Monday, March 9, 2009


I have been thinking a lot about motivation lately...I guess it has to do with the snow, cold, racing in the rain, driving more hours to a race than the race itself, painful gym workouts, heavy legs, soreness, a general lack of time...However, none of these things have managed to stop me from getting out there, and they are not complaints so much as insight. Why, with all these things do I still manage to get on my bike day after day? It might be that I seem to enjoy the suffering, the pushing myself and seeing how I can improve. I think it is a discovery for me. How well can I shut down the pain, fatigue, the screaming legs, and push through it to make myself stronger? I suppose my motivation has a lot to do with these questions. I certainly haven't answered them all yet and therein is a reason to keep pushing, to keep seeking. I found this quote a while ago and thought it was worth re-posting...
"But if something hurts so much, how can it be enjoyable? At the point where physical stress begins to take you beyond what you imagine to be endurable, you enter new territory of understanding, an expanded psychological landscape. The camaraderie of the hard road is as much in sharing that insight as in the laughs you have, riding in good company. The bike is the perfect vehicle to take you down those secret corridors of illumination. The pleasure comes when you grasp just what has happened inside your head and spirit. It doesn’t stop when the bike stops, when you reach the top of the col or peel off at the end of the ride, so tired you can hardly think or stand straight. That’s where the pleasure begins. The self-knowledge.

Behind glory lies the misery of training, the slog of getting through bad days, the torment of going at less than your best and the absolute conviction that giving up is never an option. Herein lies the heroism of this beautiful sport the inner revelation that makes the cyclist impervious to ordinary weakness because every ride he has ever made exposes him to that defeatist voice; he has known it, faced it and conquered the fear of it, again and again and again." -Graeme Fife

I always try and remember races as a way to motivate myself. Times when I knew I could have gone harder, trained better, suffered a little more. It is these remembrances that motivate me more than most things. But not just the races where I had doubts, also the times when I know I have gone as hard as I could, maybe I didn't win, but I knew I found my limit. I was recently looking at old posts here and came across this post from an old teammate Mark about a the state championship points race at the track...

Okay, so what else happened today? I saw my teammate Matt race the 4’s points race. The story: He was doing fine but was looking bad on his last 10 laps, hanging 30 meters off the back, trying to keep that last nail from being hammered into his coffin (lose a lap and lose 20 points, fyi). He dug super deep and caught back up (his face was a portrait of death), and right as I started to yell at him waytogo type stuff, mofo rides through the group and goes solo for some first place points and then gets caught for I think a second place in the last sprint. Then he wandered into the infield and puked on it. Seriously folks, you wanna know what I dig? I dig somebody that can say f*k it and burn those last 30 calories, you know, those ones your body can’t afford to burn, because of having to keep living and sh!t? Serious A+ for effort.

Why keep this blog, why take the time to write? I guess this blog is a way for me to look back and motivate myself. A way to remember the good races, the bad races, and all the suffering and work that has been done, but especially the knowledge that comes from the pain.

1 comment:

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