If you’re a bike racer, competitive athlete or maybe even just trying to complete that first century, I’ve no doubt that thought crossed your mind after you got dropped during a group ride, or missed the winning break or got separated from a faster group and suddenly found yourself….in the middle of nowhere…………..alone.
Going down that rabbit hole of negative, self-destructive, second-guessing & otherwise irrational thought processes can be a dark place if you fall too far. It can happen in the middle of a training ride when you can’t quite hit the watts you thought you could. It can happen when the weather turns to absolute SHITE & every part of your body is screaming ‘WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?!’ It can happen on the drive home from a race that you spent a large part of your month preparing for, time, energy and money getting ready for only to end up……as pack fodder. It can happen when the hammer goes down and……wait….THEY dropped me?! How is that possible?! How are they stronger than me?! Guess what, ‘they’ probably AREN’T that much stronger than you are…if at all.
It’s all about choices. It’s about being deliberate. It’s about taking control of YOUR training. YOUR racing. YOUR destiny.
Every single ride, every single pedal stroke, every single thought, every single attack HAS to have a purpose. HAS to count. It’s just like life. Don’t just ‘check out’. You’ve got 20′ to get back to your house after a hard ride and are just spinning easy….that’s 20 minutes to work on SOMETHING! Cadence, leg speed, track stands at stop lights, figure 8’s in parking lots, deep breathing, visualizing the finish…..
Stop wasting time. Stop letting those rabbit hole thoughts take you down a path that only ends in more negativity. surround yourself with the right resources, the right support system. Check that ‘baggage’ the second you find yourself picking it up again and keep.pedaling.ONWARD.
Then when you get off your bike. Take inventory. Write your thoughts down on what worked, what didn’t, how you were feeling, communicate with your coach(es), directors, teammates, and for the love of GOD……. DON”T MAKE EXCUSES! You used a match at the wrong time? OWN IT! You didn’t get enough sleep the night before…..SO WHAT?! Your 10 minute power wasn’t enough for the last 5 laps of a criterium….OKAY! Stop feeling sorry for yourself and make an action plan for what you’re going to do different…..TOMORROW. Then walk away. Leave it alone.
Life is too short to keep wasting time on always asking yourself….’What the hell am I doing out here?’ You chose this.