Thursday, March 6, 2008

Mind Games

On the road to Aransas Pass on Monday... this was good. It gave me lots of time to ponder and reflect. I learned ALOT from Sunday's race. Things that you can only learn by actually doing the race. No regrets about doing the race, but bothered by the fact that I didn't finish.

Certainly, there are some changes to my training regimen required. That's the easy part. The hardest part lies in my own head.

My #1 racing goal is self-discovery and improvement. I discovered something Sunday - my negative inner voice.

On the downhill portion of the start loop, I came on this steep, but short climb. It was steep enough that I couldn't see the other side. But I carried enough speed to get over it - barely. As I came over the top I could see it was a steep drop off after the peak. I don't know if it was the look on my face or I said something, but one of the spectators said "Go for it, you can do it!" I looked ahead and a 12-year old girl (who passed me!) had just cleaned it. I went for it. After realizing I was going to make it, the same spectator let out a big "whoo-hoo" perfectly in time with what I was saying on the inside! (I was panting too hard to let out any whoo-hoos!). It was fun as hell!

When I thought about this later, it struck me that if I had come upon that hill and saw "oooh fun" instead of "can't make that" I'd have a much better time!

Like I've always said, racing exposes your weaknesses and barriers to success. My negative outlook is easily hidden away in most of daily life - from others and myself. But it's still present. That negative outlook is debilitating on single-track, and in life too. And Sunday, it was on broad display to even spectators! This is the most important single thing I can address; because it's fundamental to everything I do from training to race day.