Yesterday was my first day back at work at the market. Clumsy at first, I ran into things and struggled with task management and prioritizing. While taking some dishes to the sink, one of the chef's Larissa said to me, "I didn't know you were a professional cyclist. That is so cool!"
Normally I would down play things: No,
I'm not a professional cyclist; I mean, er - I train just like a pro
cyclist but I don't get paid; I have to pay for all of my own gear;
excuse, excuse, excuse.
But this time, I decided to go against the norm.
Why yes, yes I am.
once I didn't de-emphasize what I do. I didn't down play the hours I
spend training, eating right, recovering, working to support my other
"job." Because it dawned on me: I am a professional cyclist.
may not be on a "Pro" team. I may not fly all over the world to compete
(oh, wait a second...). But I train just as much, have access to the
same resources, have set myself up to focus completely on my goal:
becoming a PAID professional cyclist. Never mind that most women in the pro peloton probably make less than I do.
Say on average I train 15 hours a week for 48 weeks, roughly 720
hours a year. I've been training for 8 years straight now - 5,760 hours. (Holy shit that's a lot of saddle time!)
Not to mention recovery time, riding in the rain/snow/wind/ice, body
work, calories consumed, races completed, funky tan lines, kilojoules
burnt... coaches fees paid, entry fees, insurance, travel - I'd hate to
tally how much I've spent on equipment alone. Bottom line: I'm invested
and I'm committed.
So I'm claiming this title. And by doing so, by
admitting to myself that I am a professional cyclist, let alone to
someone else, gave me a new perspective. It opened my eyes. It put the
power of labeling in my own hands and shifted the paradigm. If having
someone else label you as a "pro" is all it takes via a piece of paper -
then guess what: I wrote it down.
And you know what? That was liberating.
(Thank GOD not many people read this blog!)