When I turned 49 in March this year, I can't say I felt any different than any other birthday. Physically, I feel great! What has changed lately is the level of confidence I have with my home, family, training, and all the personal things in my life. There is a lot less stress and the environment is better for relaxing and mentally recovering each day. The new home is in the right location near the trails and all I have to do now is jump on my mountain bike and hit the trails and hills, which I do at least once a week. Then when Terri gets home from work we do a family ride together and either I tow Joshua in the trailer up Turnbull Canyon or we cruise around town and then head home for sunset and dinner. I have not done this kind of training before. I can get 6000 ft of climbing in less than 4 hours and go two blocks to get to the trailhead. The house in Downey was right next to the bike path, but that was flat and took over an hour to get to the mountains. So I have always focused my training with the road bike and got a couple of moutain bike rides in a month - other than racing. I guess I am physically getting different type of training and more on my mountain bike than I have in the past, which is what I need to do. I used to just train more on the road and I'd drive to get to the mountains to get that workout. The extra days of mountain biking and hill climbing looks like it's been important.
Another thing is having confidence with the sponsors. It helps so much more when you're not worried if this will be the last year. There is nothing better than being confident about your bike, sponsors, of course the paycheck and other support from your sponsors. It gives me more confidence to work harder - just like any other person who reports to work each day and gets paid. I love working hard because I get the paycheck and want to give them everything I have and earn it for them. I want to make it worth it for them - whatever it takes.
I should also mention that I am having so much fun watching Joshua get excited about his bikes. He has been riding the Strider - which is a pedaless glider bike and he got really good at it. He developed balance and coordination that he couldn't have gotten on any pedal bike with training wheels. This past week, I lowered the saddle on his 16 inch bike so he could get on it easier and took off the trianing wheels. He was cruising around and made a seamless transition to riding a pedal bike in less than an hour! Awesome for a 3 year old! I got some video I'll post another time, but you can imagine how proud I am about this!
So, as I am preparing for the rest of the season, I have this looming decision to make. A few years ago someone asked me when I would retire and I said 'What about 50?' It's a good round number, sounds pretty old, and I figured by then I would be sick of racing and training so hard to try and be competitive. But right now I don't feel like the geezer I tought I would and I'm having a good year so far. So, I think I'd like to keep it up for a while. What do you think? Post a comment and participate in the poll. We'll wrap it up at the end of September and let you know what happens.
Thank you for reading.....