It’s been over two months since my last blog and I’m sorry to all who regularly read my entries and have followed my adventure for the lack of updates. If you hadn’t seen my name on some results pages at my final tour in Toscana, followed by the World Championships road race in Denmark at the end of September, you may have thought I had simply disappeared.
So it’s about time I jump on here and let you all know of my plans from here on. After a great deal of reflection on my return to Australia almost a month ago, I’ve decided to hang up the bike and ‘retire’ from the professional peloton.
Since I started cycling at the young age of 27 I have hit the cycling life hard – initially for 2 years in Australia and then 4 years overseas in the international peloton. I’ve had a good innings. Like many athletes, the journey has been far from smooth but it’s certainly been a challenging adventure and learning experience. Sure, I would have liked to have skipped some of the tough times, but that’s life and an ever- trustworthy Jesus Christ has stood by me at all times.
I have had so many enjoyable times, trained in some awesome parts of the world and met many others passionate about cycling, some of whom I have formed life long friendships. Even though the life of a pro can be testing and exhausting, those friendships I’ve forged with people all around the world have been really something special. I will miss these times.
It was a tough decision given there were some very exciting proposals presented to me to continue racing next year. GreenEdge is going to be a fabulous bunch of girls and a very professional team – I was very, VERY tempted to ride for ‘just one more’ year. However, the other exciting prospect for me is to spend much more time with my soul-mate and husband Dave and reconnect with my family and good friends here at my real ‘home’. (Italy= 2nd home )
Cycling will still remain my main form of aerobic exercise (running still kills the knees and honestly if humans were ment to run, we wouldn’t have invented the bicycle . It just means that I don’t have to train in rain, hail or shine for an average of 3 hours daily – it will be a nice change to throw some other activities into the mix from time to time. My very clean mountain bike that I purchased over 6 years ago might finally get some decent outdoors time. Right now, I’m also loving pumping the upper body weights in the gym several times a week – all in the name of feeling healthy and fit.
I’m also getting back into the swing of my other career: exercise physiologist and soft tissue therapist. I was well established in the profession long before this cycling addiction lead to a hiatus. It has been great to be welcomed back by my work mates at Clinic 88, Canberra and I look forward to the challenge of furthering my knowledge and skills in this area. I never want to stop learning.
So that’s it for now. Thanks to all who have encouraged me in my pursuits and also been a listening ear during those tough times. My big thanks are to Donna Rae Szalinski – super coach and friend who is truly outstanding in her ability to get the most out of every individual that she coaches. Also to Sian Mulholland who first trained me to race and for Glenn Doney for recognising my talents to give me a shot at the next step in the cycling hierarchy, even though I was “too old” according to many others. Last, but certainly not least, I would like to thank my husband Dave who has travelled and shared this journey alongside me (even though most of the time we have been 15,000km apart ). I have been amazed at his capacity to step up to everything including mechanic, massage therapist, driver, tactician and No. 1 supporter, all thrown into one.
I know I began things with a “farwell”, however it’s not really good bye… just from the elite pro racer thing. Cycling is a great sport and I plan to be involved in some capacity in the future. I just need a bit of a break in the mean time.
I haven’t decided at this time whether I will continue this blog, filling it with other random things that interest me. Unlike the 3 week decision I had to make regarding a team offer for next year, I have 2 months to decide whether I will thrill you with descriptions of the application of transverse friction technique for reduction of myofascial pain. Loads of time!