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What if? By Rebecca Richardson.

What if?......


Voices in my head…


There's no such word as 'can't....


or maybe....won't.


I can't descend. I can descend, with practice.


I can't race. I can learn to race with time, and effort.


I can't train. I could train....but, how to train?...


Oh, the constant whirring of thoughts. I spent a whole decade of adulthood not committing to the idea of trying racing or training, as I FEARED losing, I feared failure.


Success comes from the willingness to learn, the understanding to keep trying, and the ability to not let disappointments knock you back.


A series of personal life circumstances gave me a couple of hard but valuable lessons. If you want to make something happen, only you can do it.


To win a hill climb was ONLY a ‘dream’, that is until I met Liam and he put together a PLAN and a TRAINING STRATEGY, turning the dream into a ***GOAL***.


Take the National Hill Climb 2019 on Haytor. My goals were process driven, not outcome driven. I.e I focused only on my own performance, and nobody else's. If achieved a power (watts) personal best, that it would be a good outcome, and it was. I hit a new PB by 13watts over 15min, which shows that a periodised plan works.



I can learn from the process, I can learn from the experience. Keep moving forwards. Sometimes I feel frozen, and I force my brain to say “keep moving”, be it working to pay the bills, doing the dishes, getting out of bed! Putting your feet up and resting is also part of “keep moving”. We should be celebrating every moment we are consciously making decisions, focusing on the present. Boxing away negative “what if?” thoughts and turning them into positive “what if?” thoughts.


Being coached is a process. I have learnt about balance, and adaption, and that I feel better as a person for not giving up. You could call this a growth mindset. Competition is far from being all about the physical, the mental sides need to be ‘trained’ too.


The discipline, hard-work, and belief that I will learn through cycling, has enabled me to cross over this theory to my work and personal life, everyday interconnected to the next.


Rest, rest, rest. Mantra for all, cyclists or not. Get 8 hours or more sleep. Wind-down. Enjoy food, enjoy chatting and meeting friends. Make new connections. Help out. Nothing exists in isolation.


What if?....


I was asking this to myself on a bike ride a few days ago, trying to practice skills, getting outside my comfort zone. I can't. I won't. What if I just try?.....


So, to conclude, I would say that rather than ad-hoc thoughts, I now take great satisfaction in following a process driven plan, whereby I see a constant; measurable; and incremental improvement of physical, psychological, technical and tactical abilities. This gives me greater satisfaction than any ‘results’ sheet.


Happy New Year :)



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