It’s been awhile… so here are some lil bits of what I’ve been up to…
I’ve been busy, but it honestly doesn’t really seem busy over here… lots of clinics, lessons, group rides, and personal growth. Lately though, I’ve been spending time thinking and reflecting about my own riding: how my brain processes things, why I ride things how I do, how I would explain something to at least a dozen other people, and more. It’s been a really fun process to take one skill and then try to think of EVERY possible way of explaining it, then trying to “demo” it in various ways to make it understandable. In the process- my riding has changed. I realized a lot of my fear with certain things was that I wasn’t sure I’d ride with enough intention and drive the bike. I sometimes feel like I’m a “lazy rider” when I’m out on my own riding. I can navigate things and ride successfully, but it’s not always riding with intention and that’s completely opposite of what I teach. So it’s time to practice what you preach…I’m now working to become more active and deliberate while riding.
I’ve been reminded a lot how much visualizing success plays such a BIG role and looking past the obstacle on the trail or even in life. If you focus your eyes and energy on a rock, root, or feature- it is harder or impossible to ride; but if you look at it, acknowledge it, and look beyond, success is more likely. The same thing applies to life, if you dwell on things, you get weighed down and can’t move forward. I’ve been letting things go, changing my reaction to negative and stressful situations and visualizing the “ideal”. It’s not always successful, but it definitely helps to keep me grounded and shows me what is important and what is not. You can’t always control a situation, but you can control your response- just like on the bike.
This past summer I started a junior’s mountain bike program for my local MTB association (CAMBA). In the short time since we’ve been rolling, there are about 30 kids registered and more showing interest! I’m so excited to see the response and support for the youth. So, what’s next for the program? Developing skills, continued growth, a race series, sponsorship- the sky’s the limit! It’s been so rewarding to watch these riders improve and grow with the support of some wonderful committed volunteers! I’ve also expanded my coaching from teaching MTB lessons and clinics to include teaching young riders to ride without training wheels.
What has been missing lately is my own riding/”training” and racing. I had to make a sacrifice to build skills and develop a program and now I will find the balance. I will return to the racing scene later this season- I won’t be as fit, fast, or competitive- but I’ll be back pushing myself to get back to “race shape”. Being at a bike race this past weekend reminded me just how much I miss the fun, the drive, the pain cave, and the adrenaline. What better way to jump back in, cyclocross.
So looking forward, I have lofty goals for the off season, but I know I can achieve them, because I am a fighter. Getting back into race shape, growing a program, growing my coaching, working on certifications, the list goes on- but setting goals and working towards them is what keeps me focused and drives me.
“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination”.~ Jimmy Dean