The last 12 months I have struggled to find real motivation for racing. During this time I have still been riding my bike a lot and entering into races and having fun doing so, but I haven’t had that itch, that excitement you get when you have entered something big, something that gets you really excited. The feeling I had when I entered my first 24hour , the worry, the wondering if I could actually do it. I feel like I got to the point where turning up to 100k races or 6hr enduros, although great fun to catch up with people, I couldn’t be bothered to drive the many hours to the race to race hard in an event I know I can finish, there was no real challenge. Then there was the bikepacking events, which have been a great learning experience and I have met some amazing people and seen some amazing places, but they hurt, alot. I think there’s only a certain number of times you can really put yourself in shitty hard scary situations, I feel like I used up my times in GDT twice, GSB and Big Hurt. The feeling sick, riding in the cold and dark and missing out on great scenery, the sleep deprivation, the question I kept asking myself was why? Same with 6hr enduros which I used to love – why am I riding around in circles for hours?
Sometimes I wish I could just get up and ride my bike, go for a paddle, a run, a whatever, just do lots of different things without “training” without always having a goal, without always thinking about it, always thinking about stretching, recovery, how can I go faster, get better? It’s kinda tiring! But I know that without a goal to work towards I fall apart, I start questioning everything else around me- my job, my life, my decisions. Should I find a new job? Should I enter this race or this one or do this or that, should I move overseas should I quit my job and ride around the world? In reality, I love living in Marlo, I love my my job, I love training, but I need a stable training plan and goal to work towards in order to be calm and rational. And that annoys me.
So in 2015 I am going to try new things, try to be flexible and not so obsessive. I am going to choose some adventures that are challenges but I don’t have to be the quickest or best and I don’t have to pay a huge entry fee or lock it in a particular date, but I do have to be fit enough to complete it and it will give me a goal and focus and something to look forward to. These challenges will still involve riding my bike as I love doing that, but it wont be about winning.
The list I came up with was this:
– Packraft down the Snowy River
– Ride from Marlo to Mt Kozioscko
– Have a rad time riding bikes and hanging out with people in Alice Springs at the Easter Stage Race
– Ride from Marlo to Mallacoota
– Finish the North Face 50k – not get obsessed with training for it but as a new challenge to work on to mix it up
– Map out some Hikes in the area
– Cook more, skateboard more, hangout with friends more and not obsess over training!
I suppose the other thing that nags at me is if I do want to achieve success in my riding I need to be focused and driven and just do riding. But then I feel like I am on repeat and missing out on so many other things in life. I like success, it feels good, but if the challenge and enjoyment is gone for the moment why keep persisting? I want to get to 80 and be able to look back over my life and know I made the most of my time, that I experienced lots of different things, lots of challenges and didn’t just ride my bike around in circles the whole time. So I am going to try to relax, to experience new things, try new challenges, be grateful for the wonderful life and have and smile like I was on yesterdays ride!