Lunch Time Reading

If you haven’t seen these blog posts, check them  out.

Self Deprecation and the Female Cyclist

Dig In: Being Honest About Your Strengths

When I read these two blogs last night, I quite literally fell to my knees, praising all the deities in my knowledge bank that someone was finally articulating these thoughts.  I don’t dare think what my upstairs neighbor thought as I quite loudly and ecstatically exclaimed “Yes! Yes! Yes!” over and over gain while pounding my fists.

I believe that the hardest part about being an athlete of any kind is the mental game, but for some reason, this seems to be even more so for the female athlete. Reading these two blogs was reading the transcript of my inner dialogue. For years I purposefully shied away from competition because before I even got to a starting line, or thought about a starting line  I convinced myself that I was going to be “too slow” or that “It’s going to be a hilly course and I just can’t climb” or “everyone else is in so much better shape than me, I need to lose 20lbs before I try that”.  And it wasn’t just competitions, I was turning myself away from casual rides with friends who I thought were “better than me”.  I have been creating self-fulfilling prophecies for myself before I ever even get on the saddle.  All of this contradictory to the confident persona I put forth in all other aspects of my day-to-day.

Going forward, I vow to start my rides with a run down of my strengths.  Training my brain may prove to be more difficult than training my body.

So before I hit the pavement with my road bike:

  • I’m a good bike handler
  • I have a fast sprint.
  • I am not the least afraid of downhills.

What are your strengths?

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3 thoughts on “Lunch Time Reading

  1. Hmm… Strengths…
    Road- I pick good lines in a corner, I’m a steady wheel in a pace line, I love to bomb downhill and am aero enough to be able to do so fast and without much fear.
    Cyclocross- I mostly pick good lines, try to stay predictable, can take a fall/ crash and get out of the way, and am willing to try new things
    Overall, I have good bike handling skills, am generally aware of my environment and others around me, safety minded, I have a willingness to learn and try to be encouraging and helpful to others new to the sport or learning a new skill… I’m a good teammate! 🙂

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  2. It’s amazing the timing of your post. I happened to read it on my way to perhaps the (second) most miserable event of my riding career. I wrote my thoughts here in detail, but in summary, I did exactly what these posts said I should do, and I was dropped and abused on the ride anyway.

    So my 2¢? Positive thinking is great, but the reality is that we, as women, really are more often than not slower, going to get dropped, going to make others wait. There’s no way around it until the sport decides that women have legitimite access to the roads, too.

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  3. Ok, on the road, I am a strong, steady rider people can rely on to pull evenly and with recognition that if there are riders drafting behind they can’t see the pavement ahead well, so can rely on me to communicate with them. I climb steadily over very long distances, though not necessarily quickly.
    In cyclocross, I am durable. If I go down, I get back up. Every time. I am conscientious of those around me.
    In mountain biking, I keep trying : )
    Thanks for the post. Often it is disheartening to compare ourselves to others, for it is the deficits we notice.

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