by Sarah Musick
Back in the day before my race age turned over to a horrific 3-0 I called myself a bike racer. I was an aspiring professional. An inspired competitor. A driven athlete who heeded the words of the greats. I mimicked every action they had so tediously perfected. I didn’t just want to race my bike. I wanted to be the best at racing my bike. I was full of ideas and fuller of naivety still.
That wasn’t all bad. It was growth. It was probably pretty comical to those around me too, hindsight being 20/20 as it were.
Admittedly, in my quest for greatness I managed to suck the fun-factor right out of what I now realize is a majorly rad sport. Don’t get me wrong; winning my first Cat 1 cross country race in Telluride, Colorado, one of the most gorgeous places on earth, was an unmistakable life high. Victory tasted better than chocolate. I was an immediate addict.
Yet, I placed so much focus on winning that I failed to be happily involved with the process. Rides were for training, not socializing. Food was fuel, not taste. Sleep was mandatory, not savored. Gear was required, not collected. And so in a rather quick and unnoticed fashion I became more rigid than my first childhood bike.
After, what seemed a fairly successful season, involving 23 races, a handful of podiums, my first and subsequent wins, a series championship, and a mound of “lessons learned” I had wiped out the originating desire to excel in the sport. In so short a time I was through before even really getting started.
It was an unexpected tragedy.
Fast forward ahead: rather than simply back off my efforts, I quit. I’ve always been an all-or-nothing girl and this was true to form. I qualified for a pro license I would never use. Chapter (and book) closed. I sold out and let the usual stresses of life devour me.
Nearly, to the point of no return.
That was four years ago. I’m more thankful than ever that second chances and new perspectives hold in a sport that teems with satisfaction in the art of moving. It feels like I snapped upright one morning and realized – Oh’ I can still do this, but differently.Better.
This is how today looks:
My Team – women who L.O.V.E. riding bikes. Period.
My Bike – single speed stealth machine.
My Coach – a guy who quotes Winnie the Pooh.
My Job - a radical life style company lift off.
My Goal – enjoy the process.
My Outcome – a quality of life that’s unmatched.
My Secret – I still might win a race. *wink*
Oh, one more thing, a big thing. Not bigger than my race age, but still really big: I’m pleased to say I’m a part of the team behind Enduro Bites. It’s a group of people who will not let me get serious to the point of losing the enjoyment in my sport. A group of people who will not sellout. They are committed to the pure joy we all gain from our sports. Sure, nutrition has it’s serious side, but ultimately we’re creating products that each of us want to use in training and racing. The positive motivation in that makes me so excited.
Really nice to meet you!