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!!!!!