Times of Change

spa ride with friendsIts been ages, the longest break yet since I have felt like writing.

There is so much to let you know…and if you have ever lost the passion for riding and racing your bike, perhaps you might understand?

Since December, since the Forrest Festival and then going to Mt Buller the very next day, its been on 110%, well its been on since well before then. 
I do not want to spend too much time tonight going into great depths of my daily stresses, except to say I am working my way out of it, the feeling of not being able to cope, the feeling of a depressed state where passion ceases to exist, where sleep is the only way to cope, the best way to cope in fact.

So why would I bother whipping up this little blog post?
Because I hit the ground hard, didn’t like it, decided to do something about it, found out my life partner felt exactly the same way and we are finding that passion for living again!

YES! I am now really excited about 2015, its going to be tough, but for reasons to do with change and realigning our goals, and learning to really enjoy my bike again, to love racing it too.
Norm and I have changed, our goals have changed, things that make us happy have changed.  In life goal posts change and we decided to do something about it.
We have moved to Geelong, back to the life of being close to things, close to family, yet close enough to head back to Forrest for a ride or work in The Corner Store.

Life feels worth living now, I am excited about getting up in the morning and striving towards goals, race goals, life goals, writing again…everything seems fun and achievable. 

norm and jess brake burnerSince doing my first race for 2015, at Bike Buller MTB Festival, where I got to ride with Norm on the Brake Burner for a few hours, I have managed to hold form that allows me to hurt, but not that winning form, far from it.
With the Giant Otway Odyssey looming, I just kept turning up to some club road races in Mansfield and doing a few hill climbs at Buller hoping to keep the hurt doable for 100km mtb marathon.

More than anything, when you are not in top form, the motivation must come from other reasons.

I managed to work these out, whilst moving out from Buller, moving out of Forrest and then moving house to Geelong. I had plenty of time to contemplate.
Goal No. 1 - Have 100% fun, love being out there all the time.
Goal No. 2 - Have no regrets, work hard every second, ride as hard as I possibly can no matter what, including pedalling through the cramps, which came at 30km in.
Goal No. 3 - Drink every 1km, Have a gel every 40 mins. Do not divert from this.
Goal No. 4 - Embrace every hill - ride as smooth and as hard as I can up every single hill just as though it was an effort on the indoor trainer.

11083683 10152681662456003 1345498657769765397 nIt was a long way from my best result, but oh my goodness, it was the most fun I think I have ever had racing.
I came 10th in elite women, finished in 6hrs, and enjoyed every single kilometre of race track including nailing a few jumps on J2 mid race.
Yeah it hurt, yeah I cramped a million times, but totally stoked that this was my 9th Otway Odyssey completed.  2016 bring on No. 10!

I can fully understand how once were elite athletes find it hard to go back to racing when they know what they used to be able to do but no longer have the time or dedication to commit to the training and hours on the bike.  

So instead of worrying about what used to be, I focussed on what is now, who I am now and that in essence has not changed regardless of my fitness or ability to finish up there on the podium.  In my head, that will always be the same.  The most challenging thing to master is to avoid self trash talk. Men who started 30 mins behind passing me far earlier than normal, and me just letting that occur and not getting disappointed…tough gig but I kept positive and did not let it bother me one iota. Thats a win and I am sure many could relate!

After completing this race with a massive smile on my face I was able to finish off the final moving of house from Forrest to Geelong.

With this move brought about some huge realisation! I live in the city with facilities around me.

I joined up Crossfit, I joined up at Bikram Yoga, I’ve bought a BMX and joined the Geelong club, I’ve hooked up with Donna at Cycle Edge to do Ergo sessions again and we live really close to the river trail that is an awesome 20km loop.  

So where to from here? 

Well I was fortunate enough to be offered a brand new sponsorship with Adidas Eyewear, a new 2015 Liv Lust Advanced 0 from Giant Australia and of course awesome tyres from Schwalbe (Bike Box) with smooth as running gear from Shimano.

With all my gear, support and belief from my sponsors….I just had to get back into form, back into some kind of motivated head space.

Here is the newest news on my 2015 race front…and its not just mountain biking!

  • BMX racing at club level…just for fun and cross training / skills/ fitness
  • Wombat 100km MTB marathon 12th April
  • Bendigo Epic 100miler MTB marathon 26th April
  • Forrest 6hr SOLO female 2nd May
  • CORSICA & Giro Italia working for TopBike Tours all of June! yay fun times.
  • Red Back Enduro Alice Springs 20th - 23rd August 4 day MTB race
  • Larapinta Run - 4 day trail run event in NT. 27th - 30th August.
  • Surf Coast Century 100km trail run - 19th September
  • Scott 24hr Solo female - October 10th / 11th
  • Forrest Festival - 2 day 5 stage MTB race 28th 29th November

So as you can see the aim in 2015 is to try a few new things, travel a bit and enjoy life.

Be back in touch sooner than this blog took me.

The final thing I will say today is that I have now learnt not be afraid of the hard times, the times that test you are the times that make you. I am grateful for having been broken for now I have had the courage to make the changes I needed to get back to enjoying life.