Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Setting and Achieving Goals

Rad helmet, huh?
I'm a pretty superstitious person, mostly when it comes to bike racing success. I have this huge fear that if I talk about my successes/skills/talent that I will jinx myself and the rest of the season will be a flop.
On top of that I still see myself as the dorky gold helmet wearing 22 year old newbie on the UCD cycling team who managed to crash myself out solo in a triathlon...
This superstition extends to my goal setting too. I feel like setting too ambitious of goals is setting myself up for disappointment, because as soon as I proclaim to myself and anyone listening that I want to go to the Olympics for example, that now I've assumed I am good enough for that, and bam, it won't happen. This may be a little bit due to the fact that I've kinda found some success unexpectedly, so I have this mindset that if I keep my expectations really low, I may surprise myself, and I think that's where the superstition comes in too, I only do well when it's a surprise. Not sure if this is making any sense, but the point is, it's scary for me to set ambitious goals.

A year or so ago my sister told me something kinda deep (she HATES talking about life and emotions and all that so it's kinda funny that this gem came from someone so anti-philosophical). She said "If it's scary, that probably means you care a lot about it and it's worth doing". So when coach and I started planning the 2016 season and he asked me to set season goals I raised the bar from last year, and set some ambitious ones. Those goals are always evolving in a way, because you can't foresee certain things, like crashes that compromise race results, but being 1/3 of the way through the season and having already met a few significant goals feels really freaking good.

2016 goals that have already been met:

Get on a US Cup podium. Met this one at Sea Otter with a 4th place finish in a stacked international field. Kinda the best result I've ever had, kinda proud of it looking back.

Win a UCI race. Met this one at Fontana City National, when I kinda had the perfect combo of good legs and the right course for me. I was inspired by SoCal CX superstar Amanda Nauman's UCI wins in CX this past season, her success made me realize it wasn't entirely out of the question for me either.

Get pee tested! Until this year I had never been pee tested, which made me feel kinda like a nobody in the sport (I know that sounds ridiculous!), but at Bonelli #1 I was pee tested for the first time and it was THE BEST! THEN I got the email telling me I qualify to be put in the random testing pool, and USADA has actually come to my house to pee test me since then! Maybe I'm the only one who feels like this, but being in the random testing pool seems like a milestone to me, like I'm legit now, haha.

I have other season goals, like making the podium at nationals, placing top 25 in a World Cup, a Whiskey podium... but I'm getting shy about them. Maybe if/once they are achieved I'll share those too :)

Something about visualizing an outcome though, training with that in the front of your mind when things are stupid painful, going to sleep at night with that outcome burning in your chest, and then seeing that outcome come true is stupid gratifying. It's motivating too, it motivates me to set the bar even higher. Maybe soon I'll reach the point where I'm stuck working for a year or more to reach that one specific super lofty goal, but for now it's fun to see the hard work pay off and the goals/dreams realized.
Back when my goal was just to finish the race on the lead lap. Fontana City National a few years ago, my second ever 'pro' race, long before I knew racing full time was in my future :)

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