Nationals 2012 – just a stepping stone…

Everyone:  "Hey!  Congrats, awesome job at nationals!"

Me: "Eh, I'm not happy with it.  I didn't go there for silver"

Everyone:  "Are you crazy?!?"

I have had that conversation dozens of times since nationals concluded.  And the answer to everyone's reply is simple;  yes I am crazy.  Reality is I should be very happy with my results, and to some degree I suppose I am.  After all, it was my most successful elite national championships ever!  Which is exceptionally impressive when you consider the completely unnecessarily tormentous month I was forced to endure in my direct lead up to nationals.  In fact, when I think about that I actually find it scary to think what I would have been capable of if I'd had the stress free lead up I rightfully deserved.

But my focus and my view are the same as they've always been;  big picture, nothing less.  After the pure domination by the British team that I witnessed first hand this summer at the Olympics in London my perspective was irrevocably changed forever.  There is nothing that matters except the Olympic games.  It is an idea that has taken possession of everything I do in every facet of my life.  So while finishing second in any race will always bother me, I view my results and performances as merely a stepping stone undoubtedly headed in the right direction.  Having made large improvements over my times and finishes from last year I can see a very clear and bright future lying ahead of me.  A future that is largely possible from the "team" of people that is taking shape around me more and more each day (but more on that later!).

Photo (c) 2012 Allen Bean
Photo (c) 2012 Allen Bean

My favorite memory from the week of racing was teaming up with my good friends and training partners Giddeon Massie and TJ Mathieson for our victory in the Team Sprint. I train day in and day out with both of these guys at Velocity Sports Performance in Redondo under the direction of coach Ken Vick and his team there.  All three of us had made large performance gains over the last year working there which was evident from our dominating performance on the opening night of the championships.  I owe a large thank you to both TJ and Giddeon for teaming up with me and to Velocity and everyone there for making our win possible.

With the 2012 season finally wrapped up I need to take a minute to thank all of my sponsors that made this year possible!  Big thanks to Pure Energy CyclingProAir HFA, Simmons Cycling Shoes, Predator Cycling, Felt Bikes, Oakley, Atomic Coatings, Velocity Sports Performance Redondo, Dr. Phil Goglia, Vie 13, Fizik Saddles, and AfterGlow.  I also need to extend a huge thank you to all my friends, family, coaches, fans and supporters for standing beside, behind and sometimes in front of me while cheering me on every step of the way.  As much as I do this because I love it and when I step on the race track I'm racing for myself, I can honestly say it wouldn't always be possible or as successful without all of you.  Thank you for a great 2012 and lets go kick even more ass in 2013.