This is just a general message to the masses, to inform whomever might be reading, that I’m done with winning, and the reason why is because it wasn’t working for me, on many levels.
I haven’t been winning races for a long time, as it has probably been noted. This tendency of mine was again questioned earlier in the year, when another cyclist, who also never wins races because he doesn’t even race, asked me if I thought I was going to win the next one coming up.
“Oh, I hadn’t even thought of it,” I said. “Ilike to see what happens.”
“No, no, you’re going about it all wrong. You should be there to win.”
And then for the remainder of the ride, he gave me examples of why it’s so important to have that winning mentality.
I forgot to ask him why he doesn’t race anymore, and actually, when he did race, which races he had even won.
Regardless, I chewed on that thought for the rest of the season as my own personal experiment, because what if, after all these years, I’ve been going about it all wrong. What if I wasn’t winning because I just don’t have that winning attitude. Maybe I need to change my approach.
Well, several races later, I have concluded that it is a waste of time, and can actually turn whatever was fun about racing into a miserable experience. There are so many factors that you cannot control: there are flats, broken spokes, and then the talent and abilities of the rest of the field. The best you can do, as far as I’m concerned, is to keep riding your bike, and focus on all the things you love about it, and to hell with the rest.
Well, according to these “winners”, feeling good about the effort, or just trying to stay on someone’s wheel, or climbing as hard as you can and still getting dropped, but still never giving up because you just never know what will happen, just isn’t good enough. You are complacent. You are settling.
Well, I just want to say this: people who think about winning all the time, who talk like it’s normal, like it’s supposed to happen, like if you’re not winning there is something wrong with you, are boring and probably should upgrade soon anyway, or try a race with real climbs in it and get in touch with their humility and show some respect for those busting their bums week after week, and not winning, and still feeling good about it.
I think a true test of character isn’t how many races you’ve won, but how you treat the world when you lose. Losing with grace and dignity is an acquired art. Not everyone can do it. That’s why some people who don’t win quit.
Well, that’s what I have to say about that.