Monday, 9 November 2015

It's the journey that counts.

I realise that it's been quite a long time since I've submitted a post. I'm pretty bad at committing to scheduled blog posts I've come to realise. At this point it's been around 2 years since my previous post. My dream of becoming a world class athlete is still in progress, which is good. It means that, even if it's not very often, I'll still write blog posts on the subject.

Apparently my last blog post was on the 7th March 2013, only a few days before my 17th birthday. A lot has happened in my life since then. I've had relationships come and go, I've finished year 12 and my VCE and I'm about to finish my first year of uni where i'm studying an arts degree. French is one of my subjects, I'm quite keen on the language and I want to be able to speak it one day. I've been considering, and it's mostly just thoughts at this point, spending some time in France as part of a semester abroad. I think it would be pretty cool to get some real exposure to the language. It would also be really cool to race in France as the current world record holder in the F200 and the Kilo is a Frenchman named Fran├žois Pervis. The French seem to have a system worked out that is showing results, and it would be awesome to get an opportunity to race there. That's all something to think about for the future though.

In terms of my cycling career, it's been a long road so far. My flying 200 times seem to be staying the same. It's a hell of a plateau, I can tell you that much. But I still enjoy going to training and racing. I've made a number of friends in the last year or so. I left the VSG and have been training with my old coach. The culture in the squad is great and I think I've made some life long friendships as a result. I've seen power improvements, strength improvements and improvements in just about all my aspects of training in terms of raw numbers, and ergos are just as painful as ever. I have increased my strength in the gym a fair bit too. I hit some pretty serious squat PBs this season. I can thank the SMOLOV squat program. I put on 15kgs to my 1rm in 6 weeks. It was pretty brutal. If you want a gym program that will test you both mentally and physically, I would highly recommend it. When I tell people I loved it, they think I'm crazy. Go check it out. The interesting thing, despite overall improvements is that I seem to struggle to break this f200 barrier. It suggests to me that it's a mental thing that needs to be sorted out.

Ergos are just as painful as ever
I would be leaving out some pretty big plot lines if I didn't mention some of the achievements that I have made, however. Probably the one closest to the previous post (chronologically speaking) would be winning a bronze at states in the sprint in December of 2013. The next, and probably my biggest and most proud achievement to date, would be during nationals of 2014 (almost two months after the bronze at states). My gold medal in the team sprint that made me an Australian champion. The excitement that I felt when I won would probably be comparable to a young kid waking up on Christmas morning about to open his presents for the first time. I was ecstatic to say the least. I even managed to get on national TV during on of the keirins, so that was really cool.

National TV ain't bad!
I think the team sprint was a big motivator for a while afterwards. At a club level, I managed to set the track record at my club's velodrome (Blackburn Cycling Club). I pulled out an 11.5s F200, which, for those of you who know the BBN track, is lightning fast. It was electronically timed, so its hard to argue. I don't know what happened that day, but I had some serious form. As a general rule, the BBN track is anywhere between 0.7 and 1 second slower than that of DISC (the indoor wooden track). If you do some quick maths, that puts me at 10.8 or quicker at an indoor track, yet somehow I'm still yet to see a sub 11 time with my name on it on the scoreboard. I'm as stumped as you.

Earlier this year in January at the 2015 national titles I didn't manage to place (Senior riders are fast!), but I did compete in the team sprint again with a couple of really good mates (and training partners). It was a really enjoyable experience and, once again, helped motivate me to continue training.
Team Sprint ready
The most recent event that I participated in was yesterday at the 2015 Victorian GP. I qualified with an 11.1, not super happy, but from there all you can do is focus on the racing. So that's what I did. I managed to claw my way to a third place win after some pretty tactical and tough racing. I was pretty happy with the racing and how I went. I scored a cool picture of myself on the rollers, so I got that going for me, which is nice.

In conclusion, it's been a pretty interesting few years. A lot has happened, both good and bad. But in my experience, it's not all about winning and losing. It's the journey along the way that counts.

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