Thursday, March 29, 2012


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.

For 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.

I 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!)

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