I hope this finds you well and in good health at the start of a new year. And not just any new year but the start of a new decade, 2020. We are also at the beginning of an Olympic Year.
As I sit here for a minute thinking about the last time I was in an Olympic Year it feels like a lifetime ago. But at the same time no time at all. In 2016 I was living in Colorado Springs at the Olympic training center with the USA National Pursuit Team. Gosh that does feel like a different person from who I am today. Not only my style of rider and athlete has changed over the years but who I am as a person as changed as well. As an athlete I am no longer on 25-35 grams of protein every 2-3 hours of the day! I was always the smallest on the track team and though they tried hard, they never quite bulked me up to match the muscles of my teammate Jenn Valente!
My story of being in the track program is a long one and not a story I will talk more about today. Bringing it up in this post was more to think and reflect, as many do for the new year. Going into another Olympic year I wanted to take a moment to remember what I learnt from my last experience. I don’t think trying to reach the Olympic Team taught me determination, or grit, or the ability to suffer. I believe I already had those are traits. Making the Olympic Team in 2016 taught me to love the process. It taught me that one day is just that. One day. The journey is where the magic lies.
As I write this I’ve already started my racing season, down here in Australia at the Tour Down Under. The team and I are onto a great start! We took 2nd on stage one with Lotta! Another 2nd place on stage 2 (with myself!). Stage 3 we won! What a wonderful way to start the year so far. I can’t say I expected it! It’s an incredible feeling to win, especially at the start of this Olympic Year. And already quite special for me as I am wearing the Stars and Stripes of the American National Road Race Champion.
Image: Getty Sport
Reminiscing about the past has my heart feeling very full. My career as an athlete and cyclist is not without results. The wins are precious and special. It’s a feeling we all search for and rarely get to experience. A feeling that will last me a lifetime is the feeling of complete friendship I have made with many people along the road. My heart is full and my legs are ready for what’s to come.
Thanks for reading, I wish you all a happy 2020!
Ruth Winder, Trek – Segafredo.