Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Looking Back

My mountain bike racing roots came way before even stepping a foot on a starting line.  In fourth grade I was introduced to skiing, and by fifth grade I was ski racing.  From fifth grade up to middle school, I was on the Snowstar Ski Team.  I competed in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois. I was a chubby kid and never did well, but I did manage to gain a strong set of legs.  I didn’t know it then, but that was the base of my biking career.  Once I reached high school, I lifted my first weights for football.  I could already squat more than most on the team, and remained the top ranked squatter through Senior year. Unfortunately, I lacked upper strong and wasn’t the fastest runner so I never played, but strong legs plus no upper body, minus fast twitch muscle equals a decent mashing mountain biker. After high school and no longer practicing football, I needed a new outlet so I decided to do a 7 mile hilly running race called the Bix 7. I found my love for long distance cardio. After a year or two of doing this race, all the while still lifting weights, I decided to compete in several short triathletes around the university I attended in Springfield, IL. I didn't have a road bike, so I used the mountain bike I had from saving up money as a lifeguard one summer in 1998. Considering I was racing a hardtail with knobbies on it, I didn't do too bad. When I came home from college I found mountain biking, and the rest is history. Now I'm on my sixth year of racing, and my fourth year of endurance racing in Colorado. All this from being a chubby ski racing kid in the Midwest. Now I hardly find time to ski because I'm mountain biking. Funny how that all worked out.