A white Christmas is a romantic idea but there is nothing romantic about base hours on an indoor trainer. Every year I come home for the holidays I begrudgingly saddle up for hours of stationary suffering but, instead of training my legs, I usually end up training my mind more. Anyone who has trained inside for an extended period of time will tell you the process is a testament to pure motivation and will power.
My trainer is set up in a small alcove of our family room. On the wall to my right, the maillot jaune. To my left, my old race numbers stapled on the wall after each season by my dad.
Perhaps, I should clarify. On the wall to my right, the maillot jaune signed by Lance Armstrong.
Bought at a charity auction for cancer, our family, impacted by our own struggles with cancer, proudly displayed the jersey on the wall above our indoor trainers in adoration of the man who overcame all odds and sparked our family to start cycling. Christmas after Christmas, hour after hour on the indoor trainer, I used to draw inspiration from our miniature Lance shrine but more and more I am turning to my left.
Like most people, I now look at Armstrong through a lens of disappointment. Looking to my left, however, I see nothing but honest hard work. While my small collection is far from the maillot jaune, there is nothing more honest than my race number from my first big event, my first ever 100km’s completed in over 5 hours; my race number covered in blood and dirt from my first bad crash; or my third place medal from student champs that felt like a gold. However, as most athletes figure out pretty quickly, it doesn’t matter how far you come it is all about where you want to go but, since it is the time for goal setting, it never hurts to take a moment to recognize the hard work and will power that got you however far you have come, whether that’s 5km out the door or world championships.
So, as you set goals for 2013, let your previous achievements inspire even greater ones.