Friday, January 16, 2015

Priorities

As some of you may know, I am getting back into road racing this year. That means no triathlons and no running this year. I do intend to keep up with Omaha Masters swimming because it's great upper body and core work. Otherwise, it's all about the bike for 2015. To this end, I was recently asked about my motivations to get back into road racing. Here they are, in order of priority:

1. Safety, Having the Courage to Care



Safety is my top priority. I took that line from my employer's -- Union Pacific Railroad-- mission statement. At UP, safety is the first goal set for the new year, and it is the first performance goal reviewed at year's end. Practicing safety is something we do every day at the railroad. There's even a whole corporate culture even built around the phrase, having the Courage to Care.

On the bike, safety means being vigilant about the rules of the road. It means following and supporting all traffic laws, whether solo or in the group. Off the bike, it's taking a commitment to safely operating vehicles to and from races, group road rides, etc. This means wearing seatbelts, refraining from texting while driving, and designating drivers when alcohol is involved. Still, accidents can and do happen. That's why we must do everything in our power to mitigate the risk to avoid it. If we don't all come home in one piece, then we have failed this top priority.

2. Having fun
Of course, road racing isn't easy. It's grueling work, with long hours in the saddle. That's not always fun because, well, it's work. But all of the other stuff that comes from putting in that effort should be happy times. I'm thinking of times like riding in a paceline while Shim belts out a Rolling Stones tune horribly off-key, or being present when Lucas spontaneously decides to bicep-curl the host family's cat. True story. These are good times and is why I value this as #2.

Lucas bicep-curling the host family cat
3. Supporting the team (Winning)
There's no doubt that winning is fun, as it is contagious. Conversely, losing sucks and can chip away team morale. But losing, or winning for that matter, should never come before being safe and having a good time. I guess what I'm trying to say is that my ego isn't pinned on whether I/we win or lose. Certainly winning is the more enjoyable of the two and I will do my best to support these efforts to climb on top of the podium.

A podium shot during the 2014 cyclocross season
4. Personal Development (skills and fitness)
As a junior member/cat 3 racer, my role is support for the cat 1-2 racers in open races. I hope/expect to gain experience simply by racing. Along the way, there may be some opportunity (Masters races and cat 3 races) where I will have a chance to work on attaining upgrade points, but only if it makes sense to do so. Anyway, since I've mostly sat out of road racing over the past couple of years, I have a long way to go before I have a chance at even considering upgrading. And like I said in #3, my ego isn't dependent on upgrading.

The other part of personal development comes in better fitness for fall's cyclocross season. Road racing and cyclocross complement each other nicely in this manner.

And that's it. Thanks for reading.

Happy Friday.

If only

2 comments:

  1. Not quite the same as juggling wolverines, though.

    ReplyDelete