Today I woke up with more motivation than ever to race and continue racing but have nothing solid worked out as far as teams go for the mtb season. Oh boy. Not good.
I can officially say that I have a renewed sense for who I am as a bike racer and for what I need to be doing with my life (racing bikes!!!). It is what makes me happy and Chris is in full support of me going for it again on the mountain bike circuit next year.
And based on my race in Bend, OR I think I can say that I still have it in me on the national level physically and mentally. And when I saw my lap times for that race too, I became SUPER psyched and motivated for next year!!! My best lap times would have put me duking it out in the Top 10 had I started on the 1st or 2nd row (and not the 6th)!! Hello motivation!!!!
I am excited but will need to start looking for sponsors ASAP since that is a process that should be done and over with by early fall. Yeah, I am a little behind you could say, but what's a girl to do...I had bigger fish to fry at the time.
That said, prior to racing US Cyclocross Nationals, I really didn't know what I wanted to do (quit racing or not). Everything with the parents had put me in a really difficult position mentally and physically. I didn't know who I was, what I was doing or what I was feeling. I was going through the motions of torment and trying to push through the best I could hoping that something inside me would twinkle and give a sign on what direction I should go.
In the meantime I just did what I always do which is train and race.....well.... in between planning funerals and saying good bye to my parents for the last time. Riding, racing and training was what kept me "grounded" even though I was far from it.
I lost my sponsorship right after my parents Celebration of Life with my 2009 mtb team. Was that a sign that it all needs to end and that I need to move on? I have never lost a sponsorship before in my life. What kind of sign was this? What was my mind telling me? What was my body telling me? I honestly didn't know. So I did nothing about it. I didn't make a call, nor did I send out any resumes to find teams. I had no idea what I wanted to do so how could I?!!! I was still anxiously waiting for that sign.
What I did know at the time was that I shouldn't make any rash decisions about leaving the sport that I have loved forever. You are in such a weird emotional state when you have lost not one, but both parents in 8 weeks time. And they had been sick the entire year, which for me was emotionally draining. A drain that I took into every race with me in 2009. Ok, yeah you are supposed to be a professional and suck it up (which I did to race) but my performance suffered. And while going through all of this was NOT the time to make big crazy decisions about your own life. Potentially throwing everything away! Waiting for the dust to settle was truly in my best interest and I knew it but I wished it would have just settled faster!!!!
On one particular day I remember vividly deciding THAT WAS IT and it was over, I wasn't going to race at Nationals in Bend or at anything ever again. I was done and that was ok.
ANNNNND......4 hours later I called my coach back and said it's on like donkey kong, I am going to Florida to train (not just enjoy a vacation) and I am heading to nationals too. I was going to do this thang!
Can you say flip - flop?
Yeah, that is what you call a roller coaster ride and it went on for months like that in my head. I was just waiting for a sign the entire time. You know, that something inside of you that says YES this is the direction you want to go and it is ok if you do?
Well I finally got that!! And at least that part is over now and I know exactly what I want to be doing with my life. I am ready, able, willing and I can't wait!!! I fought all year long and I am not about to give in now!
I was waiting for that light bulb moment and I finally got it in December!!! I will be back next year to race mtb and cyclocross!!!
What a good feeling to know what I want again! Now it is time to find someone that can support that cause..........so late in the game. Ugh.