Thursday, April 5, 2018

Motivation: Real Talk

Ok, ok, so still swamped with bathroom work, installing the toilet in an hour (!!!EEEEK, to have a real toilet again!) and I totally meant to blog every day during break and totally haven't, but yeah, life. A quick side note before answering the most common question I get, I feel like I'm kinda failing at a lot of things right now. I sucked at my intervals today, I'm not posting enough social media about all my sponsors (sorry everyone, I want my content to be genuine AND pretty, I don't want to just throw garbage out there just to have it out there), I messed up the thinset the first time and wasted a whole day on the rock instal fixing my mistake... yeah, But the good news is that every day I wake up thinking 'today I will try my hardest to do better' which is pretty much all I can do. I'm never going to have it figured out completely, but as long as I wake up feeling like I'm going to try, I'm going to count that as A-OK.
From Wednesday's awesome road bike party. I wanted to ride ALL freaking day but coach put me on a short leash!

Anyway, the most common question I get is something along the lines of 'how do you ride so much?' as in, how do you stay motivated. And I'm going to be super, real, gritty honest, which is going to make me seem like not such a great person.

Motivator #1 is ego. Yep, those mileage and ft climbed numbers on my Garmin/Strava are some of my biggest motivators, and probably not in a good way. The more I ride, the more I feel like I NEED to ride to impress people, and it kinda just snowballs out of control until I ride myself into a hole and crack. Remember the last week of December/first week of January, as soon as I laid down two 500 miles weeks I felt like I needed to continue to ride 500 mile weeks. I honestly get anxious if I know I wont hit 200 miles in a week, and multiple times in the last 2 years I have sabotaged entire weeks of training by over-doing it and then not being able to hit my numbers on interval days. And don't even get me started on the whole QOM issue... Writing it down makes this all seem incredibly ridiculous, and I know that no one really cares about my Strava data, but this is real talk, so yeah.
Mexican ice cream post 85 mile ride... yes and yes!

Motivator #2 is food. Again real talk, not painting myself out to be better than I am, I am scared shitless of being fat, and riding lots means I can eat things like nachos, or cookies, and riding MORE means more eating. I'm sure food is a fairly common motivator, doesn't every meal after a 100 mile race just taste like heaven? That burrito after a 6 hour shred IS the best burrito ever, even if it really is just another regular burrito, and that post race hot chocolate with extra whipped cream, I LIVE for that hot chocolate!

What I thought were the world's best nachos... because they came at the end of a 50 mile mtb epic. 

Motivator #3 Again is kinda gritty; addiction. I'm almost certain I have the type of addictive personality that leads some to be alcoholics, I NEED it to feel ok. If I don't get out and do something active every day I start to loose my sanity. Before bikes it was running, and if it wasn't bikes I'm sure it would be some other activity, but I'm addicted to the endorphins and the pain. Often the suffering acts as a coping mechanism, if I focus on the physical pain I wont think about the emotional pain, and I feel like I have learned a lot about dealing with pain through racing/training/torturing myself. The feeling of accomplishment I get from doing bigger and harder things on my bike is also addictive, so there's also that 'what next question in my mind driving the training and hours of pedaling.
Up in the Santa Ana's looking out at my favorite fire road Maple Springs WAY up above Orange County.
One of those amazing places that draws me back over and over. 
All this is not to say I am not motivated by the usual pure stuff that most people would gush about when asked why they ride. I really do just love the feeling of pushing my limits, sometimes just being alone, in nature, in places no one goes, of riding that obstacle I've been trying to clean for months, and because my bike just makes me feel free and powerful and like I can do anything. I value the time I spend in the mountains surrounded by trees and ridges and gorgeous rocks more than anything else in life and getting out to be there, and see that is crazy motivating. But the top 3 really drive the obsessive way I go ride for hours and hours, log 200-300 mile weeks, and often knock out 50 mile mtb rides with 10k of climbing.

JUST LOOK AT THOSE ROCKS!!!! Another of my favorite roads that I could ride over and over and over!

And like everything in life, all this is like a pendulum. Sometimes the addictive/ego takes over and I ride my brains out, and sometimes I calm down and focus on what coach says to do and let the upcoming races motivate my rides more than wanting to impress everyone on Strava. I know most my top 3 motivators are ridiculous, and to be perfectly honest one more time, I'm kinda hoping that exposing myself is going to help me relax (at least until the race season is over) because I'm having a hard time juggling all the riding with real life. but there you have it, the three main reasons I ride so damn much.
The view from Hurricane Rim trail in Utah. One of those amazing places bike racing takes me!

Thanks for not judging :) I'm aware that I am psycho, that's the first step, right?


  1. As always, entertaining with a "touch of truth". Motivator#2 is the reason I keep a food log.

  2. I love the honesty!! I think we all can relate on some level:)

  3. Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting? I'm pleased I discovered it though, ill be checking back soon to find out what additional posts you include. archie stedman