I write to you retroactively from a futon pushed into the corner of a small bedroom I am sharing with Remi Peltier Roy. Life is good to us whether we appreciate it or not, but the suffering is real. We as the Canadian Men’s track endurance team are pumping out big weeks, weeks so big I have been forced to make my Strava private and keep all training secret to the public. Everything is mucho classified.
Riding aside we are doing core and yoga every day with our instructor from the BMC pro team, Ted. Ted brings out the inner chi and locates the 3rd eye in all of us. Ted even hits our recovery rides with us. Ted sends it. Sport Scientist Mike also came to visit and explained what we should be training with and looking at on our Gamin’s while we ride along with a host of other top secret things. We have also had the pleasure of spending a day with Natasha who is a nutritionist. I know this will read as cliché but I didn’t realize how much I was missing until I spent a day with her. With her advice my performance has increased beyond dramatically and I have yet to bonk on a single ride this camp, a herculean feat if I say so myself. The boys also spent a day with Roger the sports psych and he helped us work out the kinks in our minds. We now routinely have debriefings about life with the whole team present to try and extinguish the flames of animosity amongst us. We also got the opportunity to speak one on one with him. I took a lot from the time together and I can contact him by Skype or Email as much as I need. I am trying to live my life more in the moment and cutting back on feeling sorry for myself all the time. Not worrying about what is ahead or behind but alternatively what is happening in the now.
In relation to the mind, and peace of it, on one of our 6 hour days we went to Pine Mountain. As we finished the planned ride for the day everyone was getting in the car to go home I was given the option to ride down rather than drive, a one hour descent, I took the opportunity. I had my favourite tunes pumping as I sailed through valleys and around snow topped mountains at 60km/h on a deserted highway void of cars. In a small 100km square of nowhere in the midst of heavily populated SoCal, I was ecstatic, praying the team van would never catch up. Eventually it did and we went home.
I have been working hard. Dotting all of the t’s and crossing the i’s (aside from the odd break to help maintain mental sanity and motivation, who am I kidding). I hit a new 20 minute best power by a significant margin on this camp and even won a 30 minute uphill ITT from the other boys here by a mere 5 seconds. I’ve had far and few weak days out there and given my low training load coming into the camp there is nowhere to go but up from here. I say it every year but this time it’s for real, 2014 will be that breakthrough year. I sound like the beginning of that Drake song.
With my time invested not in making crazy food, riding crazy numbers for crazy hours, or doing crazy hard yoga poses I just get away from it all or chill with the buds. Alone I read books that seem to me like tween romance novels only after I’ve finished them, work on various pending tasks, listen to my music while I stare into space with borrowed/stolen studio level speakers from my roommate, or swing in our hammock calmly that overlooks a wonderful view of the PCH. With the buds we watch good movies, laugh hysterically, and have intense life chats.
Now that I am past halfway I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and soon I will be back with my good friends at the little beach home north in Oxnard. I, nor anyone, could survive this “training camp” life forever. Although I am truthfully enjoying it in many ways, and we are all lifting our level, the fact that (for example / true story) eating Subway merits a scolding just isn’t the real world. Not that I am going to jump on the Subway diet when this ends, it’s just better to not to live in fear. To some here “Training Camp” might as well be a Stephen King book, because everything about it to them is scary as $hit.
Quote to exit with; “The mind is a wonderful servant, but a terrible master”.