Benefit, not Burn-Out – Jake’s Blog

IMG_6889I’ve been racing bikes for nearly 9 years.  Over my many years of racing I’ve acquired a lot of skills that have helped me become a successful racer. What has helped me improve in racing even more than bike skills is making time in my schedule to enjoy life’s adventures. Trying new sports and exploring new places keeps me happy and that makes me a more successful racer!

Ever since I was a tike I’ve loved to play in any sport available to me.  My coach taught me that if I get too focused on cycling I will lose the excitement, energy and drive that keeps me happy, and motivates me to race my hardest. Combine that with multiple years of bike racing without a break, I know that I would likely burn out.  Since bike racing has become so serious over the past couple of years, my Dad/Coach decided that we needed to add a two month break at the end of each year, to put away our bikes and get our minds off of racing.  imageWe filled this two month gap in our race schedule with fun sports like: Football, Basketball, Running, and Bowling.  Playing these sports is very fun and they also have many benefits.  Football and Basketball provide me with skills like: having a quick reaction time and  good hand eye coordination.  Running provides me me with good agility and endurance, while Bowling provides me with the skill of having pin-point accuracy and perfect control of my body.  Each of these sports has provided me with at least one beneficial skill, and the one thing that they all provide me with is the energy and excitement that makes me happy!

017Ever since I can remember my parents have taken me to explore some of America’s most beautiful places.  It is one of my favorite activities to do, and it still puts a smile on my face!  Over my many years of exploring I’ve been to some awsome places, and one of the coolest places I’ve ever explored was the Subway Lava Tube in the Mt. Lassen NP.  The Subway Lava Tube was awesome!   I was expecting the Lava Tube to be small, no more than 6 or 7 feet tall, but it was much bigger!  The entrance to the lava tube was a place where the ceiling had collapsed.  When we arrived I was surprised to see that the Lava Tube’s entrance was nearly 20ft tall!Ahjumawi Lava Springs Park 128  Excited, I quickly climbed down into the Lava Tube to go and explore it.  After I said goodbye to the daylight, we headed into the depths of the Tube. Almost immediately it became so dark I couldn’t see my hand in front of my face!  We turned on our headlamps.  It was like we had entered an alien world! As we walked into the depths of the Lava Tube we came across three rock falls that nearly blocked our path, but luckily we were able to get past them.  As we walked through the Lava Tube I admired it’s smooth, shiny walls and ceiling.  Without thinking about it I looked down at the floor and saw that the smooth walls ended and were covered by the hardened remains of the ancient lava flow!  The rough lava flow’s bubbling and blistery shape made it look other worldly!  I was amazed by the Subway Lava Tube’s beautiful sights and unique characteristics, but I was starting to get seriously spooked out!  Ahjumawi Lava Springs Park 133Apparently I wasn’t the only one who was getting spooked out, our dog Rex looked like he had just seen a ghost!  His legs were spread wide like he was walking on ice and his eyes were so big they looked like they were going to pop out of his skull!  Rex looked so hysterical that we all laughed at him! Once we had explored the lava tube til’ our hearts content we headed back out to the sunshine and blue sky!  Exploring the Subway Lava Tube was super fun, and it made me happy to have explored another cool place!

I feel diversifying  your biking schedule by playing new sports and exploring new places is key to becoming a more successful racer.  The combination of trying new sports and exploring new places brings back the excitement, energy, and drive that you need to stay happy, which motivates you to try your hardest at each race, and THAT makes you a More successful racer.  So if you need to re-gain your excitement, energy, and drive, I encourage you to try new things, you’ll be glad you did!

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