Author: Cheri Felix
Some people are just so talented. So gifted. So lucky. So amazing. So….awesome. These are things we say about other mountain bikers. As they race up the loose dirt hill or carve out a tight turn we think to ourselves “they are lucky to be so great.” But from what I’m reading these gifted people, these talented people didn’t just happen. Even if you think they did. Most of them didn’t. They worked hard. Super hard. And they do the same thing over and over again. Even when they don’t want to. Everything I am about to say is speculation. Take it with a grain a salt.
It’s so easy to write off the fast ones or the good ones. It’s easy to say that they are somehow different than us and therefore untouchable. Yes, some people are always going to be better than you. Take it from me. But to say that you can’t be better or more awesome or faster or stronger is complete and utter bullcrap. And if we hide behind that myth that greatness is just born and therefore untouchable then we risk not an average life (which in some parts can mean pretty awesome) but something less; a mediocre life. And if you look at the definition of mediocrity it means barely adequate. Synonyms include undistinguished. Ouch.
Yes, I am playing with words but stick with me and try not to get too caught up in it all. What I am saying is there is always room for improvement. Always. I’m often overheard telling my kids that even Olympic athletes have coaches. Which is to say a few things; no one is perfect and everyone can get better. So what I am saying is that I’ve changed things up in my own mountain biking. The other day I had that aha moment of if I want to get faster I have to rider faster. You’re probably thinking, ‘Ahh grasshopper how profound.” But let me explain. Riding on my favorite trails doing group rides is awesome but it probably won’t get me faster for racing. Riding as fast as I can up a nicely graded canyon might. Riding out at Valmont Bike Park as fast as I can (when no one else is out there) might. Riding as high as I can might. My point is this; I have to ride harder and faster if I want to ride harder and faster.
Now you might be thinking, “But Cheri I don’t race so shush yourself.” O.K. but let me ask you this. Do you want to be able to ride longer? Do you want to be able to ride an extra lap up at Betasso? Do you want to ride up that hill rather than walk up that hill? Do you want to get just a little itty bitty bit better? See here’s what I’m thinking. Mountain biking is amazing. But it is way more fun when we are as good as we can be. When we’ve pushed ourselves just a bit. When we’ve realized that getting stronger does make us better at the technical stuff. And yes, when we realize that yes we do care. Yes, we do want to be better.
Do you care enough to work a bit harder? Let me know.