It is kind of hard to believe that we’re in the last week of July. The summer is whipping by and soon enough it will be fall and time for long-sleeve skinsuits and Dugasts. You know what this means, planning, training, and thinking ahead.
I’ve had a great few weeks of training. My niggling wrist injury is behind me now and the bumps and bruises from my wipe-out on the wet bridge are starting to fade. I’ve been getting out on my ‘cross bike five out of seven days. Sometimes this is for a ‘cross ride on the singletrack and doubletrack trails and other times it is for a focused one hour or 45 minute skills session. I’m seeing some good progress. Getting faster, feeling more smooth, and my confidence is catching up with my fitness.
Last night I was flipping through an old copy of Road magazine (can’t remember the month) but this one features an interview with Tim Johnson and one with Katie Compton. I’ve read these interviews so many times that I kind of overlooked the rest of the issue. Last night, I read an article with the catch phrase “What motivates you?” – wow this is an excellent article. Definitely gave my brain a work-out and forced me to really think about and be honest about what motivates me.
This reading coupled with a great supper-time conversation with Marc about the upcoming season and what I need to do to race where I “want to” had the effect I expected…. I woke up this morning with my brain swirling with excitement and eagerness to get out and ride. To attack the flags and barriers faster, to lean my bike further, to pedal faster, to sprint harder, and to do just do everything I’ve been doing better.
Last year was a great season for me – I realized a big goal and had some break-throughs on the bike. But I still need more. I need to get over my fears of technical descents. I need to not let the course beat me. I need to let go of the brakes. I need to always be pedaling and looking ahead. Only positive thoughts can enter my brain. I need to remember that I have the tools, the skills, and the desire and to put these into use at each and every race and training session. This is the season when I need to see “real” growth – my time to be the racer that I know is inside me.
Yes, this is exciting. And kind of scary. But I’m tired of holding myself back. I need to let myself go – relax on the bike, pedal hard, focus on the course and let the bike do its thing. This year that descent at the Zolder World Cup will not phase me. This year the deep frozen mud ruts will not be an issue – just put my wheels in them and pedal. This year soft and squishy corners will not cause me to overbrake and needlessly slow down.
This year I will attack, attack and attack some more. I’ll attack my fears. I’ll attack the ruts, I’ll conquer the descents, I’ll let my bike float through the corners. I’ll race to my potential and then I’ll raise the bar again. I really don’t have a choice. I’m at the phase in my racing where I have to make these gains to see a difference in my race outcomes. Wattage is important but it doesn’t mean anything without the technical skills and confidence.
This is my season. I can feel it. To steal a few quotes/tattoos from a couple of very inspiring Canadian cyclists:
Svein Tuft: We Will Never Be Here Again (tattooed on his right forearm)
Christian Meier: Last Chance (tattooed on his left forearm)
I’ve been mulling over what words I would get tattooed on my left forearm… My options are:
Now or Never
Hard Work Wins
Seize The Day
What about you? What would you get tattooed to keep you driving, striving, and achieving?