A few weeks ago I posted my perspective (as a wife) on this past year’s racing season. It was full of trial and error but like I said, there was a purpose for it and our plan is to grow from it. We take risks knowing that things might not go as planned, but there will always be hope.
Today I wanted to share with you a whole new perspective. A bold one you might say. It’s bold because it takes COURAGE to recognize your weaknesses and it takes even more COURAGE to share them. That’s exactly what the hubs did in his last post. In fact, it took him almost 2 weeks to write it. So much stored up. I remember him asking me to edit it and as I sat there reading it, I was in awe. In awe of his wisdom, strength, and COURAGE!
So without further adieu, I give you the PRO PERSPECTIVE (a.k.a the hubs)
After some reflecting after 70.3 Worlds the one word I could up with to describe the 2011 season with is….ROUGH!
My goals for 2011 were the following:
- Win two 70.3 events
- Not fall outside of top 10 in any race
- Top 10 at 70.3 Worlds
I went into this year with fantastic support from my support team of K-Swiss and First Endurance. I was also over the moon to have Quintana Roo bikes/wetsuits and Profile Design jump aboard to help with achieving all my goals for the year. I was ready and excited.
Ahhh, where to even begin! I’m not a huge fan of writing because I can never get anything down, my mind wonders at warp speed all the time. I’m distracted very easily (reason for horrible season). Just thinking of this past year really gets some raw emotions going and I’m not one who deals very well with emotions because being emotional is for girls right? Anyways, I hope get what I’m saying and realize how powerful confidence is.
From race number 1 (Galveston) of the year, I went in not really sure where I was with my fitness. The injury had gone but there are certain sets, intervals, that had not been met. The bike and run were the big question marks and I soon found out very quickly I was horrible! In fact, there was only one race this year when I really felt ok on the bike, but it still wasn’t very flash either. It was from the beatings that I received on the bike that began the sequence I like to call: stall, spin, crash, burn, die cycle. (I hold a private pilot license)
They say that training is 90% physical/10 % mental while racing is 90% mental/ 10% physical. I would agree 100% with this after my year. In 2010 I went into every race after my 2nd place finish at Eagleman thinking I was a contender. Others might not have agreed or have even seen me as thread, but dammit, I thought I was the man and was border line cocky! Confidence/cockiness is a beautiful thing. More powerful than any drug, supplement, or training session out there. If you believe it, there is no telling how far you can push outside of the limits you previously thought you were confined to.
True story here. Lake Stevens 70.3 2010. First race back since I won Steelhead and this race was stacked. Lieto, Gambles, Ambrose, Bell, Crawford, McKenzie, etc….I came off the bike in 7th after a slow transition and lost some ground to eventual winner Joe Gambles. After 3-4 miles I found myself battling for 3rd place with Ambrose and we closed in on second place. To honest, I though I was going to catch Gambles and win. Whether I would have or not have caught Joe, I was so focused on doing it and very little distracted me . Ambrose I were on a mission to win. Not content with 3rd or 4th but wanted to catch the racers in front of us until some nasty cramps set me back. Still manage a fourth place pushing through some horrible pain because I wanted it.
Point is, if you go into a race thinking and knowing you can do well, you probably will if you have done the work, but the confidence is absolutely essential. Of course winning is a difficult thing, because ultimately only one, just one person can win. We all are type A in preparation, but it is the guys who go in with no doubt, no doubt at all in their minds who are going to come out successful. Terenzo Bozzone is an athlete who I admire greatly. Terenzo is an athlete who I have been able to train with and he is got confidence radiating from him! You leave this guy thinking WOW! He know what he is capable of. Does he doubt himself…..no. Does his confidence reflect in his racing and results? Take a look at race results and you tell me.
Back to the rest of the season. I was just devastated with my results and how lousy the body was feeling going into every race. As each race went by my confidence was being ruined…..decimated! People would ask how you how you are feeling, and all I had was, “I will see once I get out there” REALLY????? Common James. I just wish I could go back into time and kick my own ass. It was the doubt that ruined me. I didn’t believe in myself, my training, and my training program. Believe me, this is not a good spot. I essentially went into a cave and lost shut myself off from everyone including my wife. I was a grumpy stubborn arsehole that would be defeated when athletes who I know I can ride with would fly by me! Not fun to admit it, because it made things very difficult for the people who care and want to see you succeed. Sorry Lindsay and others.
Ok, I’m done. Moral is…..confidence and belief is crucial in the sport. If you don’t have it, don’t expect to do anything too fantastic or hit goals that you’re wanting to hit. 2012 is a new year, a new attitude, and a new belief system. I really do think I have the tools for this sport and I look forward to exposing them to a much higher level in 2012.
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude; nothing can help the man with wrong one.”
How do you define courage?