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Sunday, March 7, 2010

No Excuses.

No Excuses.

"No Excuses" is a creed I adopted about a year and a half ago pertaining to my racing.

In a sport such as cycling, there are countless variables that have to be taken into account before you arrive at the start line. Things such as eating properly, making sure your bike is working well, making sure you are well rested, making sure you made the right tire choices etc etc.

Often the trend is that racers will arrive at the startline with a 'ready' mentality only to perform at subpar (or even on par) ability. Suddenly the 'ready' mentality of two hours ago is replaced with a plethora of excuses in an effort to validate their performance. Things like "I should have gone with slicks instead of knobbies..." "It's probably because I got wasted last night..." etc.

Shoulda, Coulda, woulda..... didn't.

Before I come across as being on the proverbial high horse, I would like to confess that I have fallen victim to this syndrome before.. and I wouldn't bet on myself not doing it again. I will however try my hardest to not let it happen.

In my opinion, making excuses is natural. It's not good, or healthy for your mentality, but it's natural to try and salvage your pride when you under perform based on your perceived expectations. The most important thing is to keep the urge down to manifest those excuses. Racing is as much a mind game as it is a fitness game, and allowing excuses to float in your mind WILL affect your performance.

When you sign up for an event whether it be the Boston Marathon, charity ride or bike race; you are unofficially signing an agreement to the other participants that you will try your best and be a good sport. In an era that has long since forgotten about personal responsibility, you are saying to the other participants, that you will be fully accountable for your performance as a courtesy to them. Nobody wants to race against riders with asterisks on their results.

So when you arrive at the start line you should have already covered the bases. You should be rested appropriately, you should be nourished , your bike should be in race shape and your mindset should be focused. Whatever result comes out of that race should be the best representation of who you are as an athlete on that day.

Sometimes things don't always work out so smoothly. Maybe your good friends birthday was the night before the race and it ended up being a late night...

That's ok. Arrive at the start line and give it your all. The result should still be the best representation of your ability that day. Resist the urge to justify a poor result being due to the vodka running through your bloodstream. When you're hanging out at the end of the race, complement the riders that were faster than you. This is because they were in fact better than you on that day. Numbers don't lie.

Also, having 5 years of race weekend binge drinking experience, I can assure you that being hungover does not affect your performance as much as you'd think. I've pulled off some miraculous results being hungover. =)

I could stop here... but im quite enjoying typing this.

If you look at the greatest athletes in every sport you will see one thing in common. They all share this mentality. They take responsibility for every aspect of their performance. They address limiters when everyone else is doing otherwise.

Here's a bad ass quote from one of the most notable, straight up great athletes of all time.

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. " - Michael Jordan


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12 Street West Victoria 1234 Australia

Phone number

+(12) 3456 789