Sunday, September 14, 2014

A Wandering Panda

I've recently had a lot of people asking me what's going on with my life right now and to be honest, I'm just as dazed/confused as all of you.

I'm the type of person who always finds a way to keep myself busy, whether good or bad, and my life is a constant whirlwind of events.

I took a break following Crusher in the Tushar on my birthday, July 12th, 2014. This 'break' involved some time off the bike, eating cake & ice cream, going to the movies, and other normal people things.
"off season"
It was nice, but I was so ready to get training for 'cross season. There was a hunger that started the second I crossed the line in Boulder at CX Nats in January. I demanded nothing less than my absolute best for the next season

I made a quick trip to the doctor's for a blood test a couple weeks into my first training block as my energy levels were feeling low. At that time it was just about 4 full months since my Sea Otter accident and the doctor said I was most likely just finishing the healing/recovery process. Sure enough, after that first block of training, my numbers were back to where they needed to be.

Around the end of July / beginning of August, I made the decision to leave Felt Bicycles. I had just finished up 3 full years of employment with the big bicycle brand and it was time for me to step away. I truly believe that you need to surround yourself with people who support you. If you surround yourself with negativity, that negativity will seep into your life. Let's just say that the negativity and lack of support eventually drove me away. I reached out in March, prior to Sea Otter, to try and get the ball rolling on a marketing discussion of cyclocross season. Felt was working on some new products for CX that I wanted so badly to endorse and help push. I planned it all out, I pitched my idea, I created a timeline of how it would all come together with proper lead times.. all to no avail. I wanted to blame it on the lack of time they have to even think twice about it, I wanted to hold on and keep pretending that something would eventually turn around, I wanted so dearly for it to work out.. but in the end I knew nothing would happen and I'm not the type of person to just sit around and complain. I couldn't wait around any longer and I needed to make a difference. If I wanted support, I was going to have to search for it elsewhere.

It's hard to work for a company that builds race bikes for some of the best athletes in the world and yet doesn't support an environment for me to pursue my own athletic endeavors. There are a lot of happy people at that company because Felt provides an incredible working environment that I was more than appreciative to be a part of, but I had higher expectations. I still absolutely love the company and most of the people who have worked there throughout the years. I honestly believe that their carbon fiber technology and Jeff Soucek's genius absolutely drives the company's advancements and I've been so proud to work there. I'll always be a Felt fan girl.. always.

It was a tough decision, but ultimately it was for the better.
When I finally admitted to myself that I wasn't going to receive any support from Felt, I began making plans to find companies who wanted to support me and the SDG team for the season. Ultimately I wanted to endorse brands who saw potential in our little team.

David and I put a lot of love and hard work into developing the SDG Team for this season. This thing was his baby from the beginning and I've come along to help support his dream of growing the program and getting it the recognition it deserves.

Moving Forward:

Anyone who truly knows me well knows that I'm not living my life as a pro bike racer. I don't have the results nor the money/support to live that kind of lifestyle.
I'm keeping busy. I have an income from a new project I'm working on. Life is a little rough around the edges, but it is good.

So there you have it, I'm going to live like a pretend bike racer for a few months as I commit myself to racing at my absolute best level, supporting the growth of cyclocross, and pushing the new brand of Daily Bikes. I mean, come on, I'm 25 and I don't want to look back with any regrets, right?! Here's to taking risks and facing fears.

If you're still reading up to this point, thank you, and I have just one request.. I've gotten a lot of comments about how there's no future for women in professional cycling. If you all could do me one favor and help me prove them wrong I would sincerely appreciate it : )

Wish me luck and please support me by supporting our Team's sponsors for the season: SDG Components, Daily Bikes, Bellwether, CCN Sport, Krema Peanut Butter, SPY Optics, Kali Protectives, Rip van Wafels, & Carmichael Training Systems

Here is a quick link to follow them all on twitter 


If you see me hanging around the races, come say hi!

No comments:

Post a Comment