Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A New Feeling

Tomorrow I head to Europe to start the next part of my Para-cycling journey.  I am excited about getting over there and racing other trikes but for the first time I am a bit nervous!  Yes me the person that doesn't really get nervous.  This is definitely a new feeling for me.

So I've really had a hard look at myself and tried to figure out why!  I have decided that I can't figure it out, it's just there.  At first it was really distracting and I decided that I was wasting energy on worrying about being nervous.  It was time to figure out how to work with that nervous energy and make it help me instead of letting it hinder me. 

So I have decided that a friend of mine, Tina, has the right answer.  She has been following a project called Mindful in May.  I certainly haven't done what she has done for the whole month but I have decided to use my mind to take control of those nerves.  It hasn't been easy, but is getting easier.  I am teaching myself to pick a positive, valuable and magnificent image and in my mind put it into action.  I have let it fill my thoughts and moments.  It wouldn't take a brain surgeon to work out what I have been putting in the forefront of my mind...winning...standing on the top of the podium.  But the important part of this is actually trying to see and feel myself riding the race.  I have found that it doesn't take those nerves away but teaches me how to use them.

So as I try to desperately keep my total luggage weight to 35kg, I am heading over to Europe to race to the best of my ability, nerves and all!  I know that I have trained smart and hard.  I am about to put my dreams into actions and go forward in the knowledge that I'm ready to let those nerves work for me, so that those dreams come to life!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

European Bound

Well it is only 12 more sleeps until I head to Europe!  Some of the Australian Para-cyclists are already there and competing with the rest of us leaving on the 31st of May.  I have had a number of people ask me where we are going and what we are racing, so here is the itinerary for everyone:

May 31st  - Melbourne to Barcelona
June 1st - Arrive Barcelona and travel by road to Zaragozza, Spain and spend the night there
June 2nd - Travel by road to Souraide, France
June 2-7th - we will be training in Souraide
June 8-10th - competition  just outside Souraide, Urt Velo
June 11th - Travel by road to Segovia, Spain (about 50 km's north of Madrid)
June 15-17th - Take part in the 2nd World Cup
June 18th - about 7 of us are flying to Great Britain
June 19th - The Paralympic course located at Brands Hatch (car racing circuit) is open for Para-cyclists to train and test.
June 20th - Fly from Great Britain back to Melbourne, arriving home in the early morning hours of the 22nd.

So there you have it!  My European adventure.

I am really looking forward to racing other trikes and over this past weekend there has been a race in Italy where my main competitiors have taken to the roads.  To be honest when I looked at the results from the Road Race I was a bit surprised at how fast my main competition (French Canadian girl) went, until I found out that the course was really fast, flat and not a bit of wind!  So I am really looking forward to testing myself against her and the guys at the World Cup in Spain.

I have been working really hard and my coach has had me doing power efforts lately.  Let me tell you, they are no piece of cake!  Especially when you feel like throwing up after finishing a set, but they have certainly helped!  Funny thing is a get a little pissed off at myself when I don't do personal bests every time!  And at times I have to bring myself back to reality...that doesn't happen every week! Instant results aren't always the best results and I have to learn to realize that a lot of good and valuable things take time.  Don't get me wrong I have improved slowly each week, but sometimes I expect too much of myself in a short time.

I think sometimes in life we want things too fast.  The coach sets out a program and we are meant to follow it to achieve.  Sometimes it feels that playing by the rules and adhering to strictly defined discipline makes achievement more difficult, but it plays an essential role in making achievement possible! 

These power efforts have been extremely challenging and hard, but while I am doing them I think about the rewards.  I use my imagination to immerse my mind and spirit in the rewards that are waiting for me.  I think that the better you can visualize and relate what you are doing to your ultimate goal, the more energy you'll have to get to that goal.

So bring on Spain...the first of many goals for the rest of this year!