It’s All About You
WORDS & PHOTOS BY GREG MAY
I’d like to propose that cyclocross is not about the people. It’s about you. Yes, you are one of the people, but you don’t really worry about what the people are doing, do you? You think about what you are doing, don’t you? If not, we may have a problem.
We’re now at that time of the year when the season is over. Nationals have gone. The final league races are gone. Even the final super-special end of season races that no one really knows why they are on, are done. Last year we talked about taking stock of the season, about what happens when it’s all suddenly taken away from you. What we didn’t really talk about was what you should do afterwards.
When we look back at our season, we often see a silhouette of the season. We don’t see the details about ourselves that are clouded by the shadows of our results – positive and negative. Without focusing some extra light on us as a rider, we’re never going to figure out where to go next. At this point what anyone else does, or did, is inconsequential.
I’ve always been pretty old-fashioned in my approach to this. Pen and paper, a column for pros and one for cons. I write out the season, then I put it away, as much as saving it to return to at a later date as getting it out of my system. The ink draining the season away through my pen, onto the pages before me. Important before I can start anew.
Connecting the Dots
The same pen, different paper (and these days an internet connection) are used to draw out where I will go, what I will do, then how I hope I can get there. It starts with the furthest away point – it used to be the National Championships, but these days it’s usually a big ride in the wild. Days of activity rather than minutes. The method is the same – go backwards from there, join the dots between things I want, and am obliged to do to get there.
This is the time to work out when we need to fit in time with those who are nearest us. Not gifts, not money, but time. We plan ahead to make our deposits into the Bank of Friends and Family – then we can plan some major withdrawals later in the year.
With experience, this gets easier. The amount of time we need to deposit will inevitably go up as family, life, and work needs increase. However, the time that you need to put in to get back to a previous level of skill or fitness will decrease – caveat emptor injuries or long periods of inactivity. These won’t help – best we try to avoid them in the first place. But when they happen, and they will, don’t freak out, just go with it.
But how do we get to be our best for the final goal? Well, I’m sorry to say there is no quick, fast or easy route. It’s work, dedication and more work. All of which are in direct proportion to your goal. You want to race a world cup, and you’re currently racing as a Cat B?
You may want to be realistic, go chat to someone who knows you better than you know yourself. Failing that, pop into a local sports science lab – they’ll tell
you succinctly. Without being Debbie Downer, let me give some simple advice:
– Really, you just need to get out there and go for it.
– Ideally, you’ll enjoy what you’re doing.
– Don’t worry if you miss a session, it happens.
Eat real food.
It’s never easy figuring out how to get yourself together for something. Frankly, for many of us it isn’t even easy to set goals in the first place. FOMO is a real thing – the Fear Of Missing Out. It’s crippling for some of us who want to do it all, be with everyone, doing everything, not very well at all.
To quote Mark Twight: “Get to the guts of one thing; accept, without reservation or rationalization, the responsibility of making a choice. When you live honestly, you can not separate your mind from your body, or your thoughts from your actions.” Twitching With Twight: Kiss or Kill by Mark Twight.
So what do you chose to do with your coming year?