21 Jul Trust Yourself
I have always believed that honesty is the best policy!
In the modern world of social media it is easy to get caught up in likes and success stories. I feel it’s more important than ever to be real! By real I don’t mean complaining and whinging about how hard life is, I mean being honest and raw without sugar coating, and sharing the full journey rather than just the highlights.
I have always tried to share openly how I am feeling and while it’s easy to ride the highs I have often found when I talk about the tough times, or disappointment too many times I am told that I am too hard on myself, or I put too much pressure on myself. All athletes do, we expect the best from ourselves. We work hard, sacrifice a lot and are disappointed when we don’t achieve what we know we are capable of!
Sport at the highest level is incredibly tough. But on the day it comes together, it is all worth it. It is truly impossible to describe the feeling but even in one of my toughest times I can still feel the emotions and I know that it is worth it, that I still have the desire. The exhaustion, elation and satisfaction combined together make the moments we strive for and moments we will never forget!
This season I feel like I have taken my fair share of beatings! A few too many mistakes along the way have brought me to where I am now. And the one underlying lesson… TRUST MY GUT, believe in my process and shut out those who know better!
Dan and I have always kept a pretty tight circle, we have always been independent (and co-dependent). We have had to be. We started travelling and racing together in Europe in 2010, completely unsupported and we have made it together to the Olympic Games, World Cup wins, Professional Race Teams and then back to our own, all while Dan took care of our training!
In 2018 I opened up my circle and took onboard more advice and guidance than I ever have before, including a new coach. Over the next few months I slowly lost my energy, gained weight and while I met the targets in every session and had so many good days on the bike in training – It became clear I was far too flat and tired to be racing. Leading into the first two European World Cup’s in May I was feeling really good so it came as a big shock to me just how far off the pace I was. With six weeks to turn things around ahead of the following two World Cup’s we decided that it was time for Dan to take control of my training again.
With lots of rest and then some of my most quality training I felt I had ever done I was back on the start line in Val di Sole for Round 4. Unfortunately still carrying too much extra weight. I know from the outside it appears that I had spent the past six weeks in the bakery when really my diet had been almost perfect.
This gradual weight gain indicates my body is still tired, it’s still working overtime and it does not want to drop weight. Overtired/overtraining and overweight go hand in hand when it comes to my body! It’s a shame that my weight and figure is something that I am quite self conscious about!
The whole week at Val di Sole I felt good but deep down I knew there was the chance that it could all go pear shaped. I had put in the work and felt like I had done everything right, but it was up to my body to play along.
Unfortunately it didn’t, which was another beating that was hard to take!
9 July 2018
It’s a decision that has not been made overnight, but a decision I feel is the right one and must be made. I am not giving up! I am listening to my body.
Together with Dan and my team Manager Fran we have decided that it’s best for me to listen to my body, take the pressure off and put my health and recovery first.
It’s clear that my body is not responding and is certainly not willing to race. Over the past six weeks between the World Cups in Nove Mesto and Val di Sole I first rested, and then trained probably the smartest I have, focusing on bringing back my strengths that have been lost, but most importantly always paying attention to how I feel, how my body is responding, and always allowing it enough recovery. I have really had a lot of fun the last six weeks too! I have to thank Dan for paying such close attention to my needs – I don’t think there is anything more we could have done to have me ready for Val di Sole. It just wasn’t meant to be…
Mistakes have been made this year, and despite racing World Cups for many years now we are still learning. The biggest thing Dan and I have learned this year is to trust ourselves more than anyone. If anything it’s given me more confidence than ever in the combo of Bec and Dan, we just need to get back to doing out thing!
So for now, it’s time for me to take a rest from racing and training until I feel 100% again. I truly am determined to be back racing in the Top 10, and I would love nothing more than to be back on the World Cup podium. I can promise that this is not the easy way out. It’s not easy to recognize these feelings when your heart wants it so bad. It’s not easy to stop racing… it’s my passion! And of course I feel some guilt, but this time I won’t be saying ‘in hindsight I should have just taken a break…’ I have learned this lesson already – trust your gut and listen to your body!
See you when I’m ready!
We decided I wouldn’t race the World Cup the following weekend. I had nothing to gain and prolonging rest when you need it the most is never a good idea.
So what now…
I have had almost two weeks completely off the bike. I am still feeling lost and confused and have been having a pretty tough time. I honestly don’t know if I’m coming or going… or where I’m going…
While it is very easy for me to recognize where I went wrong, the challenge is knowing exactly what to do next. With an awkward seven weeks until the World Championships and only five until the World Cup in France and no idea how my body will respond if I start training again I am going to give myself a chance to have some consistency over the next couple of weeks and then some big decisions will need to be made.
This year I have landed on my feet with Primaflor Mondraker and Fran Perez our Team manager – World Cup racing is so much about results and I feel grateful to have a Boss who can not only understand and relate to my situation but also give me the time and space I need to recover in order to be back at my best. One thing is for sure, this does not happen on every team!
The moments that keep me going… The moments where it’s all come together! Nothing beats crossing the finish line!