Sometimes the sets just come rolling in – you are on top, riding each wave in succession, in control, flying effortlessly. Other times the wash churns, you are dumped by the small angry ones, caught in the riptide. That is the very nature of nature of a professional athlete’s life, a life that is unpredictably unique.
It is no secret that things have not gone smoothly here in the past 18 months since the 2012 World Championships. Major oral surgery, a season-ending knee injury last year and being hit by a Range Rover on a training ride in February. Enough said!
What I want to celebrate is opportunity…
The opportunity I have had to learn how to ride the rough waves – and find the delightful barrel through the middle, staying upright and focused on light ahead. Embracing this as part of the thrill, the adrenalin and satisfaction of the ride. On a normal day the pro cyclist is pushing out watts solo up a mountain, going to bed early, living a disciplined life oriented towards one’s ambition. Podiums, TV cameras, and glistening medals represent small and infrequent moments.
If we don’t embrace the rough and tumble of the ride, so much of what can be a spectacular journey is missed. We learn little when things go perfectly. We thrive from the curveballs, twists, turns and ultimately triumphs over ugly, unwanted circumstances – challenged to stop, think, feel, act and change. This gives life to new and alternative stimuli, a catalyst to transform any given situation.
Self-instilling the capacity to turn life’s obstacles into opportunities is what being an athlete, and more importantly, being human is all about – a life skill to be learned, trained, practiced and cherished. Accomplishing each challenge amalgamates, gathers momentum and one day does become glory.
Being healthy and injury free, I am looking forward to some incredible opportunities for the remainder of the season, a full race program with the Australian National Team building towards selection for this year’s World Championships, my ultimate ambition in late September.
I love to share what I am learning on this journey, to give others the insight to know what is in fact possible if you search, learn and discover that you can win your own race every single day of your life. There is a rip roaring barrel waiting for you in every set that rolls in, find it, grasp it and make it your own…