Some days you win and some days you fight. Today was my day to fight…every step of the way on the Mont St. Anne World Cup course.
After such an exciting season marked with goals met, podium results, and all around smiles at the finish, it was a bitter place to find myself …on my back, on a rock in the forested sections of a World Cup course.
The start of the race seemed almost too good to be true, as I worked my way through the field and found myself well within the top ten. I felt smooth, calm, and within myself. Battling it out through the normal challenges of a race, coming through the first lap I felt like it was shaping up to be another great day on the bike.
Somewhere in the second lap, however, I smashed by derailleur on a rock that left the hanger bent and susceptible to dropped chains. After having dropped my chain once and losing position I refused to let a small mechanical hold me back and I rode like I was being chased to move back to my original position. Settling into a strong pace, and relaxing my mind after such a hard effort I slid out on a rock and flipped over the bars landing hard on the ground below and looking up as, what felt like, a thousand people watching questioned if I was okay. I saw my competitors riding by as I jumped up and onto my bike before feeling the pain of the crash. My pursuit was curtailed; however, as I saw my chain was jammed between my cassette and wheel. Many attempts at releasing the chain later, I was on my way, but it seemed my dream race was happening in front of me.
I fought hard to work my way through the field after crashes and mechanicals, but the real fight happened by myself as I fought to finish the race that had turned so sour.
The initial disappointment reminded me how much I love the sport and how hard we all train for just 90 minutes that are sometimes even out of our control. Reflection reminded me that this same disappointment is what makes mountain biking such an incredible game…filled with challenges and obstacles. Finally, digesting the result reminds me how far I have come and how great this season has been for me. I am so blessed to have progressed so far this season and see both my fitness and skills improve exponentially. I know my fitness is there and I can produce great results on the national and world stage. I thank God for the opportunities I have been given and as always I race for His glory.
Thankfully, being on a team with Olympians means there is always something to celebrate. Great results from the whole team made LUNA the team of the day and got us a little champagne shower on the podium.