A Mind Like a Baby

30Aug11

The end of August signals the beginning of the end of the season. All the riders in Europe are about to enter the month of “Creeptember” where motivation to race, train, stretch, diet can be at their lowest. However, this is also the time where the desperate are fighting for contracts for next year or even just for pride. Creeptember is a time of the year where motivation can make up for lack of form and/or ability.

At the moment I don’t have a contract for next year and I don’t have the results to feel comfortable that I will get a contract, well a paying contract anyway. However, I do have motivation. I actually feel like the time is going too fast at the moment.

I have always managed to get through Creeptember fairly well and usually string together some good races and even get a couple of results. I have trained well this past month and a half and I feel that this year will be no different. I admit that I am mentally fatigued and this is noticeable in my slow replies to emails and general lack of blogging. It’s also noticeable in me heading to the noodle bar in town to buy dinner once a week compared to at the start of the season where every meal was home cooked.

The mental fatigue is the sign that the little things can clip away from me and end up costing me a result. If I put on weight, don’t stretch, don’t maintain my bike I might find myself missing a podium, the front group or ending up off the back of the bunch if the accumulation of little things gets to be enough.

This brings me to my biggest weakness. Food and my weight. It led a former teammate, Frank van den Broeck, to say that I had “a mind like a babies.” Although I don’t agree with him on his dietary advice I have to agree that during this time of year I can and do eat the wrong things. Comfort food. However, I am confident enough with my current mental strength that I now have a mind like a toddlers and I will be able to resist the delicious offering that are around me.

I doesn't get much more Belgian than this.

Delicious

To me my diet is a litmus test for my general condition. If I am eating well it means I am training and preparing well and that I am mentally strong to fight for results.

"One beer is good. Two is better." -VDB. If you can find a Westvleteren Beer do yourself a favour and enjoy

This blog also comes after a horror month where I haven’t been able to shake little illnesses. It finally reached a climax with getting one of my wisdom teeth pulled out two weeks ago. The pain and irritation from this minor procedure was still with me up until two days ago. With the pain no longer with me I really feel like I have turned a corner on the past month and thankfully I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and the possibility of having a great end of the season.

Right now I feel determined to FIGHT for a result and make this the best Creeptember I have had.

Time will tell wether I am a toddler or still a baby.

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