The Process & The Journey
It's been a minute since I updated my blog. It's not like I haven't been thinking about it. In the midst of training, racing on the road, coordinating team activities, and trying to maintain some kind of normalcy in the rest of my life, I have been slacking on the writing part... In any case, we can only aim for improvement, right?
And it's in that vain of continued improvement that I am typing today. For about a year now I have been working with Mario Arroyave at Utmost Performance to improve my mindset and maximize the potential of my mental game. It's been a great help to me working with Mario over the past year, not only having someone to talk to about racing, but to also have someone that challenges me to be my best. If you're looking to improve and get better, you owe it to yourself to invest in your mind.
Mario and I have covered a lot in our conversations over the past year. The ups and the downs. The victories and the losses. But the common thread through all of these chats has been The Process. I won't lie, there have been times when I grew tired of hearing those two words. I'd be like, "yea, yea, yea, I get it 'The Process' is key... can we talk about the race now?!" But the more that The Process was beat into my head, the more I started to actually pay attention to what that actually meant (perhaps a longer post for a later date).
There is no clearer illustration of the definition of The Process than Larry Warbasse. You may have heard his name before, if you follow the US riders in the peloton, but before June I only knew him as "a dude". Here's a guy that rode with BMC - one of the top World Tour teams in the world - and was then on IAM Cycling before they folded at the end of last year. You could call him a journeyman, a role player, a thankless domestique, and before June he was all of those things to me.
Following the Tour de Suisse, I pulled up the coverage one day to see what was going on in Stage 4. There was Warbasse, in the day's breakaway, repping his new squad Aqua Blue Sport, a Pro Continental team based in Ireland. He went on to win the stage solo. Woo! Win for 'Murica!!
But it wasn't until I saw his interview after the stage that I realized how much it meant to him. Here's a guy - journeyman, role player, domestique - who is the epitome of The Process. Just read his blog "Tears Before Bedtime" and you'll understand. To be kicked in the face year after year but still get back up. To be left in the balance without a contract unsure of if you're dreams will survive or come crashing down tomorrow. To work so hard for months away from your family and friends for a race that is then thwarted by sickness. Through all of that, his commitment to his craft, to doing things the right way, to sacrificing for the uncertain payoff, is nothing short of inspiring.
It was less than two weeks and he won again, this time at the US National Championships. Things could have gone the other way. His win in Switzerland could have been a one and done, go out on top. But instead Larry took it in stride and went back to work, back to The Process.
Title image by Rouler.cc