Competition focuses goals and doubles efforts to achieve those goals. I am not unlike others who over state their position at any one time. I like to think I am better than I may actually be sometimes. Competition helps me to open my eyes to where I actually am.
I say this because this last weekend was my team intra-squad. And things went really about as good as they probably should have. But that doesn't mean I was happy about it. I need to win, and not just for myself. I need to win for these kids. They have a lot of time, effort, and money on the line. They are all working very hard to make their way to college teams. If they have anything less than a great year, it could be tough for this to happen.
For the most part the girls did great. Most events I feel like we are ahead of schedule and things are looking good. My toughest event is bars and we have been working very hard to increase the difficulty level of the girls. It is happening but it is slow going, and it makes it tougher to be consistant, and to get everything done every day. Another issue I am having to work with is a large team. I have never had so many high level gymnasts all at the same level and at the same point in their training. It is a good problem to have, I just have to get better at keeping the kids moving.
Our first real meet of the year is in Bloomington, IL at the Horton Invite. The last few years we have gone to the Justin Spring Invite. It was a very good meet, in a great building, and we had a lot of fun. We just could not find enough competition for our athletes. We won just about everything, and while that is nice it wasn't because we were dominant. It was more because we were the Goliath in the room. I don't like to be in that situation. I have always wanted to be on fair terms with my competition, and didn't like teams that would go to small meets to beat up on the little teams. We were now that team and I wasn't okay with that. I remember the Horton Invite from my days in Champaign. It always seemed that there was some good competition there. I guess we can always try elsewhere next year if we don't find it in Bloomington.
This weekend was also the first meeting of Quantum Mesa Cycles. Most of the team was able to make it and we had a great time. I ordered a bunch of pizzas, people brought their own beer, and I tried to get though the drudgery of rules and policy as fast as I could so we could have some fun. After we all kind of got into talking to each other, sometimes in smaller groups, other times as a whole. People were also trying on fit kit items. It was funny seeing guys and gals trying on items as small as they could fit into. Some guys liked it a little more than others I think. A few of us ended up staying pretty late, 10pm I think. After a few guys from the west part of the state stayed at my place for the night. In the AM we had a 60 mile ride in the St Charles, O'Fallon area of the STL. The weather sucked, and it was cold, but I think we had a great time.
I am too excited about next season. The thought of it has been a huge carrot at the end of the stick for me while I lift weights, or push though a few hours of tempo riding. My only worry is that I do too much too soon. It is sort of funny how often that comes up in cycling. Almost like people tell you that so they feel better about not training, I don't know. I do know that if I am ever going to catch up with someone faster than I am, I better be going twice as fast or twice as long, or I will never catch them. That was something I learned in gymnastics and it served me well then.