Well, the season is back up and running with the added stress of an Olympic year. The U.S. women have found Zen, bruises, tears, dead legs and everything in between over the short start to the season. Their most recent blog posts have been insightful, fun, painful and honest. They are well worth a read. Check out the brief excerpts below to see how some of their seasons have begun.
With an impressive 15th at Pietermaritzburg, Heather Irmiger has found that the pain, struggle and intensity is where she finds her Zen.
One author I love, Michael Singer, says thoughts are just like the car driving by. It comes, you hear it, it passes, you forget about it. Why do we choose to give our thoughts any more attention than that? It is, by the way, a choice – which thoughts you allow to both come AND go. Choose to let all your thoughts go and pass through you, THEN, the cloudiness caused by the those thoughts and the mind will clear. This is when you will gain the clarity that enables you to hear and see what your heart really wants. This is when you can really tend to the business of enjoying every moment of life.
Read more from her blog entry The Zen of “move it, bitches!”
Her 40th at Pietermaritzburg was a huge disappointment for Georgia Gould. She articulately describes the feeling that we all know so well — when you want it so badly but just can’t make your legs work for you.
I had a decent start, but for some reason my legs were terrible. Women were passing me, and I could only watch because there was nothing I could do to stay with them. It wasn’t a question of trying harder, my body simply would not allow it.
Read more from her blog entry CLEARLY I Need to Practice My Free-Riding Skills: A World Cup Race Report
Willow Rockwell describes her struggle of choosing between seemingly insurmountable obstacles and a dream she can’t let die.
My coach gives me some workouts. I do them. I get sick. I run all over town trying to get better. I am exhausted. I start to feel better. I go on a ride with Myles and we vow to have fun. I start to. I crash. On the same hip. I cry. I look at the sky and say “WHY?!?” I act like a victim and I am confused. Myles wishes he could save me. I want to quit. 30 minutes go by. We are at a stop light. I look up. I scream. At whoever is listening. Or whoever isn’t. What the f— do you want from me!” I feel better.
Read more from her blog entry TRUTH
A string of disappointments are piling up for Chloe Woodruff, but sometimes it only takes something small to make life light again.
I have many pieces to the puzzle figured out but when things went so awry in South Africa, I realized there’s some pieces needing to be reconfigured. Mostly my mental game. I’ve been racing long enough now that my collection of disappointments on the bike are tallying up. There are races and training days that have really shaken me to my core, and I realize more than ever that I’m beginning to fear failure. There’s really no room for that kind of thinking in bike racing. Or in any sport. Or in life for that matter.
Read more from her blog entry Life, Maja. Stuff
Painful flights, rental car collisions, utter exhaustion is all part of the World Cup game.
We both came out of the race experience with a feeling of disappointment but also an important lesson re learned that the world cups are an experience all together different from the racing we have recently been competing in. The W/C races are a strategic battle that fitness alone will not fully prepare you for. These races require tremendous mental strength and the ability to include every effort over the entirety to have a chance to make it through with any level of success. A good start position, having the best lines dialed, making no mistakes and timing your body to lay everything on the line past the point of exhaustion, are all components that would help to garner a successful result.
Read more from her and Mike’s blog entry South Africa Adventures
Singletrack.com’s own Judy Freeman reflects on the added anxiety and stress in a World Cup race.
It’s only business, but there are more elbows and opportunities to get put in corners at World Cups. And for sure there’s more yelling going on — especially in some shrill foreign tongue. (The language barrier makes translation tough, so for ease’s sake, I just assume they’re complimenting my shoes, which I agree are very pretty.)
Read more from her Singletrack.com blog entry Life as a Bike Jockey: Cutting through the calamity
Krista Park had a rough start to the season. She crashed the day before the first world cup and injured her shoulder and did not race.
Also check out the rest of the women’s Olympic long team that haven’t written recent posts in the gallery of the women’s Olympic long team