I am an endurance athlete. I am a soldier. I am a coach, mentor, engineer, husband, and friend. I am a fusion of ambition and determination. I am who I am because of values built through enduring pain and suffering. It started as an overweight bullied kid that desperately wanted to fit in. I moved around a lot as a kid which provided a lot of opportunities to change. But constantly having to adapt to new situations showed me new struggles compared to new beginnings. It wasn’t until my senior year in high school where it all snapped together. I realized that running and losing weight would be my ticket to confidence. I signed up for a race and began training. I ran every day. The weight began to melt off of me and my confidence levels rose in proportion. This simple activity taught me a valuable life lesson, nothing worth having comes easy.
I continued to grow as an athlete through my college year. At the end, I bought my first bike and began to ride with the local group. I remember showing up to my first group ride, coming straight from rugby practice, shirtless with a fanny pack for holding a water bottle. I got a ton of funny looks by the group. Besides showing up to the ride wearing something odd, I remember whipping down a hill in a pace-line. I had never gone so fast and felt so alive. That feeling was only temporary because within 3 miles I was popped off the back. A new fire was lit. Each week I came back, usually wearing the same attire as the first ride, and each week I got a little farther into the ride before popping off the back.
By the time I graduated college I had finally made it to the finish. I carried this spark past graduation and into my first job. I set ambitious goals like win Duathlon National Championships and become a professional triathlete. An auto-accident in 2014 squandered the goals of being a professional triathlete. I broke my left leg in half which ended up causing some permanent nerve damage. This accident did not stop me immediately though. My military unit was set to deploy to Afghanistan in 4 months. Through pain and hard work I was cleared for the deployment. I came out the other side a stronger human and stronger athlete. I set personal records for every race I entered. For a while, I tried to get back into triathlons. I would get the fastest bike splits at most of the races I entered but would always end up walking in the run because of excruciating nerve pain. This takes me to today. I am now focused completely on cycling. My goal is to race for the US team at the 2019 CISM Military Olympics.
In order to accomplish this goal I need to jump some ranks in the cycling world. I won’t have a chance of making the team as a Cat 3 racer. Luckily, I am now completely focused on cycling. I have been focusing all my efforts on increasing that 10 minute power and under, relying on that triathlon strength I have for the longer power. I have been able to do this through a couple of workouts.
A lot of coaches will scoff at this plan because it isn’t really periodized to the season. It doesn’t matter because I needed to focus on building the shorter duration power before the season. So I focused on the short power this winter and padding it with a lot of aerobic base work. Then, when it gets closer to the season I will get back into the short power, like a traditional build. The moral of the story is, don’t always be afraid to work on something just because it is out of season. You can do sprints in the winter so you are better prepared come spring time. Just be careful with how frequently you do it.