Sideshow (Bob) and I are down in the Pigeon house café to sort out the final arrangements for our camp in Spain leaving tomorrow.
It’s been a busy week in the new A1 office so it’s nice to pop in and do a bit from a café for a few hours.
In the last number of years people have always questioned my so called ‘return to the sport’ or comeback 4.0 as our 4 foot tall northern Irish coach Ryan Conor likes to call it.
Firstly Ryan is a tosser.
Joking, he’s a good bloke – he’s just short and we won’t hold that against him.
Even the new coffee has been dubbed ‘Buggles has beans’ – top marks for that one in fairness!
Once I stepped out of racing for a while – trends and personal habits both good and bad became glaringly apparent.
Aspiration to progress and move forward
One thing every cyclist and athlete have in common is their aspiration to progress and move forward.
This can be both extremely positive and cripplingly negative.
It’s clearly a critical component of anyone who wants to progress.
However, does this mean you’re destined to never being content with your level and never truly accepting that you are in- fact an A3 or A4?
Acceptance can make your subsequent training and racing far more fulfilling on a personal level and it doesn’t mean you won’t improve.
An A4 races for the first time and is already shooting for A3, the A2 rider who’s raced at that level for 4 years still beats himself up over not making the points for A1, the A1 rider who wins races and ponders over a move to mainland Europe, the rider who races through amateur ranks in Belgium or France then begins dreaming of the step up to continental pro.
The conti pro then dreams of world tour yet hasn’t proved himself at his current level (which may take years) then beats himself up and becomes sick of getting disheartened and quits the sport.
Most of us want to be better and some really do strive for it but a lack of acceptance and self-realisation can cripple the enjoyment factor in your riding – that’s the real reason we all continue to ride through thick and thin isn’t it?
Limited & Focused Sessions
Anthony has the content part nailed down to be fair to him, he’s at a pretty good level but with more training he could be better, he knows this but he is committed to A1 coaching amongst other things – this means limited and focused training sessions.
Why don’t we just do more?
We’ve ‘made the calculation’ we’d rather not and that’s ok.
Anthony doesn’t beat himself up over not being able to win every single week because he is unwilling to inject the time to do so – ultimately A1 time.
(Even if he did – I doubt he’d win a lot because he sprints like an oul one anyway)
To round up – striving to be better is great and necessary – but ask yourself the question, are you (within reason) content with your level?
If the answer is no, that’s great and that’s the first catalyst for change, but this has to be more than a simple wish or thought!
What are you willing to do about it?
Are you willing to change something and put in the grind to make shit happen?
If you’re unwilling to make changes and commit to a plan to reach your new goal you’ll never be content.
I was previously a rider that was never happy with my level.
Every good day could have been better – this might resonate with a lot of you?
Maybe I’m just weird.
It’s quite common for an aspiring or current pro to have this thought process – not guys that work full time and lead manic lives.
If you’re not content – make the changes necessary to get there and give me a shout if you need help.
If you haven’t the capacity to change for a variety of reasons – accept where you are and do the best you can with the time you have.
Bike riding is much more fun when you do.