By Jessica McWhirt, courtesy of Bicycling Magazine
Even before I signed up, I knew I wouldn’t win this year’s Zwift Academy competition. This worldwide virtual riding contest would award one man and one woman—out of 68,603 participants—a spot on a pro team, based on measured performances. And sure enough, when the list of 10 women who made the semifinals was announced, I wasn’t on it.
“I hate being average,” I said to a friend when the results came out. Average is boring. Being average doesn’t get you praise or external validation.
Bike racers like Marianne Vos, who’s known as the finest cyclist of her generation, and Katie F’ing Compton, a 15-time national cyclocross champion, and Jolanda Neff, a 12-time cross-country mountain bike World Cup champion, will go down in the history books. Meanwhile, as a Cat 3 racer, I feel like I have nothing to show for my 30 years of living.
“We all have dreams,” my friend said. “Sometimes they come true and sometimes we make peace with them. But the desire to be the best at whatever you do is never a silly thing.” It takes a special kind of person to dedicate time to something knowing you probably won’t win.
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