Not gonna deny it
I was reading Bonnie Ford’s Article on ESPN.COM with Tom Zirbel and he said this referring to why he is coming back to cycling after saying he would retire after his ban was handed down –
“That’s my talent, and to deny it is doing me more harm than anything else. I love to compete, I love working hard and transforming my body toward a goal. It’s a type of drug and I’m not ready to give it up.”
That hit home with me. For a handful of years now, since graduating college, I have had the goal of racing as a professional – or at least full time. Living the “lifestyle”. Lifestyle is in quotes because if you know pro-cycling, you know its not exactly glamorous the way the word is typically used.
So, I worked hard. Like I did when I decided being 250 lbs wasn’t really for me. Poured my heart and soul into it. I had a breakthrough season in 09, one that I really thought would land me with a contract (and at one point I believed, and was told, I was about to be handed one). That didn’t happen and I moved on, worked hard again. Was looking at an amazing result at Somerville, then tragedy. Separated shoulder. Grade 5. Now I’m starting a new season. Slowly. Its been a real rough start to this year.
Now people – friends, family, strangers – ask me, why do I want it so bad still? Why not move on, accept that it may not happen for me. Well, I like the way Zirbel put it. The talent Tom Z refers to is his ability to put down incredible watts, even without training. Cycling is his talent. I am talented enough at cycling to make a good pro, maybe even a really good domestic pro – not a superstar like him. My true talent is never giving up and doing what I do with enough heart, and brains, to make it work.
So, yes, it is a drug I am not ready to give up. But most of all, denying myself of it would do more harm than good right now. Unless of course I get a job designing bikes or race cars with time to still train and race. Yea. Lets make that happen.