Stepping outside of the comfort zone

I believe it’s good for us to step outside of our comfort zone, to a degree, I think it makes us a stronger person.  Last year I embarked on a journey around the US racing cyclocross and chasing UCI points so I could get a good call up at Nationals.  Last year I stepped outside of my comfort zone multiple times.  Every time I traveled alone I stepped outside of what felt comfortable.  The nervousness, the anxiety and the fear of the unknown, that’s never comfortable.  Last year I finished the season with a 14th place at Nationals, some okay results here and there and a little increase in confidence in what it’s like to travel by your lonesome.  I was hoping to find some sponsorship for this year, but my results just weren’t good enough.  So with a lot of reluctance and some pushing by my friend Dave, I embarked on yet another season of UCI cyclocross racing, embarking once again on another year of fearing the unknown, what will this season bring me?  Fear of traveling a lone, doing the season by myself once again, it’s not an easy task.

At the beginning of the season I told myself I would do a better job of being more social and trying to talk to the girls at the races and not be so shy.  I wanted to make sure I felt like I had a place in the field, I wanted to be less afraid, less nervous and feel more welcome.  It turns out, when you have a pretty good season it’s easier to be friendly with people because they know who you are.  This season turned out to be much  better than I could have anticipated, and it’s not even over!  When I look back at everything I have accomplished I couldn’t be happier or more motivated for next year.  As I sit here typing this, embarking on a new adventure, that same fear, uneasiness, and nervousness strikes me again.  Except this time I have a flood of nearly every emotion, and for some reason I find myself crying over the simplest things.  This trip to Belgium has brought a new feeling of uneasiness over me.  It’s just a race, I know, but it becomes much more at this point.

I’m so excited to be a part of the Eurocrosscamp this year, as it has opened my eyes (and doors) to my racing world and where it could go.  I couldn’t be more honored to be a part this adventure and experience, but I can’t help and express some feelings.  I’m not asking for any pity or feelings of comfort, because in the end I will get over it.  For some reason when it comes to athletics, I have a hard time believing in myself, call it low confidence if you will.  Whatever I do, what ever my results, I feel are never good enough.  I think I put too much pressure on myself, but I feel like if I don’t do better, I wont be noticed and my efforts will be left for the wolves.  What this trip has helped me realize is that my efforts have been noticed and I feel like I’m being rewarded for the efforts I have put in.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, this trip makes me feel like the fat kid that was picked last for the team.  I know you’re probably thinking “what the heck”.  I didn’t say this in the last blog post, but when I booked the trip I was unsure if I was going to get the chance to race the World Cup races, I was just planning on racing the other 3 races that are after the WC’s.  Here is what I mean by this.  Each country is allowed 8 racers (8 male and 8 females in the elite fields), the top UCI ranked riders that want to race are the ones that get priority.  I’m ranked #13 (thanks to the lack of West coast UCI racing, never have done a WC, AND results just not good enough to score those big points) in the US and I knew right off the bat that 8 other women where going to be racing the WC’s.  Because Katie Compton is so dominant, awesome, and winning, us females get 1 extra rider, hence…me.  The fat kid picked last for the team.  It’s silly, I know, I know, I know, I just can’t help the way I feel though!  Talking to a friend helped me realize that, you have to start somewhere.  Heading over to Belgium and racing 2 World Cups is a stepping stone in my racing career, because everyone has to start somewhere.  I realize now, that this is where it begins, and from here I can hopefully only move up.

As fear of the unknown floods over me and I step fully out of my comfort zone, I realize that this trip could be the start of something fantastic, I hope to learn more, grow as a racer, have fun and soak up the experience as much as possible.  I am so thankful that I have parents that could help me along the way, a husband that supports my racing and is okay with me being gone for Christmas.  I’m thankful for my team Bicycle Bluebook/HRS/Rock Lobster for being so dang awesome and supportive, for Paul at Rock Lobster Cycles for building me 2 frames that ride amazingly.  For FSA/Vision for coming through with some great wheels in a time of need, for Paul Components for providing me with some great stopping power, and for Easton supplying me with a fully functioning cockpit and seat post.

Here I go, leaving the America’s for the first time in my life, stepping out with my head held high, racing my heart out.

Thank you for your support!!!!!

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2 thoughts on “Stepping outside of the comfort zone

  1. Your no fat kid, you’ve worked hard through your own personal highs and lows but you have always remained up beat and always smiling at the races I’ve seen you at, always approachable and take all the digs from the others in the team. You go get em have a great time. Looking forward to hear about your adventures.

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