Saturday, July 03, 2010

The Endless Trail?

When I turned 49 in March this year, I can't say I felt any different than any other birthday.  Physically, I feel great!  What has changed lately is the level of confidence I have with my home, family, training, and all the personal things in my life. There is a lot less stress and the environment is better for relaxing and mentally recovering each day.  The new home is in the right location near the trails and all I have to do now is jump on my mountain bike and hit the trails and hills, which I do at least once a week.  Then when Terri gets home from work we do a family ride together and either I tow Joshua in the trailer up Turnbull Canyon or we cruise around town and then head home for sunset and dinner.  I have not done this kind of training before.  I can get 6000 ft of climbing in less than 4 hours and go two blocks to get to the trailhead.  The house in Downey was right next to the bike path, but that was flat and took over an hour to get to the mountains.  So I have always focused my training with the road bike and got a couple of moutain bike rides in a month - other than racing.  I guess I am physically getting different type of training and more on my mountain bike than I have in the past, which is what I need to do.  I used to just train more on the road and I'd drive to get to the mountains to get that workout.  The extra days of mountain biking and hill climbing looks like it's been important.

Another thing is having confidence with the sponsors.  It helps so much more when you're not worried if this will be the last year.  There is nothing better than being confident about your bike, sponsors, of course the paycheck and other support from your sponsors.  It gives me more confidence to work harder - just like any other person who reports to work each day and gets paid.  I love working hard because I get the paycheck and want to give them everything I have and earn it for them.  I want to make it worth it for them - whatever it takes.
I should also mention that I am having so much fun watching Joshua get excited about his bikes. He has been riding the Strider - which is a pedaless glider bike and he got really good at it.  He developed balance and coordination that he couldn't have gotten on any pedal bike with training wheels. This past week, I lowered the saddle on his 16 inch bike so he could get on it easier and took off the trianing wheels. He was cruising around and made a seamless transition to riding a pedal bike in less than an hour! Awesome for a 3 year old!  I got some video I'll post another time, but you can imagine how proud I am about this!

So, as I am preparing for the rest of the season, I have this looming decision to make.  A few years ago someone asked me when I would retire and I said 'What about 50?'  It's a good round number, sounds pretty old, and I figured by then I would be sick of racing and training so hard to try and be competitive.  But right now I don't feel like the geezer I tought I would and I'm having a good year so far.  So, I think I'd like to keep it up for a while.  What do you think?  Post a comment and participate in the poll.  We'll wrap it up at the end of September and let you know what happens.
 
Thank you for reading.....
 
Tinker

9 comments:

Bill said...

Cant wait to meet you at the Butte 100...o/o

cory smith said...

Hey man.Keep racing as long as it feels good and your family is cool with it.I'll see you at the Leadville 100.

Brian said...

Go get the Masters World Championship, then see where you are at. Going out with those stripes would be a huge accomplishment.

Jride said...

Tinker...we are pumped to have you coming to the Park City Point 2 Point this year (and hopefully for a few more to come). Keep pounding it out, see you on Labor Day.

"Oh How Long The Road Is" said...

Follow your passion no matter how young you feel! You have a lot of fans and you are an icon to the mountain bike community! Just like Ned,differentiate from racing and include running,swimming or (fishing)

"Nameste"

My name is Stephen said...

if you still love it, keep doing it, you will know the right time to change your focus, it won't be easy to do, but you will know.

Adrian said...

Tink, i am the same age as you AND you are a constant inspiration to me to keep getting out there.

MT said...

I don't believe that a number has much to do with your "age" or how you should be living. Live that way that makes you feel the best!
Looking forward to seeing you in Butte!

Ray said...

Tinker,
I've always looked to you (and a number of other athletes above 40) as an inspiration. It's easy for us to get caught up in midlife, and seeing you remain active AND competitive reminds me that age doesn't make a difference. Keep at it, and your 40 somethin year old followers will do the same.
Ray