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Fast Talk, ep. 93: Balancing sport and life, with Brent Bookwalter

Chris and Trevor talk about pros maintaining healthy relationships and interests outside of their career, and lessons amateur riders can learn from riders like guest Brent Bookwalter.

Hello and welcome to Fast Talk! I’m your host Chris Case. Today we have a great episode in store for you, with someone you’ve heard from many times before on Fast Talk. Today, we’re finally joined by Brent Bookwalter of the Mitchelton-Scott WorldTour team, a man of both wisdom and humility, for a full conversation on balancing life and sport.

What do pros know about that balance, you ask? “They’re pampered!” you’re probably thinking. Well, not exactly true. The life of a pro cyclist is not as glamorous as you might think. We’ll discuss that misconception, but we’ll spend the majority of our conversation learning the many ways in which Brent has learned to balance training and racing with being a good husband, a soon-to-be-father, a son and friend, and a gran fondo promoter, among many other things. Through the years of racing both at the neo-pro level through to the WorldTour, Brent has dealt with limited time—sometimes well, sometimes not so well—which has forced him to prioritize his life in myriad ways. And it’s those tips that apply to all of us.

The high level of physical and mental performance that is demanded of pro athletes while they also strive to maintain healthy relationships and interests outside of their career, means that they have been forced to master “life-balance.”

While we don’t all deal with the issues related to pro cyclists’ in our own lives, there are common themes about self-care, spending time on relationships, knowing your personal limits, and working to keep your passions alive that we can all relate to.

Today, along with Brent, we spoke to long-time pro and coach Katie Compton, as well as two of our favorite coaches and soon-to-be Fast Labs podcast hosts, Grant Holicky and Colby Pearce.

If you didn’t catch it yet, we released our first bonus podcast last week. That’s right, Fast Talk is now a weekly podcast. Coach Connor and I were able to answer a few of your questions, one related to overtraining and burn-out—not-interchangeable terms, thank you Dr. Seiler for the correction—and one related to physiological testing.

If you have a question for us you can either write us at Fasttalk@fastlabs.com, or, as you may have heard by now, we have a number setup for you to call – it’s 719-800-2112 . Leave a voicemail with your question. If we can hear you loud and clear in the message, we may include the recording in the show.

Now, bust out your balance board, brush up on your communication skills, it’s time to compartmentalize. Let’s make you fast!