We were staying at Mo Farah’s house. Yes, that Mo Farah. The multiple Olympian, World Champion, winner of everything… We weren’t 100% sure but he was known for training in the area, there were a few Team GB things around the house, his name was on the mail box, and, for an AirBnB in a small mountain village, there was one heck of a treadmill. (Yeah, I ran on it).
After everyone had arrived, the Tactic team explained the concept of the video series. It wasn’t going to be a typical cycling clothing video, it was about “trailblazers.” The type of person who is the first to go, willing to make their own path, and confront the unknown but also that a trailblazer could be anyone. It wasn’t a title reserved for the outwardly brave or the notoriously innovative–it was a feeling. That tug of curiosity to see what is lingering around the corner, that conviction to ignore convention and create something new, that bravery to try against the odds.
I felt a gentle smile as they explained there would be one introduction video and three personality videos, I drifted into my memories. I never identified as a trailblazer before but I resonated with those feelings. Those long rides exploring in the mountains alone. The decision to move overseas and my choice to pursue sport. Every time I stepped up to a big start line. I felt my chest fill with excitement, joy, and a prickle of that nervous fear as I privately relived the rush of doing something other people wouldn’t do. I wasn’t doing anything someone hadn’t done before but I was definitely blazing my own trail.
I looked around table. Everyone–the other athletes, the photographers, managers–everyone seemed to have a half smile as they too unconsciously flipped through their memories.
The next day, feeling pretty in peach as the snow came down, we braved the weather and took to the roads. Instead of the typical smash-fest cycling video, we made this: