Looking Back on 2012

2:24 AM


It’s that time of year – where everyone gets all misty eyed and reviews the year (generally with rose colored glasses already firmly in place).  But not me, man, I’m immune to such schmaltz!

Ok, not really.  Though I’m not one to dwell in the past, I do think it is important to glean what you can from your experiences before you can be ready to move forward.  I’m a big believer in self-reflection, which also means maintaining an objective eye and acknowledging everything (warts and all)…

Regrets

I can’t stand it when people claim to have no regrets.  If you are living a life without regret you are either living too safely, or not being honest with yourself.  My regrets let me know that I want to improve myself.  The first step in doing something differently next time, is taking the time to acknowledge what you regret doing this time.  So while I could fill a book with my regrets from the last year, I’ll just focus on a few big ones…

In 2012 it was three months from my first doctor’s visit to my official diagnosis of asthma.  I regret not being a better self-advocate during that time.  I didn’t push hard to move things forward when things started to linger – I waited too long after tests for results, and I didn’t ask enough questions.  In the future I will be persistent and let go of any worries about pestering people with my queries.  My timidity cost me, but I’ve learned a valuable lesson for the future.

Another connected regret is letting the asthma affect my training as much as it did.  When I was in limbo I backed off my efforts, first because the doctor told me to and then because it was such an easy excuse.  I don’t take away from this that I need to redouble my efforts next year and keep my effort high.  No, the lesson I learned is that it is important to schedule more rest time into my training, particularly at the end of the summer when mountain biking is starting to wind down.  Next year I will listen more to my body and give it rest.

Proud Of…

There are so many things that I look back on with pride when it comes to cycling in 2012.  I finished my first competitive mountain bike season and gained incredible strength on the mountain bike.  I worked on technique and have learned how to drive my bike with confidence.  I brought my new skills into the cyclocross season and finally put together the pieces of a competent dismount and re-mount.  Though I wasn’t able to do this consistently, I had some awesome races where I raced in the moment without regard to the usual distractive thoughts that tend to plague me.  I love that feeling of giving a complete effort without caring about performance, and I know it well enough to tap into it next season right from the start.

Finally, I’m really happy I started this blog.  It began deep in last winter out of a strange combination of boredom, frustration, and insomnia, but has turned into a great tool for keeping me thinking and writing about the cycling side of my life.  I look forward to more writing, more racing, and connecting with all the other bike freaks out there!  

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