The Midway Pro XCT was more than just another race for me. Standing on the start line meant that I had overcome the accident that still plagued my mind and emotions as I warmed up for the race. I spent the week between the incident and the race focused on my health, recovery, and gratitude. I spoke with professionals regarding my condition and the consensus was that if I felt up to racing, then I could give it a go.
On Saturday, I warmed up for the short track event and felt relieved that I would be racing on dirt instead of the roads. As I stood on the start line I was thankful that I was racing at all. Before the start I reminded myself I was in God’s hands and however I performed was a part of His plan. Once the gun went off, all the stress and anxiety of the week before melted away. Strong, powerful winds made the environment challenging and set us up for an exciting race. There was an attack early on where two girls went off the front, but I decided to chase with consistency. Two of us chased the girls off the front and caught on about half way through the event. Shortly after catching the lead, the course tape blew across the trail which left the leader slamming on her brakes. The abrupt stop created a domino effect back through the group causing chaos and the gaps to once again form. I put my head down and put out a big effort gapping the girl in fourth. I finished the short track event in 3rd and suddenly I realized I had gone from facedown on the pavement to a podium finish in just 8 days!!
On Sunday, for the Pro XCT, I wanted to race with the same attitude of gratitude and complete dependence on God. I found myself slightly hesitant at the start, nervous to exert myself too early, given my circumstances of the past week‘s events. I held back but found the racer inside of me gnawing at the bit. About half way through the first lap I let myself go and began to make aggressive passes until I found myself in a better position to race the course. Dialing in all of the ‘A lines’ I felt stronger and stronger each lap. I’m pleased to say that by the time I crossed the finish line in 6th (1st U23) I had regained all of my confidence. I am so glad that I felt able enough to race this past weekend and I am even happier that I pushed myself to go out and do exactly what I love the most. Thank you to everyone who has been encouraging to me throughout this recovery process. Onward and upward! It’s time to put in a big training block.
Photo Credit: Angie Harker (Last image)