Saturday as I was watching my riding companions crest the hill ahead of me and disappear I started thinking "Who do I want to be as a rider....what kind of rider do I want to be?" I was having one of those moments where I was feeling good about the ride until that hill. It just would not end....and my body was fighting my mind. My mind was losing the battle....the body was just trying to quit....and my mind was allowing the behavior.
Right here.....I made a decision to figure out what kind of rider I would be. I truly believe that I have the necessary skill set and endurance to race at the Sport level. What I lack is mental toughness and speed. The good news? Both of these can be acquired.
Towards the end of last year I really started to see what it was like to buckle down for an entire race. At Maybury I was feeling good....and my ego got flattened when a fellow Clyde stomped me on a climb. I wished him good luck and pressed on. I finished strong on a greasy course that I didn't know....and kept pushing as hard as I could. The next day, I pointed my Epic down the green trail at Fort Custer and let it rip....for 15 miles....never let up....go go go. After that race....I stood in 4th place. I decided at that point that I would try to continue this trend....of mental toughness.
I hear the voice telling me "you can't" long before my legs ever get tired. I refuse to be that kind of rider. I am going to have the inner voice that says "is that all you got" when my legs get tired...and my next response will be "shut up legs" and I will continue. This happened on Saturday a little. Watching the riders disappear pissed me off, but I kept slugging on. When I got to the top of the hill I changed into the big ring and hammered down the next hill....barely pedalling up the next hill....and rolled down the next. That is the kind of rider I want to be.....the one that never gives up and keeps pressing on.....all the time asking my body for more than I should.....and smiling about it......