Archive for June 16, 2009

Championship Emotions/Emotional Health

Posted in Championship Emotions on June 16, 2009 by bethleasure


54“I had been through enough abuse. The secret’s broken, and I never want to be that person again. There can’t be any more secrets.” Greg Lemond, One of the Heroes, on emotional healing of childhood trauma

Imagine your most shameful secret revealed. Ponder the courageous strength to reveal that secret voluntarily in order to heal and help others. That’s championship emotion capable of winning the biggest bike races.

Greg cried in disappointment after a bad race; watching his level of passion helped draw me to cycling

Greg cried in disappointment after a bad race; watching his level of passion helped draw me to cycling

We often hear of the emotional benefits of exercise. No supporting documentation exists on the pursuit of cycling as an attraction for emotional healing, yet as fertile ground for recasting grueling trauma into glorious endeavors, many anecdotes exist. One astute 55observer noted, “The pro peloton in Europe has an undercurrent of abuse, neglect, and emotional challenge associated with it. Many with childhood trauma are racing at a high level. This isn’t documented, just my observation.” Another career manager of pro teams postulated on a series of bad choices by one grand champion, “He’s definitely working something out” as a result of childhood loss.

At-risk youth become adults that face a greater probability of physical, social, cognitive and emotional problems. These consequences are well-documented. At-risk is defined as abused, abandoned, neglected, adjudicated or emotionally challenged. The abuse can take many forms including physical, verbal, sexual, or psychological. There isn’t a person on the planet that doesn’t have some scar from the improper behavior from another person. Even minor trauma must be processed or consequences linger.

Therapists 56recommend working on these innermost wounds privately in a circle of trust before deciding to go public – or not – about one’s hardest experiences. Just as time in itself isn’t enough to produce a winning rider, hard work must accompany emotional health. The best news is that we in the peloton can overcome our past by facing it with the same vigor we use to train for a win.

Prayer for Emotional Health
“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God…Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”   57Isaiah 40:1, 30-31

Our souls cry out in pain. Be a Presence that comforts us as we seek wise and caring counsel when needed. We ask for emotional health for the peloton.

Ponder Which emotion(s) need attention? Affirm I am emotionally fit. Watch energy soar when negative emotions release.


54“Revealing sexual abuse suffered as a child helped cycling champ LeMond heal,” by Eric Adler The Kansas City Star posted July 28, 2008

55Sources protected because both these conversations were confidential discussions about specific individuals and general trends. Both comments were made by knowledgeable, educated and intuitive pro team staff working directly with riders at the Grand Tour level.

56An excellent source for discovering the process of emotional healing is Healing Is a Choice: 10 Decisions That Will Transform Your Life and 10 Lies That Can Prevent You From Making Them by Stephen Arterburn. Thomas Nelson Publishers September 2005

57Holy Bible, King James Version public domain