Friday, July 27, 2012

Full Cycle

The ladies getting ready for the Junior Pan Am road race No pun intended...I seem to be doing that a lot recently! Needless to say, my blogging form has not been great recently. I could come up with all the excuses in the world, but I think it's mostly because life has been a little different as of late. :P After a great winter of recovery that involved seeing a concussion specialist (who was awesome I might add) and measuring out the doses of athletic activity, I have slowly but surely seen my life come back to normal(ish). I've been working at the RE:FORM Body Clinic for about 6 months now - at first the owner of the clinic essentially did me a solid by employing me to do reception work. It was actually a pretty big challenge and I would come home after a 5 hour shift absolutely exhausted. At first I struggled to alphabetize things, now, 6 months later I'm able to help a little bit with performance management and forecasts - yay for managerial accounting! Meanwhile, the other side of my life, the cycling - was a little more up in the air. Come January 1, I was determined that I would be racing my bicycle again this year. While I opted out of riding the trainer (3 sessions over the winter for a total of 2 hours...), I was down in South Carolina in February with the National team for the same training camp that made my year in 2011. I really enjoyed the experience - it was amazing to get out and savour being on my bicycle and it truly was a fantastic group of girls! I was only home a few weeks before I was throwing all my stuff into a car and making the trip back down South, but this time with the Stevens p/b the Cyclery ladies. We had a fantastic training camp and I stayed on for another couple of weeks while Chris came down to join me. While I was down there, I got some pretty exciting news: I was headed to Guatemala as a coach for the Junior Pan American Championships. This was the first time that I had been in such an official capacity and I was excited, but lacked a little bit of confidence. However, once we got there I was like a fish in water and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I was lucky enough to have 3 other extremely capable and helpful coaches with me and it was an incredible learning experience. After returning home (and experiencing a few concussion-related set-backs), I knew that I was ready to make a pretty massive change in my life. As my symptoms still hadn't cleared up 100%, I started to face the fact that it was probably not in my best interest to throw myself headfirst into trying to regain my form to return to top-flight international competition. Lucky for me, while retirement is a challenging course of action to contemplate, it appeared that I had a new door opening in the form of coaching opportunities. Since my injury last year, I had been working with the Ottawa Bicycle Club juniors and I was already managing the Stevens team so with the addition of a few personal clients and an opportunity here or there, like the trip to Guatemala - I started to really consider what it would take to become a coach. I was not ready to leave the sport of cycling, and this seemed to be a natural fit. I love to help people and to be able to make a difference in the sport I love is truly amazing. So going forward, I am now focusing on building up a career in coaching. I am surrounded and supported by amazing people - I really can't believe how lucky I am. This might not have been the most evident path for me to follow in sport, but now that I'm here - I feel at home. I truly am excited about the prospects of coaching - and in the meantime, I still get to enjoy many a ride on my bicycle! Speaking of which, I need to go jump on the trusty steed. The excitement for today is that I get to go do intervals - for the first time in a long time! WAHOOO!!!!