Monday, 23 June 2014

Step one - The crash

Day one of my "new life" and it's literally started with a bang - onto a log!

I've been waiting for a crash for sometime. Mountain biking is a sport where crashes are 'normal'.  A way of learning, testing your limits and moving forward. Helping to get rid of the psychological barriers, that prevent you from going down the technical descents. Knowing that a crash is unlikely to actually kill you.

This wasn't a bad crash, I came away more shaken than bruised. But, I believe a crash shows you are pushing yourself. If you never crash, you're not pushing hard enough!


Other steps on my list that I shall try and complete:
  • Racing so hard I'm sick
  • A bad crash (hopefully not that bad, but bad enough to class as "bad")
  • To ride a road race
  • To ride an endurance race for 24 hours paired, or 12 hours solo
  • Come higher than 4th in the Nationals (my best result so far this year)
  • Get a job in the biking industry
  • To do a 'good' manual
  • To have a sprint finish with someone
  • To be able to control my breathing properly (so people don't think I have asthma when I'm racing)

P.S. I will keep adding to this!

My "new" life

I replay the last three years over in my head a lot, taking me back to my first race where everything started.  It was the best thing that could have happened to me.  But, I still have doubts, wondering if I started too late?  Other girls had been racing since they could walk, so I had a lot of catching up to do.  I ponder whether it's still possible to reach the top.  I could sit, slouch around and stress about it all day... but I'd rather go training.  I've realised that there is no point worrying, there is no point in looking at the past.  I just need to do the right thing now.  Therefore, I have chosen to start my "new" life now, with the start of my gap year.

I have finished A levels after a stressful couple of years of exams.  These now behind me, I feel I can start fresh, and focus on one thing only - being a cyclist.  I'm going to 'hopefully' get a job, but almost be full-time training with the help and support of Maddie Horton, from Fully Sussed Mountain Biking Academy.  Whether I get to the top or not, at least I'll know I've tried.

I came 6th at the last Nationals at Margam Park and to be honest I was not happy.  I want to be better!  I won't forget this race, I take it all as experience.  I'll file it in memories of my old life.   I'm moving forward and I hope that the only way is up (although I do rather like down hills as well).