Monday, December 26, 2011

Next Step - London 2012

As I am getting closer to the end of the year I have been reflecting on what has been probably one of the most exciting years for me yet!  12 months ago I would have never thought that I would be fighting for a spot at the London Paralympics in Cycling!   Rowing maybe, but not cycling, my, how things change in just one year.
I have a lot to be grateful for this year and a lot of people who have been helping me to attain my goals.  My husband Russ, my coaches Helen and Bob Kelly, the staff at the Victorian Institute of Sport (especially Crooksy in the gym, Arnaud on the massage table and Wendy in physio), the coaches, staff and other cyclists from the Para-cycling arm of Cycling Australia, my sponsors Morey Wickham Chartered Accountants, the kids that I race each Sunday (I learn heaps from them!) and all my friends and family – they have all been great support!  They all helped me win my two silver medals at the World Championships in September.
I have been working really hard since the Worlds in September, but it is about to get even harder!  We are heading to the pointy end of making the team and there is still a lot of work to be done.  I am very pleased with how things have been going.  I get my new trike at the end of January (fingers crossed!), I’ve dropped 7.5 kilos (with 2.5 to go), my leg strength has increased and my average cycling speed has also gone up.  Every small detail is being taken into account and I am learning more and more about how to train smart and race fast.
Even the really hard training sessions I try to enjoy, because little by little, day by day, I can constantly see the improvements.  Even when I am tired and I think that times are tough, I try to use my frustration as a catalyst for making improvements because everything is important.  I make myself persist and I know that the small actions will lead to big results.
I’ve also learned to acknowledge my strengths…this has given me an inner confidence, instead of constantly thinking about my weaknesses and I honestly believe that this has helped me during my hard weeks of training.  Harry Truman once said “We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”  So I will continue to improve my habits and look forward towards improving every aspect of my cycling.
So as I say goodbye to 2011, I look forward to 2012 and the rewards that it may bring.  Thank you to all those people who have been a part of my life this year.  I hope you all realize that beautiful moments and possibilities are calling.  Now is the moment to focus your life on and to allow what really matters to happen.
See you in 2012!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's All About the Details

Well my rowing season has come to an end and the focus is strictly on riding now.  Unfortunately I was unable to finish the rowing the way I wanted.  We did have a win in the 4 at the Melbourne Head Regatta but the one we have been training for since June, The Head of the Yarra, unfortunately didn’t happen for our crew.  The weather was really bad with major rain which causes the drains in the Yarra River to become treacherous.  So the organisers decided to scratch 118 boats and that included ours.  It was extremely disappointing and everyone has their own thoughts on the decision, so I won’t go into that!

So the riding has taken over and I have had some really great rides lately.  Today I got a taste of racing again when I headed to the Criterium run at Glenvale.  Now normally 3 wheels don’t ride with 2 wheels but they make an allowance for me.  I get to ride with the E grade riders who are learning to ride a Criterium.  The interesting thing is that I am probably almost old enough to be their grandparent!!!  And they usually kick my ass!  But today I got the chance to “blow out the cobwebs” by racing!  For the first time I was able to hang on to the main pack right until the end where they took off, cranking up the speed for the last couple of laps.

Now today was a day about details and for me right now details are a really good learning tool.  I am so new to riding that I need those details.  Some people think those details are tedious at times, but those details are what give substance to the dream you are chasing.  Today’s details helped me do the best I have ever done at the Criterium.  Even when I got dropped off the pack, I had a young guy (probably about 11 years old) riding with me and I told him to jump on my back wheels.  (I am a bigger wind break then he will ever experience!) I was able to impart some details to him during our ride together and at the end he was able to give it his all and sprint to the finish line (yes he did pass me and take off!).  Upon cooling down he waited for me and thanked me!  He was a lovely kid and even asked me lots of questions about my trike.

No detail is beneath you or unimportant, because all those details combined together, bring your dream to life.  I have a lot more details to work on but I am looking forward to it!