Nothing but positive here. Nobody expected the year to play out like it did, but then again, nobody plans to learn the lessons they learn either, do they?
That's generally how life works. You think you have it figured out, and that's when the curveballs are thrown. That's when your grasp seems to get loosened. That's when your perception can be altered.
But maybe that's a good thing...
From an athlete's standpoint, the year dismantled a lot of racing dreams and goals for a lot of people. But, from the take of an organization focused more on personal development than just "getting podiums," being forced to take an internal look on the sport without racing was a blessing in disguise. It made us take a step back and say, "why are we doing this?"
When you are on a training ride, doing intervals, climbing a peak, dry-heaving in the gym, or having your digital coach yell at you to keep pushing, it's easy to keep going when you have an end goal in mind. That goal has always been a race, on a specific date, upcoming and looming over our heads and our schedules. We are used to training for a specific event, and when it gets tough, just swallow the pill and say "do what it takes, as long as it takes. This will only be for a couple weeks or months until National (or State) Championships."
We are conditioned to perform specific tasks for specific results. "If-then" statements are programmed into our thought processes, making us say "if I do this, I will be prepared for that." But when the result, the "Then," aka the race day podium, is taken away, it can be easy to lose the reason for the "If." We say "why? What's the point? If this isn't bringing me to a specific goal, why am I doing this?"
2020, in our eyes, forced us to unplug from the matrix and say to ourselves, "I don't need an end goal. I don't need a 'reason' to be out there turning the pedals. I don't need a reason to drip sweat from my elbows in my basement. I'm going to do that because I love that, and I love how it makes me feel, because I am a cyclist."
We learned who the true cyclists are in 2020. We learned who loves the sport, and we learned who just wants a podium. As a recognized developmental and personal training program, we don't care about the podium. We care about growing people. We care about helping people fall in love with bettering themselves every day.
There is a famous concept of circumstantial living. This is the mindset of 'when x happens, I'll be happy. When I accomplish this, I'll be satisfied. When I reach this goal, checkpoint, event, etc., I'll feel complete and personally content.' But this year ripped those circumstances of accomplice out from under us; it took away our podiums, it took away or 'then,' it took away those things that a lot of us thought we wouldn't be happy until we had them... and that's the beauty of the year. It taught us to love where we are now, to fall in love with growth, fall in love with progress, fall in love with ourselves, and take our eyes off the coveted podiums to stop and smell the roses of personal betterment.
In 2021, let's keep that up.