After living in LA for 5 years I had started to forget the many different meanings to the word “season”. In SoCal, regardless of the application, the season is always perpetual. The weather is always consistent and has only slight variations. The racing goes year round between multiple disciplines so there is always somewhere to pin a number on and strut your stuff. The track is (nearly) always open and the weather in there is an eternal 72 and cloudy, so training never stops. Even the traffic seems to operate on a similar cycle like a bad pop song stuck on repeat. If it wasn’t for the championship events that earmark the year, I could have easily lost track of the day, week, month and even year!
This is in stark contrast to life in T-town. Here the shifts in season are like switching between night and day. The spring time brings hope and anticipation of the warm weather and 12 week track season about to come. The days could be bright and sunny or windy and wet with no warning or rhyme or reason. As June nears, the mid day track training sessions grow fuller and fuller as international riders arrive and space to rest in the shade becomes a hot commodity. The energy grows and grows and becomes hotter than the asphalt under a 90 degree July sun. Then as if lighting has struck, the Friday night season opens and every week becomes a countdown and race for the Friday and the weekend when another opportunity to race under the lights in front of family and friends.
The weeks fly by and before you know it 2 national championships have come and gone, the Olympics have opened and closed, and only a single Friday night remains on the racing calendar. The track is now a near ghost town mid day with only a few elite and master’s racers training for the final few events of the season. The days are rapidly becoming shorter and the humidity from July vanishes like steam from boiling water poured down a cold drain. The energy that once ejected you from bed in the morning to get up and put on your kit has dissipates quicker than it came about. The next big event seems an eternity off as does the purpose for waking up and suffering every single day. Fall and it’s cool brisk days are nearly here and winter and snow will surely soon follow. I had, in the last 5 years, forgotten what it felt like to have distinct seasons come and go as well as the emotions that come with those changes. I watch athletes and coaches all around me change mindsets and prepare for a near state of training that borders on hibernation.
This is a part of the seasons that confuses me and that I can no longer understand. As I sit at my desk outlining training cycles through 2017 and filling in the blanks for each rider to maximize every day of their year, I realize this is where we at BPC make the difference and set our higher standard. Attention to detail and dedication to perfection execution. Treating each training day as seriously as you would race day, and every race day as calm and confident as it is a training day. Constantly evolving and learning, constant dedication to the end goal. And when we reach that goal, then raise the bar and start the process all over again like nothing has changed.
This is what truly sets us apart. Constantly having a goal and a purpose and driving towards it every day. Slowly chipping away at the mountain in front of us while everyone else has gone on “lunch break”. This is what truly sets us apart and this is why our athletes routinely exceed our greatest expectations. Proof of this is evident every time I look at our running win’s tally for the year. When we started keeping track this year, I had hoped to amass 52 wins for the year across all of BPC. One per week was a pretty good start and in the spring we were well on track to do so. But then summer hit and everyone exceeded my wildest expectations – 95 wins! There’s still nearly 4 months left in 2016 and we’ve nearly doubled what my greatest hope would have been!
It’s because of seasons like this that I take so much pride in what I do. It is the accomplishments and the dedication of you the athletes that drives me to keep raising my own bar and keep moving all of us forward. My own goal in 2017 is going to be to shoot for 100 wins for the season and our most successful championship run yet. And it is from success like 95 wins, that I take the motivation to drive forward in to the change of seasons and hope that all of you can and will do the same. It is our ability to treat this, and every time of year like it is and eternal July, full of energy and the heat of racing, that sets us apart and will set us up for our best season yet. So please take a moment to look back on the great success of your own individual training, enjoy all of the great obstacles you have over come and move positively and confidently into today and every day to continue chipping through the mountain of your own goals.
We will provide the map and the tools, all you have to do is just keep digging.
– Coach Andy