In Tabor

We made it! After a long and rather snowy drive, we are here. Tabor, Czech Republic. Many thanks to Marc and Alex for handling the logistics and for driving me to Tabor. I was able to chill out and relax for the ride. The bulk of the Canadian team is here now. Had a great team dinner and quick team meeting. Great way to set the tone for the rest of the week and the racing ahead.

I got in a good little trainer ride to spin out my legs from the 10 plus hour long drive. Nothing like riding the trainer, watching the Czech National Cyclo-Cross Championships and listening to a CBC Radio Q podcast at the same time!

So I was just zooming through my emails and I came across the following comment that was posted on this web site:

“watched you race in holland with my friend johnny fokkema and was wondering why you do not compete at the master worlds instead of the world cup. would it not be better for you to finish in the top 10 at a the world masters championships then dead last at a world cup race. i applaud your competivice drive just think when representing canada you should be up there in the result list. Von who won came across the finish line seconds after you crossed it to do your bell lap.” (I’ve deleted his email address from this post, but if you want to find it – I’m sure you know how)

Now, I don’t know about you but this comment was pretty surprising. Surprising because I’m shocked that someone would take the time to write such a negative comment on my web site. I also found this comment disappointing. Disappointing because this person clearly does not have dreams and goals.

I’ll be honest, the first time I read this comment I was angry. Then after rereading it, I was hurt. Devastated is probably the better word. If you know me or have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I struggle with self-confidence. Let’s just say this comment didn’t do much for my self-confidence.

Luckily, Marc came to the rescue. He read the comment. Smoke started to come out of his ears and then he reminded me of the following:
– I’ve already raced the Masters World Cyclo-Cross Championships – three years ago – I was 4th – and in fact I’m ineligible for Masters Worlds (I have 160 UCI points and am ranked 48th in the World UCI Ranking)
– that Johnathan Page was multiple laps down in his first World Cups – he went on to finish second in the World Championships – and was 8th on Sunday in Hoogerheide
– how else are we supposed to get better as a nation at cyclo-cross if we don’t start at the bottom?
– that Vos hit the finish line as I was already past the pits
– that this guy really isn’t on the “same lap” as the rest of us

I can do two things with this comment: let it drag me into a pit of despair and zero confidence or I can use it to fuel my fire and desire. The old me would have wallowed in the pit of despair. Well, I’m not letting this guy put in that pit.

I’m going to use this comment to fuel me. To make me push on the pedals even harder. To attack every corner. To rip through the snow and ice. To rail the corners. To race so hard I can’t breathe and my legs are screaming at me to stop.

Deep down inside I’ll be laughing at this guy. Because I’m out here doing it. Mixing it up with the best in the world. Where is he? Sitting somewhere safe – not chasing his dreams? Watching the race on television? Settling for mediocrity?

Luckily on the same blog post I received this awesome comment:

“Thanks for all the reports and the great efforts that have put you on that same lap!
Sweet to sit in cubicle land here and get a few minutes of enjoying your adventure.
Tales from the big ring. Good luck next week.”

This comment was from a Canadian cycling legend (John Large). I have to say that his comments and emails hold much more value and weight than the other guy. John is a guy who has been there, done it, seen it all, and is now helping to inspire and guide cyclists such as myself who have hopes and dreams. Thanks John for the awesome comment. It means a lot.

Okay, time to switch gears here…

Lets just say, I’m super stoked to be here. This is a massive step forward for me in my bike racing career. This is not my last World Championships. This is my first. I’m looking forward to taking it all in. Learning as much as I can and having fun while doing it.

Looks like I’ll stick to the trainer tomorrow as well. It is supposed to hit a low of minus 12 tonight so I think the trainer indoors is preferable for me. I’ll get out on the course on Thursday and Friday to pre-ride and learn the course. I’ve watched the race video so many times, that I feel like I have it memorized. But as I’ve learned, you can’t believe everything you read/see on the Internet… Might get out and check out Tabor a bit tomorrow as well. Definitely going to visit the bike store and the grocery store.

Alright, I’m out. Time to zone out with some WWW surfing. Thanks again for the amazing support. The emails and comments are greatly appreciated. You will all be out there with me on Sunday.

4 thoughts on “In Tabor

  1. Hey Vick! Keep up with all that you are doing! It is awesome! There are so many people that never follow their dreams…and settle. It is so fantastic that you are doing what you want to do…that you have the guts to do it. You are a very, very inspiring person – and both you and Marc are incredible people!! Best of luck!!

  2. vicki., please note what i wrote came from me and no one else. john fokkema’s name should be deleted so as not to confuse people in thinking that he as well feels and thinks the same way about your abilities as i do. and if my comment makes you go faster great.

  3. Hey Vicki — I’m also a Bell Lap client, and have enjoyed your updates in the magazine and on-line. I’ve also struggled with many of the same issues … poor Steve, dealing with my headcase! What I have come to realize for myself is that you can only race whomever shows up on the start line — both literally and figuratively. There will always be those folks in the wings telling you “no,” who just don’t get it, who have an opinion. All you can do is get out there, make it happen for yourself against the competition you’re really up against, and kick some ass on Sunday!

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