The late Earl Nightingale, known to many as the “Dean of Personal Development,” once said, “If you surround yourself with greatness, some is bound to rub off.” Well, in 2013, I’m banking on it!
Sport is good fun, but if you increase the intensity, something special happens. The endorphin release that occurs when you push yourself to your limit has been described as everything from euphoric to making time stand still.
Getting swatted off Superbikes and throttled by tarmac has left some pretty deep gouges in my armor and
what lies beneath. Likewise, I have some wounds from competing in USA Cycling’s Pro Mountain Bike
Ultra-Endurance Tour this past year. So, as I look forward to my next 12-hour solo bicycle race, hoping to
experience this addictive, blissful state again, I need to return to the saddle in 2013 undaunted and ready to go deeper.
Lately, seeking improvement on the pedals, I’ve been feeling the sting of routinely pouring time and effort into painful interval training. Actually, it’s a lot like life: Sometimes, it’s not clear when and how you will reap the fruits of your labor. Doubt can easily set in. But that’s when you must remain steady and believe in yourself. Often, the journey is more important than the ultimate goal.
Despite my best efforts to follow this mantra, my focus can still veer off course. Watching 52-year-old
mountain-bike-legend Tinker Juarez ride away from me and into the distance several times this past year didn’t do my mind any favors. My concentration would lapse as if my mind were saying, “I’ll never be able to bridge that gap. I should just race something with a twist throttle.” I had to remind myself what an honor it was to be competing against an athlete with Juarez’s credentials. “Keep slugging away,” the voice inside my head said. Slugging…perfect choice of words.
Serendipitously, my team, Team Sho-air, and Cannondale have joined together to compete in North America this coming year. With that announcement comes a revised roster loaded with massive firepower—Olympians, national mountain-bike champions, three-time and reigning AMA Pro SuperBike Champion Josh Hayes and, yes, Juarez.
Hopefully, some of that greatness will rub off on me!