After a major goal has come and gone my mind tends to race, and it usually races about racing 😉 I am taking a totally new approach on accepting the disappointment in Brazil, and while it’s been an extremely tough thing to endure, I am finding comfort in reminding myself that life is one long learning experience. In the past, I massively struggled with keeping a “good head”, and I feel I had a super unhealthy and weak mindset regarding racing. I am fully aware that this was something I brought on myself, and I am usually my worst enemy. I started to really pay attention to this in the months leading up to 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo in 2018. I knew that in order to accomplish the goal I set for myself at that race, my mind, body, and equipment would need to be dialed. With the help of Keim Performance Consulting, I was able to open up to myself on the struggles I faced and how to be better at handling them one at a time. This really is an ongoing practice you have to keep up with, just like with the physical demands of this sport. While I may have had a weak mind in the past, I have had (and continue to have) what I consider to be the best support in the world. These are the people and companies who believe in me as an athlete, and simply want to see us succeed. That success comes in the form of a smile, and the feeling of accomplishment with looking at the work you put in at the end of the day. It’s really hard knowing that we checked every box for Brazil, but it just didn’t pan out. But you know what, thats life. My obsession with cycling, especially 24 hour solo events, is by far the most humbling life experience I have ever had, and that’s why I always come back for more.
The 48 hours following the race in Brazil were rough as hell, but I forced my mind to be thankful for the experience and to start on mapping out our goals moving forward. After Old Pueblo in 2018, I was obviously on cloud nine with how the race had panned out, but I knew I had more to give. Immediately following the race, I knew I wanted to come back and compete again, to ensure my topmost efforts were given and I didn't leave anything on the table. When I say I want to “compete”, I am really referring to competing against myself, because that is what drives me to become a better athlete. Right now the plan is to go back to Old Pueblo and check off one last mental and physical victory. A piece of paper showing results at a race is far less important to us than achieving a personal goal like this. Some people won’t understand this mentality, and that’s OK. But for those of you who do, I’ll see you at OP in February 😬👊
After Old Pueblo in February, I will have roughly nine months before 2020 WEMBO 24 Hour Solo Worlds in Australia 😏 When I initially told Mary about my ambitions to tackle two 24’s in a year again (first time doing this was last year), her reaction blew my mind. She saw how devastated I was in Brazil, and I thought she may be slightly hesitant about the ideas. However, she reacted the exact opposite and was all in. Having a loved one and partner in life who is willing to grab the first ticket on the ride you signed up for not only speaks volumes about that person, but it shows me how lucky I am to have her in my life. The truth is, I couldn’t do any of this without her. And to be honest, I wouldn’t want to. So many people only see the riding that goes on during the race, and don’t understand how difficult it is to support the whole thing.
I started physical therapy last week - I know I have issues with flexibility and mobility in my hips so I am working with professionals to get those imbalances figured out. This is my main focus right now. I’m treating this recovery and rehabilitation equally as important as the physical and mental training I do, and that’s exciting for us. The goals at hand will require these issues to be sorted out completely, and we want to get a jump on that now. It’s important for me to note that the issue with my flexibility/mobility, which caused the race in Brazil to end abruptly, was in my control in the past and I was aware of it. But I honestly never gave it enough attention, which has caused the problems to catch up with me in a super harsh way. I know I could have given more attention to properly stretching and incorporating other movements to avoid issues like this. I take 100% responsibility on letting those things slip. It’s all on me, and all on me to make sure they get addressed.
One thing I want to touch on is my use of “us” and “we” when talking about my racing career. I do my best to use “us” instead of “me” or “I” when speaking about all of the goals and ambitions that we have in front of us. This is super important to me because none of this is possible without everyone involved - and when I say everyone, I really mean everyone! From Mary, to our family and friends, incredible sponsors, my coach Lynda Wallenfels, my sports psychologist Kristin, race promoters, and everyone in between. I can say thank you a million times over, but no one will ever truly know how grateful I am.
If you’ve made it this far, you earn a gold star ⭐️😂 Ultimately what this whole post comes down to is a lesson in being present. I tend to get something in my head, and will overly obsess about it. A great opportunity for me to put this practice into action is with the upcoming Old Pueblo race. I am working on looking at each day leading up to the race as an opportunity to be self-aware, and appreciate the effort it takes to slow down. Part of that process for me is getting words out on paper, like in this blog post. I am continuing to work on sharpening up my mental game, and always will be. Reflecting back on years past, it’s motivating to see how far I really have come. A reminder to myself, and anyone who needs it:
A failure is not always a mistake, it may simply be the best one can do under the circumstances. The real mistake is to stop trying.
-B. F. Skinner