My Artistic energy returns...and some race form...

marleenickjessforrestSince winning the WEMBO SOLO World 24hr Championships in Italy back in May, its been a while since my energy has been in the zone to update my blog.

After coming back to reality, returning to Australia, a heap of work and responsibility its also been hard to muster the desire to train with the outcome of improvement in speed power etc...

Being a person very much in need of intrinsic motivation, I find that when I am in a place that saps the creative energy that drives me I HAVE to just chill, get back to a happy place, focus on all the good things and accept that for this moment in time I must give my time to what needs doing now and the time for ME will come when it will.

So the decision was made to focus on the work that was immediate, deal with things such as the lamb being born and rejected by its mum, get the 2 cars fixed that were both in crashes, deal with sleepless nights due to new born lamb needing feeding, help our new partners in the MTBSkills business get up and running, employ 2 new people, plan, prepare, work hard, move forward, sleep, eat and then train.

My training become 2 x 30 min indoor training sessions a day, or a muddy mountain bike ride with friends, I even took up trail running with my 2 dogs, starting off with 15 mins and now I can easily do 30 mins without any residual soreness so I can ride my bike same day with no hassle. I have taken up doing 30 mins core work again per day, eating good food for the wellness of my body, mind and soul.  whilst I have not taken up a total Vegan eating regime I am really enjoying eating more and more vegan style meals and finding my energy is lifting.
I went and got acupuncture, bowen therapy, chinese medicine & remedial massage to help me spend time on rejuventing my depleted energy and inner life force.

In July Norm & I along with a heap of good friends(just like old times) turned up to Blores Hill 6hr MTB enduro.  The event is held by Gippsland MTB club, I was meant to go last year but pulled out due to feeling lack lustre, tired and recovering from a cold.  This year I vowed no matter what I was going to race/ride because this was my ministry.  Without me on my bike, I am not doing my job of being able to connect, communicate and inspire people around me.

So I had no expectations with my trusty endurance base I rocked up to the start line with a freshness that has been missing from my races, a carefree love of the sport that has given me SO much.
The trails were magic, none of the Victorian Winter downpours had reached these trails, in fact a little bit of rain would have made for a nice sticky hard packed smooth grippy trail.  The race vibe was great, awesome people, great club, great trails...and I rode with Peta Mullens for 5 laps, both of us a bit out of form, it was Peta today who conceeded and I got a win under my belt.  I loved just using the trail to focus on my skills, getting off the brakes, saying hello to people and riding hard when the trail allowed for it.  
what I loved most though was that I had to pleasure of sharing the weekend with a great group of pressure to pressure to work...just be there in my capacity of Jess Douglas, weekend mountain biker having 100% fun.  Mental note - this is on the yearly to do list!

Next big event in August was Christy and Darren's wedding.  Wow! Its not often these days I go to weddings, it seems all my friends "aren't " getting married.  Norm and I did that thing so long ago, we will be celebrating 21 years of marriage on December 1st this year!  To be invited to this was such an honour but for Norm to be asked to be MC and wear a kilt well that was special.  We got to share the weekend with all our friends, people who we have connected with through mountain biking, this sport that has again given us soooo much.
I went home feeling so very lucky to be alive and surrounded by such loving and special friends, perhaps friends that I have taken for granted?

The next journey on the calendar was the Jet Black 12hr ran by Rocky Trail Entertainment.  Held at Dargle Farm west of Sydney, a big 12hr car trip for a 12hr race was on the cards.  
I used to get bogged down by what can often seem like hard work for little return.  12hrs drive to - 12hrs race - 12hrs drive from ...and for what?   But you know what ....I keep learning and have to remind myself that investing in people, investing in experiences, relationships, connections with new places and people matter how hard or unrewarding at the time it may seem - is worth it!  
Travelling to and making to effort to attend this event was all of that, well worth it.  I got to see and meet a whole lot of new mountain bike friends that I would never have met.  I got to ride a new trail, a new event....enjoy the company of some very friendly mountain bikers.  Whats more I got to enjoy the process of racing for 12hrs.

I went into this race with the thought of "riding12hrs" not racing.  Get out there and ride because you want to, because its who you are and the race will unfold without you even trying.  And I did! I found myself lapping around, enjoying chatting to people, enjoying the mental challenge, recognising the pain and welcoming it and pushing through it.  Whats more ...I won...I know I have a lot of endurance base and certainly a lot of experience in racing long distances but mostly I attribute my win to my positive head space, the happiness that Norm and I have started to surround ourselves with, not holding back in being approachable, giving our time, and being accepting of the great relationships we have around us.

There were 4 female solo riders and Liz Smith, the current Australian 2012 24hr Champion was my main competition. She was there to win and left me with a little nagging reminder to never slow down as she would be ready to pounce.  Yesterday was a great lesson in mind control, not trying to think, just do.  I cant make 12hrs go any quicker, but to win I must suffer more and complain less.

I feel extremely lucky and blessed to continually be presented with challenges and opportunities in my life, I am always growing and always learning...and its all because I ride a mountain bike! How lucky am I?

So many more adventures to come in the next few months, I promise to keep this blog a little more up to date and thank you for believeing in me! 

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