Something within me has changed. I'm not sure what exactly brought it on, or why, but I kind of like it. I don't feel the need to be a robot anymore.
I’ve always been my harshest critic and have put pressure on myself to bat 1.000. To some, that may clearly be impossible but nothing is truly impossible, it’s just improbable. This way of life, while some may argue that it makes for a better athlete, isn’t such a great way to live. It’s quite stressful and often unnecessarily so. This season has been frustrating with rebounding from serious burnout, having pneumonia and not fully recovering, and a broken collarbone. Somewhere along this rocky road it dawned on me that maybe I need to take time to do things properly- things like recovering from illness and injury. Not everything can be controlled- which is still difficult for me to comprehend- and sometimes things just happen. While the mind is a powerful tool, it still doesn’t have magical powers. Healing damaged lungs in a week, or mending a broken bone overnight are not going to happen no matter how hard I concentrate, wish, pray, or cast spells for. Somehow an idea worked its way into my brain that maybe, just maybe, I could let it go. It was earth shattering.
In the last few weeks, I’ve raced the national championships in Augusta, GA, a world cup in Baie-Comeau, CAN and part of SuperWeek in Chicago and Wisconsin. Going into each of those races, I put no pressure on myself. All I had to do was ride as best as I could and my job was done. What did I find? I had great results! No, I didn’t win everything I entered and I even lost the overall UCI World Cup title in the final race- that was a tough, tough pill to swallow- but I’m not distraught over it. It wasn’t meant to be. I’m much more relaxed about my performances and my life in general. It’s like I’ve broken free from the tangled web of “perfection” and I’m now able to do what I love- race my bike!
One of my teammates sent me the link to this video. Now that I know what not to do, it should be easier to find what’s right.