Jess Douglas - Return to 24 SOLO...a job to be done


hard work

With 23 days until I race in Italy, the days are flying by far too quick, I am far too busy and there is still much to be done.

On the weekend I raced at the Wombat 100km – really fantastic training, close to home, great day out. The beginning of this week, flat chat with work, flight to Sydney and more “sit down computer style work” done.

A few night rides done, new lights on test too. But more work to do this weekend with our MTBSkills Instructors course. Juggle training, working, socialising.

Its a challenge really, a fun one, lucky I like my sleep!

Norm is even heading up to Melbourne to visit Ken Ballhouse from Tekin suspension to get one of my Fox forks changed from terralogic to he normal Lock out suspension (which I prefer). Its all happening, Russ Baker from CORC has been busy with travel plans, flights & booking all the bits we need.

Time does move forward. Is a reminder to me that NOW is the time, not in an hour, not tomorrow, not next week but now.

If I dont act NOW time will be gone and I will wishing I could of, should of done such and such, did that extra training ride, finished more core sessions, got some more sleep, ate just that bit better.

This is true in everyday life too, where we seem to have a FOREVER in front us to achieve something. When goals seem so far away, a holiday in a years time for example, its easy to lose sight of what we are striving for.

Thankfully I dont have to cram too much, I was blogging the other day about 1% 'ers, moving forward everyday with intent and purpose, knowing that 1% each day will compound into a end result called life and the best life you can have!

Late last year I made the call to Stuart Dorland from 24hrs of Adrenaline that I was definitely out of the 24hr scene and would not want to defend my title in Canmore in 2012. Then came a call from Russ Baker from Corc regarding the WEMBO World 24hr championship being held in Finale Ligure in Italy. I considered and eventually turned this down too.

Why? I guess I just did not want to say YES just because there was an offer on the table. I needed to think this through in my own good time and realise the WHY's in my own heart and soul.

So I pushed on, using my December/January summer period for some awesome base training, getting some great kms in, some great intensity too, as well as skilling up.

January 2012, I had some goals to attend, get fast, have fun and get stuck into some travelling.

Mt Buller National round, 3 races over 3 days with Australia’s fastest XC girls. Love it! I love riding at Buller so this was awesome. This was also the beginning of me starting to focus on the 1%'ers even more intently.

Then I was off to Wildside in Tassie, which was a pretty awesome place, great trails, great racing and a very memorable trip for me. I came 2nd to Jenni King and felt like I was coming into form.

So my 1%'ers were paying off with no real goals for 2012 – time to create some: lose 5kg, get faster, work on DH skills, do the XCM series to work on my speed and endurance in 100km races, do the events that I am not so good at to get better!

There was no talk of doing 24hr solo. Ok there was talk, lots of it, lots of umming and ahhhing with people I know, FB chats, emails, conversations and questions. I still had to work it out in my own heart and head why I was resistant to doing another 24hr let alone defending a world 24hr title.

Then it started to happen without my trying...its often the way. When we stop worrying and let life talk for us.

I got a few facebook messages, emails etc...from people who race 24hr events, things about how I had inspired them, that my so called “words of wisdom” helped them improve something in their racing etc...and then it started to build inside me. I realised what I had known all along!!! DOH!

Its my job, I had quit a job that was handed to me to do. I was avoiding hard work – avoiding the pain and suffering of racing a 24hr, the whole ordeal of training, racing and recovering had taken its toll on me, mostly in my head. I was thinking about it too much. I my heart, I was still keen but I was blocking this out. I guess thats why I was struggling to let it go 100% because there WAS desire there that I was shutting out with my head.

When I finally got a message from a chick in Qld, Rachel Edwards, just about something race related and some advice I had given, I realised that I was trying to avoid any opportunity to race another 24hr solo. But the moment I got my head to shut up and listen to my heart, the answer was YES DO IT!

Then an amazing thing happened, I was on a race list that I had withdrawn from. This race list got distributed to a whole bunch of people, and suddenly I was on the list to race the 24hrs of Finale in Italy, even though I thought I would have to register again now that I had decided to race. HAH!

Go figure. Meant to be? I was always meant to race this event. Then it all just flowed through from easily...all the support I had ever had as a world champion, it was all still there and flowing freely.

FAR OUT, it just felt so right. My stomach got butterflies just thinking about it, the racing, the travel, the 1am night lap, the first 6hrs of fast pace, the pain of the last 2 or 3 laps. This was the right decision.

Since deciding on my goals for 2012, I have lost 4kg which will help no matter what I do, I have done some XC and XCM events which of course will be awesome for turning up to 24hrs of Finale. My last event before leaving for Italy is a 6hr enduro, another great event for training.

My sponsors have come on board with so much help, CORC have been magnificent in their assitance too, and most of all Norm & Saskia have been so accommodating for me.

Saskia is looking after the house, the dogs and the chooks and sheep for 3 weeks, coming home every night even though she works 70km away.

Norm has taken on a big workload to alieviate mine.

Its all happening...and its all just perfect.

I am excited about the NOW, my life right now, my decisions, my integrity, my 1%'ers, my support people, the whole 24hr crew in Australia and the World, the greater family.

I feel like I am coming all I need is for my mum to cook me a roast lamb with fresh home made mint sauce.

So what have I learnt from this?

NEVER ever stop moving forward, never ever stop believing in what your heart desires and always follow that heart.

Be a good person, live with integrity, live every moment with intent, love and have time for people, always!

Invest in every day you are granted on this earth – you are always guaranteed a return!