Shew! That was a weekend of racing at Thunder Mountain Bike Park for the third round of the Eastern States Cup. Practice was a tough one for me with many, many over the bars crashes as a result of trying to find the right line through tricky rock sections. I went into yesterday’s race nervous and ridiculously sore, but after the first two stages I started to become more confident again and having fun with riding. I just kept telling myself to ride smooth, keep it rubber side down, and ride MY ride. In the end, I didn’t ride fast enough to land a spot on the podium, but I’m proud of nailing the lines and my clean riding.
It was also a good lesson in being gentle with myself post race. It is SO easy to think, “if only this, if only that” and compare myself to the competition and see failure in my performance. I have to remind myself of a few things: 1) I’m a rookie! This is my first season racing an enduro series in the pro/open category, 2) The pro category is called pro for a reason! Real pros who are extremely talented and have been training hard/riding/racing for years show up – and they ain’t playin. They are there to compete for the win! 3) Remember the primary goal I set for myself going into this season — to grow as a rider and have fun doing it — and I’ve grown A LOT in just a few races.
Theodore Roosevelt said it well, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Choosing to compare my performance to the performance of all of the super strong and fast women in the field can be disheartening and take the joy out of riding. Instead, I choose to look at these ladies as role models and use their success as inspiration to become a better rider.