In the beginning my bike was only used as a mode of transportation to see friends and visit different places closeby. When I graduated college with a degree in Outdoor Recreation from Penn State University, my main area of interest was hiking. There was nothing better than going out for a 6- to 8-hour hike. I loved being in the woods all day. I even got a job hiking as a "ridge runner" for Acadia National Park.
While living in Maine at the national park, someone gifted me my first real road bike. I used it mainly for transportation and occasionally a ride around the block with friends. I began to learn more about the workings of a bike and frequented the local bike shop. Fast forward a few years, and you'd find me as the head mechanic and general manager in that very bike shop. An opportunity to work for Michelin Tires came my way, and with much excitement I accepted. I traveled to all the North American NORBA races watching the nation’s best duke it out every weekend. It was the level of competition that I now crave. In order to race on the weekends, I had to make the move from Michelin to my current job as a buyer for a wholesale bike parts distributor. With open weekends, my love for being in the woods all day, and my new-found passion for racing, an endurance mountain bike racer was born.
I believe that the top five principles every athlete should follow are commitment, consistency, flexibility, honesty, and hard work. Commit to your plan. If you go into the season or training plan halfhearted, you won't get the results you're looking for. A dedicated athlete is the one that who will reach the goal. Once you've committed to your goals and plan, training with a consistent pattern is what will help you reach your goals. And even though you're training consistently, you must have some flexibility for when life gets in the way. Don't get down on yourself when you miss a day. Get back out there the next day and nail the workout!
I ask of all my athletes to be honest. I can write a plan that will help you reach all your goals, but everyone reacts differently to stresses put on the body. If a workout or series of workouts is just too difficult, be honest with me and we can change it to something that works. Struggling through a workout and not being able to complete it isn't beneficial, either mentally or physically. Being honest with yourself on what your strengths and weaknesses are will only build on your ability to improve.
And lastly, let's be honest; no athlete gets through just skating by. Everyone who has set and reached goals has done so with hard work. I am not the one doing the workout; you have to be the one giving it your all in order to attain success.