It’s not about the Bike/Identity
4“The man is greater than his victories and defeats, the man is worth more than the cyclist… In the champion beats the heart of a boy…a heart that needs normality and cannot be sacrificed to exploitation.” Bishop Antonio Lanfranchi’s eulogy of Marco Pantani in 2004
Another championship quality allows a winner to let go of performance identification apart from self. We are cyclists and as much as we love cycling and our bikes, we are human beings foremost. Our identity is separate and independent from our deeds on the bike.
We are champions first in the mind and soul. We are overcomers and we win within always. Winning has little to do with doing and more to do with being. I am a winner, therefore I win.
Coming in first doesn’t make you a winner. Some first place finishers often feel like counterfeits, and a syndrome of the super-famous is known as 5“imposterism.” Underneath the glitz, memories of humble beginnings and private defeats struggle against public persona.
The more wins, the more pressures to win both internally and externally. A winner is a winner no matter the placing. Cycling doesn’t allow absolute dominance. Many many losses intersparse victory. A consistent champion stays balanced between peaks so that valleys feel like part of the journey.
6Identifying yourself apart from your performance can turn a bad ride into a good day. I’m not talking about making excuses for poor performance, improper training or not facing reality. What is at issue is pouting and making others miserable because your racing is in the gutter. Win or lose you should be able to take positives from the scenario. It’s valid to process the emotions of a performance for a time – but holding on to some great victory or some great loss doesn’t serve self-esteem. What does serve is factual assessment plus utmost faith. Most participants of the sport will rarely finish first and winners will face new challenges, but all can build qualities of a champion to live life victoriously.
Prayer for Identity
“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” 7Luke 9:25
We’re pleased to associate with cycling as an activity, lifestyle, career and passion! We pray that our identity is based on God’s love for us.
Ponder Do I take myself too seriously while seriously evaluating performance? Affirm I conquer and I fail AND I am a winner. Watch a bit of detachment pay dividends in your performance portfolio as well as your personality.
3It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life by Lance Armstrong with Sally Jenkins published by Berkley Books, New York Copyright © 2000, 2001 Lance Armstrong. This title echoes Lance Armstrong’s book that describes reasons outside of cycling for wanting to succeed.
4“Marco Pantani, don’t look back in anger,” by Podofdonny 2/13/2007 www.dailypeloton.com
5“Penélope Cruz” by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott in W magazine, August 2008.
6Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman published by HJ Kramer Book, New World Library, New Revised Edition © 2000. Dan’s philosophy is a reference for Zen-like detachment from performance as a measure of happiness or self-worth. Its premise differs a bit from mine in that it seeks totally from within for that source of happiness whereas Christianity places an emphasis on God as that source who works in and through us. I believe the latter is more powerful – both from the source and in the force that we can generate as a result.
7The Bible, New International Version, Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society