So the one lesson I really learned from the Plzen World Cup is to remember to have fun on my bike. I didn’t do this on Sunday. I didn’t have any fun during the race. I made myself too nervous and stressed out to remember to take joy in simply pedaling and being outside. I neglected to enjoy the fans, the cheering, the clapping, the sun, the simply “being” part of the cyclo-cross community.
Not sure how this happened. Suppose it is a result of my putting pressure on myself and on just getting “worked up” before the race. This attitude definitely affected my day. Did I give it everything – Yes? But could I have done better – Yes? If I was more relaxed – maybe the start would have been better. Maybe I wouldn’t have struggled with the steep climb after the stairs. Maybe I could have let the bike run more on the long descent. Who knows really…
All I know is that for me, cyclo-cross racing has to be fun. If I’m not having fun, I can’t appreciate what it is I’m doing and I can’t do it well. I need to remember that I could be sick in bed (like so many other people with ulcerative colitis). I need to remember that I’ve come along way in a few short years. I need to remember that I’ll continue to improve. But I’ll only improve if I remember to have fun and enjoy this beautiful sport. Yes, I need to take it seriously but I also need to remember that it is a bike and a bike race.
I started riding my bike for fun. I started racing my bike for fun. I need to continue riding and racing my bike for fun. This is where the true success comes from. If at the end of the day, I can say “that was fun. The race was challenging and hard. I’m glad I did it. Can’t wait for the next one” – then I’ll know I’m doing things right.
(Photos uploaded on Facebook)