Back to where it all began in 2014. The year of the comeback kid, no fear and no idea.
There’s something about long haul flights that bring out my reflective side. I’ve just spent the last 2 hours fidgeting in my cramped prison of a seat, my foot being knocked by every passer-by. Back seats I thought were cool, but not in an aeroplane. It’s Punt Rd at peak hour, bodies bumper to bumper, only one road to take, destination, the shitter. I hate Punt Rd.
So I’ve given up trying to sleep, instead I’m appreciative of the opportunity to close my eyes for a couple of hours, unlike those nutters riding the indian pacific wheelrace! These crazy cats are surviving on less than 1-2hrs of sleep a night, meanwhile riding over 300km per day for more than 2-3 weeks. I tilt my Akubra to you men and women. Go Sarah!!
Instead of trying to become a contortionist in my seat, I’ve opted to sit up and use my time productively. I’m quite experienced on long hauls now, I’ve worked out you need to break it up into different blocks. Like planning your day.
Morning: reading or writing
Walk, stretch and toilet stop
Lunchtime: eat and movie time
Afternoon: nap with podcast
Walk, stretch and toilet stop
Evening: more movies or computer stuff whilst listening to music
But let’s be honest, we all end up watching 4-5 movies back-to-back like zombies, too tired to do anything else…all whilst snacking on processed food.
Now, back to the reflection part.
I’m returning to the ‘land of the free’. Hmmmm? Not so sure the people of America are feeling free atm with Donald Trump as President…WTF!??! But hey, let’s not focus on the negatives, so many positives await.
- I get to race my bike with my new team Hagens Berman Supermint around the USA for the next 3 months with a bunch of rad new people. I’m back under the care of my (big cuz) team manager, Jono Coulter (previously manager of Vanderkitten).
- I get to reconnect with homestay families I met on my travels in 2014
- I get to explore more parts of the world and engage with people from different cultures and communities.
- And lastly, but most importantly, the fire in my belly has been lit once again and its slowly burning brighter each day.
What will 2017 bring me? Bad coffee, I already know. But what’s changed for me?
To be honest, I feel great pride in my recovery process and the rebuild that I have done within myself over the past year. I certainly haven’t been alone in this process and I have several people I want to thank for helping me get to where I am today. Having the black dog barking at my heels throughout 2016 forced me to re-evaluate life, but with hardship, comes change and change I see is always a good thing.
I go into my third Professional Road Season with a few more tricks in my bag to bring out when times get tough. I also have an incredibly supportive team that have my wellbeing as the number one goal first and foremost. Thank you, Jono Coulter and Lindsay Bayer, for believing in me. My support crew back in Melbourne has been critical to keep me on track, both physically and mentally. Cycling is a tough sport and doing it alone is unsustainable. I realised that it’s ok to ask for help, the more people to Lean on and learn from the better. Building and sustaining meaningful relationships is what life’s all about right?
Peta and I have boarded our final connecting flight to Little Rock in Arkansas. Our plane is quite fitting to our location, probably the littlest thing I’ve seen in the country thus far (my undrinkable coffee was almost bigger!) It’s been a long 25hrs, MELB-LAX- LAX-HOUSTON, HOUSTON-LITTLE ROCK but the finish line is finally in sight. Time to discuss who’s leading who out!
You can follow the teams adventure over the next few months @supermintusa
I will endeavour to post regular blogs on my website to keep both myself and my audience entertained. So, feel free to join in my adventures. I’ll also be sharing my favourite albums or songs of the week, and would love for people to share their own killer tracks on my webpage comments feed. There’s nothing better than discovering new music.
This week’s nomination was recommended to me by my old coach. Marv has a broad and eclectic taste in music that not all people appreciate. But I certainly do.
Artist: Jim James
Album: Eternally Even
Fav song: The World’s Smiling Now
My family, but especially my folks for putting up with their 33year old child back living at home
Jono Coulter- Mad dog
Michael Ingliss- The Mind Room
Steve Hurl and all his crew- Hurls Fitness
Ken Ballhause my new coach- Adaptive Human Performance
Scooter- Impact Massage
My mates, especially Angus, Kirsty, Mike, Nick and Amanda, Danni, Paul, and josh
The boys at Bike Gallery
The cool kids at Saint Cloud