Monday, October 16, 2017

Don't Call It A Comeback, But I Feel A Stoke

Hungry Masters Squad (photo: Kent Baumgardt)
Dear Team Hungry:

You guys make racing really %$@# fun!

Honestly, after, I don't know, 15 years of this, it's been hard to keep things interesting. Making the move to Team Hungry was part of that. Starting up Hot Laps too was sort of a combination of trying to do something new with CX and give back to the sport at the same time. So here's to new friends, young hearts and fresh new ideas. I mean just 3 weeks ago Chris Douglas taught me a new trick with starts. By holding the brakes and putting pressure on the pedal, he sort of coils up like a cobra about to strike! And it's been cool meeting new people in the tent too. On top of that, I'm also very grateful Rachel is turning a corner with her recovery and we've been able to do more outdoorsy stuff together.

On the lead lap & 30th at Masters Worlds
To keep things in perspective, every CX season I have some sort of goal in mind. Depending on life, some have been more concrete and others sorta loose. All have been motivating. Over 15 years, it hasn't been easy to keep that fresh and fun. I've had a lot of goals in CX; raced Worlds, Nationals, chased series overalls, got to race in UCI Pro races, chased big regional races, chased podiums and free socks. So, since the 2012-13 Worlds seasons, my only real goal was to have fun and hang with friends...sort of be in the moment. Woo hoo! Outside of that, I really didn't feel motivated. I mean F*** intervals and warm ups right! It was fun! But at the same time I was getting lapped and my results and subsequent sweet-ass CX ranking that I once had faded away in CrossResults.com history. Sad trombone.

This year, I finally felt a little tiny stoke coming back. I bought a new bike with crazy new space age technology like hydraulic disc brakes (thanks Rachel, Chris, and Corey), came up with a training plan, have been watching the kettle chip and IPA intake and sort of struck out with a long range goal: to set myself up as best as I could for Masters Nationals 2018 in Louisville. So for this season the goals are: #1 to get my rankings points back down so I can start the 2018 season on a good foot with call-ups, #2 finish consistently with/near who I see as my peers, and #3 be able to do that without forgoing other fun stuff.

So far I've dropped my ranking 34 points in 3 races! I've been finishing with/near some of the riders I really respect for their skills/talent/dedication. And, lastly, with BLINK, concerts, and having fun riding, walking and hiking with Rachel again, we've been doing cool fun stuff outside of the CX scene too.

I'm still looking to drop the points another 40-45 or so. And, should everything come together for a glory race, I think I have the potential to be finishing 8-9 places higher in the 1/2/3 Masters. But, honestly it's been great to feel that spark for CX again. 

So thanks for the cheers, Woodburn beers and Hungry Hups. And I'll try my best to return the stoke to you. :) 

Joe

1 comment:

effort said...

Stoke Level High!