June is here and life is good.
We finished two weeks of camps in Santa Rosa and I thought they were our best camps ever.
For the first time we did an all women’s camp. What a great group of female athletes we had: very diverse in their abilities and fitness levels, but every one of them was willing to learn and, even better, every one was really willing to test her limits and push her boundaries. They were great listeners and ultra-supportive of the camp staff, but more importantly their fellow riders. Thanks ladies for making the women’s camp an experience I will never forget!!!
The open camp lasted twice as long and was equally as fun. The campers were flexible with the ride schedule and I think all of us got pushed harder than we ever have been at any other VQ camp. Levi was right: Santa Rosa had the charm and views like no other place I have ridden. The terrain tested us all, but we were well rewarded with some of the most picturesque views of the mountains and oceans I have ever seen on a bicycle. I want to thank all the campers for once again proving to me that anything is possible.
I think the take-away from these camps is that we really do have so much more than we think inside our bodies. I believe with proper nutrition, proper rest and proper motivation, we can restore the confidence we had as 19-year-old kids. As we get older we start to believe/realize that we cannot achieve some of the things we thought we could when we were younger. After this camp, I think we all rekindled that belief that we are much tougher, stronger and more talented than we give ourselves credit for.
May and June is the time of year that athletes with racing events start to get nervous about their seasons’ primary goals. Some athletes get “nervous scared” and some get “nervous excited”. The difference between these two groups is preparation. The ones who did not do the necessary work this winter and spring are “nervous scared”. The ones that trained consistently and prepared themselves both physically and mentally for their big goals are “nervous excited”. Both are nervous–guaranteed. If people tell you that they are not nervous before big performance goals, then they are either lying to you or they do not care whatsoever about the outcome! You don’t care if you finish or not? I believe that’s a cop-out and you shouldn’t start if that is the case.
Still, whether scared or excited, it is OK to be nervous. Nerves will never go away; you will just learn to control them as your experience grows. Understand this: the more prepared you are, the easier nerves are to control. In fact, if controlled effectively, nervous energy can actually enhance performance. And here, I have to quote my dad again: failure to prepare is preparation to fail! Even though that is not a Bob V Original, I remember him saying it to me regularly. Now I am saying it to all of you. The event is a whole lot more fun if you feel that you are prepared both physically and mentally for the challenges it brings.
In this we as athletes mimic the seasons of the year. We’ve shaken off the dormancy of winter for the preparation stage of spring. Now it’s onward to the summer season: we’ve got work to do and goals to accomplish!