Sunday, December 13, 2015

Dwell in Possibility

 Second floor of Olympic Training Center gym
Winter? rides in Vermont

"Dwell in possibility" -Emily Dickinson

Inspiration comes many forms.  In my experience, opportunities are really motivating, and this is where I draw a lot of my inspiration from.   I was at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO last week, and this place has a way of spelling out the many amazing opportunities in front of me.  Being there felt like the most beautiful opportunity firework show.  I traveled to Colorado last week for a USA Cycling board of directors meeting.  I was lucky enough while I was there to gain access to the OTC's gym.  Hands down, this is the absolute best gym I have ever been to.  It's filled with every piece of strength equipment I could ever need and each free weight and weight plate is engraved with 'Team USA' and the Olympic rings.  The wooden lifting platforms have 'USA Olympic team' written on them.  At any given time, there are resident Olympians or Olympic hopefuls working out.  It's fascinating to see what various sports require different strength routines.  There's a track around the second floor.  Resident athletes put on their own music.  It's beautiful, and it made me want to do doubles.  The whole complex makes me want to live there.  Walking in the front door of the complex, there's one hundred gold plates with american gold medal winners' names on them.  This is where dreams are born.  This is also where sprouts of dreams are nourished by handwork and grow.  It's great to be amongst athletes that live similar lifestyles and put in as much time and effort.  Sometimes being a professional athlete can be isolating.  I mostly work out alone in my basement.  Being surrounded by all of this is energizing.  It's motivated me to train hard and recover harder.

I also had an opportunity while I was in Colorado to travel up to the CU Sports Medicine and Performance Center to work with Andy Pruitt and Charles Van Atta to dial in my bike fits.  While I was honing in the new Specialized Power Saddle on my Era, sports physiologist, Inigo San Milan, walks in because he recognized my voice. We chatted about the importance of physical testing, and he convinced me to take a threshold test that afternoon.  This is no easy task since the one and only physical test I did, I had an anxiety attack because breathing into the mask made me feel claustrophobic.  I vowed to never do this test again, but Inigo assured I could stop at anytime.  Plus, the mask covered my nose and mouth so it was a bit more promising.  The last mask only covered my mouth and my nose was plugged.  This is a true test of mental strength.  I only panicked a little bit, but I made it through thirty minutes of riding on a trainer with the mask on.  I'm happy I powered through because I got some great data out of the test.  Again, an opportunity that I couldn't let pass by.

Now, I'm back in Vermont as motivated as ever to get strong.  The weather has been unseasonably warm so I've actually been riding my bike when I should be skiing.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a white Christmas, but it hasn't been the worst thing to be spinning outside instead of inside on a trainer.

Happy Holidays! Hope everyone is seizing opportunities wherever they pop up.

 Flying back into Vermont
Sally gets me.  My friend greets me with a quadruple batch of cookie dough