Written by Garret Woynarski on November 1, 2015
Last weekend, the cycling directors and super-hero volunteers of Winnipeg held the very prestigious Canadian Cyclocross Nationals. I was a participant in this event as the National competition was my big goal throughout the 2015 cycling season.
At times I did not know if I was a worthy participant for this National caliber of race. A lot of self-doubt and over-analysis can creep into my mind, whether it is in cycling, business or life. I knew I was strong enough, my fitness was at its all time peak and I have invested into learning strategies and techniques to advance my skill set with the help of a Coach. What could go wrong? As Wayne Dyer stated, “It’s just as likely to be easy…as it is to be hard.”
No matter what race I do, new business attempt or volunteer/association duty I take on, I get nervous. Real nervous actually, but I don’t let the nerves take over. A seasoned athlete, veteran business professional or elder spiritual guide understands the emotional and psychological process that needs to happen in order for us to grow, as we step out of our comfort zone. We all get nervous, so let’s stop pretending that we don’t.
The Cyclocross National race was a remarkably fun event that afforded time to socialize, eat waffles, drink coffee, walk by sponsor vans, tents and survey the pros. The interesting thing that time offers is a chance to share challenges and reservations with fellow riders. The Winnipeg course was world class tough; lots of off-camber sketchy corners, steep downhill-greasy sections and vertical uphill, lung-busting running with your bike. As I chatted with other riders from other cities, everyone seems to have a worry or hesitation about the course and their ability. I mean everyone! I started to realize that it is not just me who has this sort of mindset.
The captivating moment is this: Every rider has some uncertainty when they race, but the fact is they have signed up, committed to an acutely challenging race and on every breath, they are trying to better themselves; physically, mentally and emotionally. Not just race by race, but year by year. We learn by doing, harnessing our nervous energy and pedaling right into our sketchy, greasy ‘uncomfort’ zone. We become a better rider and person for having done so.
I’ve learned that being the solo cyclist, at times has its advantages, but I always learn so much more when I am with other riders. The parallels are the same in life and for business professionals. When we work solo, it can be hard to motivate and harness the correct mindset. This is why continuing educational courses, Coaching, team environments and mentorship are vital to our evolution. If we can continually set goals and cultivate opportunities to fuse with other like-minded professionals, benefits ensue. As we progress, the stage gets larger, and so do the possibilities.
Oh yeah, I came in 27th in my category at Nationals. 2015 was a fantastic season! Setting goals and using a Coach had a huge impact. Whatever it is you do, identify the highest level of participation and success you can achieve, then go and accomplish it.
Photo credit to www.lewisimages.ca