
I was an international traveler and a master of getting through customs with 20 pieces of checked baggage.
I kept an extra bag at my apartment that was pre-packed and ready to go out the door as soon as I walked in.
I had the stamina of Semi-Truck driver all goofed up on Amphetamines as I drove bikes across the country to the next race.
I was a friend.
I was a "soccer mom" to the athletes because I had the keys to the only vehicle where ever we went.
I was a villain.
I took verbal lashings for no other reason than "I was there".
I endured the stress of knowing a lifetime of training and dreams could be undone in the fraction of a second if something broke.
In 2 1/2 years I helped riders obtain National, World Championship, and Olympic titles.
After 2 1/2 years, I walked away with all of my fingers.