Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Daring Greatly

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,

because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;

who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly..."

- Theodore Roosevelt's "Citizenship in a Republic."

Sunday, August 25, 2013

I could taste it.

The one water bottle rule didn't work today. You know, the one I told you about before. Some coach told my friend Tela Crane that she could be pissed/upset/sad/mad/frustrated about the outcome of a race for one water bottle's worth. After sucking down its contents, you chalk up those feelings to experience. You sit back, and say to yourself, hot damn. I got to do what I love today. And sure it didn't pan out as hoped. But it paned out.

A champion is not someone who wins all the time. Sure, that helps. But a true champion is someone who learns from their mistakes and sees them as opportunities to improve.

Tandem racing is a trip. It's all about tactics, and figuring out the momentum game. Picking the right line, the right wheel and staying out of harms way. Just like racing the single bike. But the speeds are higher on the descents, the cornering that much more exaggerated and the accelerations slow. It's also way more fun because it's a new challenge. And I get to share it with a blind athlete, Shawn.

We came in 6th today. I was racing aggressively for 3rd place since the break up the road had the first two podium spots. We were chasing hard to bridge and overcome the Polish. Going into the steep descent and right hand turn, I told Shawn to hold on. We FLEW through the last corner, easily hitting 40 mph. Then came the curb. Up we went, through a family on the sidewalk and almost t-boning a 4 year old on a bike. We lost our momentum. The Polish were gone and the Great Britain Team and other USA team came by. We pushed, we pulled, we put everything we had into it, but our chance was gone. DAMN!

To be so close to a podium. To taste it, smell it, feel it. To be SO CLOSE!!! I would be lying if I didn't say I wasn't disappointed. That I'm going to just chalk this one up to experience.

Next week we have another opportunity. The stakes are higher - a world championship title is on the line. More opportunity to live and grow. And bottom line: more bike racing!!!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

9 Tips to Going Pro

Tip #1 - Stop dabbling as an amateur. If you really want to be pro you've got to look it, think it, feel it and act it.

Tip #2 - Don't accept excuses from yourself. Get up everyday and do exactly what will make you a professional. Forget that weekend warrior stuff - a pro is someone who takes themselves seriously.

Tip #3 - Change your perspective! The biggest difference between being a pro and an amateur lies within your mind. Commit to yourself and take it seriously.

Tip #4 - Get the right gear and a great coach. Whether that be a business coach, writing coach, cycling coach or underwater basket weaver. You deserve the best! Look right and feel right.

Tip #5 - Take ownership of your gifts and believe in yourself. You can do it! You are on this planet for a reason and make a difference for other people. Express yourself!

Tip #6 - Commit to what you want to be, even when the going gets tough. Breakthroughs will happen but you must first persevere through adversity.

Tip #7 - Create a practice and dedicate yourself. Practice makes perfect. So perfect practicing.

Tip #8 - Watch out for saboteurs! Those people or little voices of self doubt can creep up on you. Stay strong and align yourself with supporters.

Tip #9 - Be your own creator. Ah, there grasshopper, lies the key.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Making Gains

I sometimes wonder if I was in Shawn's shoes and couldn't see what terrain was ahead, if that would help. Think about it - you would never know how big a hill or an obstacle was unless you had experienced it before and you wouldn't psyche yourself out as a result. I'm sure my eyes have conditioned my mind, especially when it comes to long, steep hills. You see them coming, you know it's going to hurt and if your legs are tired or your mind is ready to play tricks on you, well then - you suffer before the climb even begins.

But if you couldn't see - all you could do is feel...

Talk about living in the moment. All you know is what you're experiencing right then and there. You couldn't see to judge something, you could only live it.

We suffered on some hills today. And then we suffered some more. I tell Shawn we're approaching a hill and then try to estimate how many seconds or minutes to the top so she knows how long to push. It's her way of seeing what's coming. I don't tell her how much it's going to hurt or if my legs are screaming - no way. Instead I tell her how well we are doing, how much we're fighting and to stand and eventually sit. Focusing on the positive and keeping a good attitude does wonders for getting up hills as quickly as possible, even if you feel slow as dirt.

We put a big deposit in the bank for the upcoming World Championships held at the end of this month. And although the altitude was a little bit of a culprit today, we still made some excellent progress.

And then we got to test and see what our maximum power is on the bike. Ouchie!