Pure Motivation

I’ve been reading stuff lately from a once-famous triathlete (relax, I haven’t gone over to the dark side yet), and I really clicked with something I read on his blog lately. He mentions that good pro athletes can separate their self esteems from whether they win or lose. It doesn’t crush them to lose, even if they hate when it happens. They’re still willing to come out and do it again.

Does that describe you?

See, I’m not so sure it describes me. I think I’ve always wanted to be the best at something, and sometimes I might’ve thought it would be riding a bike uphill. But that’s absurd. I mean, really, I can beat plenty of amateurs–as evidenced by my luck at the Kelly Canyon race and at the BYU-I sprint triathlon (whoops, I just exposed my dark side roots, didn’t I?), but the highest I’ve placed in a hillclimb was 39th at my first bike race ever.

So why do you race/ride your bike? Is it so you can satisfy your ego? Is it so you can be ‘the best’ at a particular discipline?

One thing blogging has taught me: I can be really insecure sometimes. I allow my ego to be attached to certain ridiculous things. Since this isn’t a confessional blog (is any blog exempt?) I won’t bore you with the details, but needless to say, I have my egotistical moments at times.

So that’s my goal this year: to ride/race for the sake of enjoying riding or racing; to push my own limits and then be satisfied with the result knowing that I’ve done it with pure motivation–an honest desire to gauge my own fitness.

That’s not asking too much, is it?


2 thoughts on “Pure Motivation

  1. Jason


    Reading your blog made me reflect a little about my past accomplishments. Thinking back, I have to say that the majority of my greatest achievements that I\’ve ever made on the bike have all been outside of any race or timed events.
    And yeah sure, I\’ve had achievements at the races. But the most memorable ones are things like beating the cat. 3 hotshot to the top of my mountain back home in Caly (Mt. Diablo), or winning the final sprint of a long club ride. It\’s moments like these that really define you as a rider and as a person.
    In fact, my greatest two accomplishments have absolutely nothing to do with anyone other than myself.
    The first achievement was when I began mountain biking about 9 years ago, back when I was just a sophomore scrub in high school. Before becoming a mountain biker I was a soft bellied, cheesy-poof eating, video game addict with no athletic ambition whatsoever.  It took me a month of walking my bike up to the top of a hill nearby the house to even begin to ride. I\’ll never forget the sense of accomplishment when I was actually able to pedal up the hill all by myself without getting off the bike.
    The second achievement is ongoing. Simply put it\’s forcing myself to continue riding everyday. I always say, it doesn\’t matter how many races you won or by how much, it\’s all about if you\’ve ridden today and if you\’re going to ride tomorrow. This is my second biggest accomplishment: being faithful to the everyday effort.
    OK, now I\’m going to get off my soap box, turn off this silent microphone of words and follow my own advice. It\’s bike time.

  2. Zed

    Now that you mention it, I don\’t think anything I\’ve done on the bike fits the description "biggest accomplishment," which isn\’t to say I haven\’t enjoyed doing things on the bike–racing in particular.Biggest accomplishments … hmmm … back in high school, it was always making the football team or bench pressing 185 (which took me a long time to pull off, I should mention). Lately, I suppose it\’s been more about getting my degree and managing a decent GPA along the way. Looking at my transcript after all those years really does leave a feeling of satisfaction (just wait until you graduate–you\’ll see what I mean). I suppose starting my family isn\’t really an accomplishment because I didn\’t do it alone. But it\’s something I\’ve been hoping for for a long time.Here\’s a thought: I think that\’s the fun thing about doing a race you\’ve never done before–you don\’t have a previous time to compare it to. Whatever you do is your own personal record time, and, heck, that\’s cool.

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