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Outside isn’t cancelled


Well...it’s a crazy time, and like most people right now, my life too has changed in the great pandemic of 2020. It seems every business is putting out a press release about their changes to maintain relevance in these wild times, and coaching is no different.


I have had the unfortunate experience of having 95% of my athletes affected by the COVID-19's cancellations, and the remaining ones are only unaffected by virtue of being "in between" seasons (so in light of this, essentially all athletes are affected).


We understand it can be hard times. Financially people will suffer, people will have to become used to a ‘new normal’ of limited social contact and thwarted goal events in the short term. But it is only short term.


One thing I like to think whenever the ‘ideal’ situation is pulled out from under our feet, is that with everything comes and opportunity and this is no different.


So I have put together a little list of opportunities, and things we can do to get you through a very quiet year of bikes.


1. Talk to me. If you are an athlete have a chat. There are many ways to skin a cat. Depending on what you need and what your values and goals are, we can change the program so that it works for you. For some people with extra life stressors at this time, it may mean taking a leave of absence with some unstructured training guidelines until the world becomes normal again. For others, it may mean working on a heavy skills focus or working on other weaknesses. We may have to pull you will back from where you are currently sitting in the program, and that’s ok.


2. Come up with a big, audacious goal. The bigger the better. I am not saying ‘hey everyone let's try and qualify for Olympic XCO in 2024 even though your 50 and have three kids’ because that's silly. But now more than ever it’s great to sit down and think longer term. What will bike racing and riding look like for you in a year? In two years? Beyond? So often we get through what we are doing and look straight to what’s directly in front of us instead further afield. So what does that look like to you?


3. Keep moving. Depending on what happens domestically, it’s looking increasingly likely there will be a period of forced quarantine. This could be your worst nightmare, or you could use the opportunity to work on things in a new and unconventional way. You can use the ergo in the shed to maintain fitness. You can set up a home gym. You can look into easy cross-training while running some blockies. You can read and be inspired. There are always possibilities in dark times.


4. Earn Brownie Points. Life as an athlete, even amateur and age-group, is fraught with sacrifice: work, family, social outings. While work may be inside and social outings more online, use the time to connect with loved ones that you may see mostly as ships in the night when normal operations resume, and you’re heading out the door at 0500 to fit in a session prior to a full day of work. And, if you’re as annoying as I am, your partner may even increase the support of you heading off to events post-COVID.


5. Take a break or try something new. If you need a break off training for financial or logistical reasons, tell me. That’s absolutely OK. We can plan for a comeback and talk about that Big Audacious Goal. Tried ultimate Frisbee? Trail Running? Planning to become a Chess world champ? Why the heck not! (though my coaching experience doesn’t extend to Frisbee, Trail Running, or chess, sorry). If you require a leave of absence have a chat and we will make sure when things get sunnyside up again, you can have first preference for athlete signup again.


Basically, I am not in this job as a money-making machine...though I am not going to lie: it does form a large part of my income, but I am very lucky to have other sources of my income so that we are OK for the moment. Please talk to me: we can make a plan. And remember, while this whole Pandemic is a marathon not a sprint, most of you have ticked off a few marathons anyway, so this should be a piece of cake. And remember: outside isn’t canceled.


Much love! AB

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