Willow Koerber has really inspired me as of late, she is one of two of my #1 heroes on the bike. Funnily enough, it’s not because she’s one of the most talented mountain bikers in the world - it’s because she is genuinely balanced and spirited within herself. It’s just fricken awesome! Read her blogs and you will get the picture (willowkoerber.com - “The Training Part” is my fave).Plenty of people have labeled her as a tree-hugging hippy, but I totally disagree. She has simply struck her inner balance. I think that’s what we are all in pursuit of - racing is just one of many channels in which to discover it. Besides, those who criticise are not World #3. She must be doing something right, eh?
I have been fortunate enough to get a small insight into just how much it takes to train and race at your best – to find the inner balance that enables you to do so. Not only is it what you do on your bike, it’s actually mostly what you do off the bike to back up all the training you do! The first two NZ MTB Cup rounds have been nothing short of shocking for me. I have deliberately not updated my blog for a while so I could give myself time and space to process everything, and look at what I didn’t quite do well, and what I need to improve. Then explain it all neutrally. It was difficult for a while to stay positive when things don’t go well, but therein lies the challenge! I want to and need to be able to focus on learning from these situations to be able to move forward. It’s a process, it’s exciting, and I’m improving.
Sometimes you just have to look at your dreams again. They’re big, they can be achieved, but they also need to be bright, and right in front of you. My dream is to race on the pro circuit and represent New Zealand at the World Championships. If I get distracted, my focus word is “Kia Kaha”. Be strong. It reminds me that I am a Kiwi (a very proud fact), and also reminds me I’m out there day in, day out, working towards the day I will wear the Silver Fern. Yep, there’s been ups and downs, there will be plenty more ups, and a few downs. I’ve been distracted, made wrong decisions, second-guessed myself, been confused, tired and worried, and haven’t walked my talk. But above and in front of all that, I’m strong, fast, happy, laugh at stupid shit and have a lot fun.
Besides, how would you know what a special moment is when you don’t have a tough moment to compare it to?