Tuesday, 25 August 2009


I guess I feel as if I've reached the symbolic end of my season. Sunday was the climax of 12 months of training, coming off of 4 months of racing, my first as an Elite.

Hands down the fastest flowing 12 months of my life, so much has gone on, so much has changed. One thing though stayed the same, a constant of the past 10 years and something that probably wont change any time soon. At no point did I question why I was doing it. It's healthy every once and a while to sit down and reaffirm, compound to yourself why your doing the hours day in day out.

I guess a few times I stormed in after 3 hours in the rain ... in January ... threw my helmet on the ground and professed "never again". But I knew, like my audience, that it was in joking and I would happily dry off, get fed and be up the next morning at 5am for swimming.

I also had faith during the winter months that they would come in handy, that at some point during the intense racing of summer I would be able to think back to that rain soaked day in March when all seemed lost but I kept on trudging.

And boy did they, at one point on Sunday afternoon, just as the wheel in front seemed to be creeping away, inching up the hill on yet another lap of the 42km my mind suddenly flew back to the cold days of the Vancouver winter and the times when I very nearly stopped a session early, threw in the towel for that day...but decided against it. Kept on going and just got through it, gritted the old teeth for 30 more minutes.

That's what I did, gritted the teeth and buckled down because as sure as day the pain subsided and my legs were still there at the end of it. It's easy to convince yourself you are coming to the end of your tether and it's even easier to stop. The hard part is remembering, during the pain, while you're struggling to hold that wheel, why. At that moment when it feels as if limbs are about to fall off you can remember why you're doing it, the pain has no chance, no hope of succeeding. If you can get out of your saddle and push for an extra minute, mile, hour to get you to the end when all the reserves seem to be emptied ... you've done it.

I have a long way to go, those boys flew past me in the run alright ... as they have done all season. But it didn't discourage me, not because I knew I can go faster...more training and more hours are needed, but it will come. More because even though I was trudging along with Olympic champions flying past towards the end, I was still going, I hadn't stopped, hadn't yet let go. I guess without that all the training in the world wouldn't make a difference, if I gave up or let go when the going got tough, the words of a Champion would be wasted on me.


Patrick Waters said...

Good to see your "Why" is strong my friend.

You should be very proud of your accomplishments this season. Enjoy your time off- I know I am.

Speaking of which, I won't be at IM Can in a week. Hope you have a good time.

Have a few drinks for me.

swhitfield said...

Mike, we sure are skinny dudes in spandex....

If you're ever in Vic call me and we'll get out for a ride.


mtyeoman said...

Lovin' the guns or should i say 'Pea-shooters'!