Most people would think that at my age, racing the Whiskey 25 Proof and getting 93rd out of 800 people was great, but I know different. Last year I finished 66th place which was a much better accomplishment. Being a year older, stronger and doing another years worth of training (that was much more complete than the previous year), I was positive that I had much greater fitness and strength. After discussing my race, it was easy for me and my coach to find what was wrong-my mental side of racing. The Whiskey Off Road Race taught me that I can have the greatest physical fitness in the world, but without having a mental game and intensity, I’ll just get good, but unsatisfying results.
I know now that my parents focus, on my growing up, not just my racing because they see that it’s the most important part of my racing success. I need to be mature and realize that learning from what other people have experienced is smarter than the repeated trial and error method, I normally follow. One of the things I’m trying to work on is having greater personal values and standards. Do my best all of the time, when I’m washing, brushing my teeth and doing my chores and other things-because I care, that’s what is important. One thing I have a bad habit with is not doing things without being told. For example, I need to do stuff like, if I know I need to clean my bike, do it, without waiting to be told. Taking personal pride in my responsibilities means I am creating a habit of being the best I can be. Not just being satisfied with any decent outcome!
My racing passion is another thing I need to work on and improve. If I can have strong personal pride in all of my activities of growing up I’ll be on the right road for getting a burning passion for what I like to do! A point which I need a bit of improvement on is putting out 100% effort at each and every ride and training session. Being agressive is so important! At the Sea Otter XC race I was following another racer. I didn’t pass, but my competitor did and I didn’t follow immediately and I lost to him because of my lack of aggressiveness. One thing that applies to all aspects (growing up and racing) is not being satisfied with results that are less than my true abilities! Quiting! It’s a bad habit and I cannot continue to do that training and racing. My dad, read me a quote I like; “Suffering is temporary, Quiting is a lifetime”. He said “Habits are who we are” and I want to be someone of great accomplishments!
I will improve on my mental side, my passion, my aggressiveness and my personal pride, that I get from the way I complete my tasks. At both the Sea Otter and the Whiskey, I let my competion pass and ride away from me and I knew that I had the physical fitness to keep up, I just quit mentally because I wrongly thought that they looked bigger, stronger and taller and that was enough to make me think that they would beat me. I know that I should have never quit mentally because looking at somebody doesn’t determine who’s stronger-the race does! Even if they are stronger I know my job is to put out my best effort. Then, and only then I’ll be on the right track to reach my goal of becoming a Olympic gold medalist.