Mental Toughness Uncategorized

I am stuck at 9! – Can you help me crack the code?

My coach and I work with PE (rate of perceived exertion). I learn a lot about myself using PE. Especially during my max power tests.
The scale is 0-10. 0 being the easiest and 10 being the hardest thing I have ever done. I hit the wall!
Since consciously adding a ‘feeling’ directly related to my ‘effort’, I have discovered that when I am meant to be going to max, I continuously bail at 9. I often finish my tests angry and frustrated. 9!

9 is really really hard. 9 really hurts. 9 is constant muscle burn. 9 is tough. But why 9? Why not 10?

• 9 doesn’t bring stars in front of my eyes
• 9 doesn’t make me scream
• 9 doesn’t make me fall off my bike
• 9 doesn’t take me to a place I don’t know of
• 9 doesn’t make the world go black
• 9 is not good enough, is it?

Let’s forget about racing, amateur championships, podiums, medals and prizes for a moment. This issue I am facing can be related to all walks of life, for every single human being striving for something big in their life. This is probably the difference between the people who reach their goals versus those who don’t.
10 is painful. Not for a few seconds. For minutes. For hours. Maybe even days or longer.

In my case, pain is short term. This means that no matter how long I have left in pain, it’s very soon to be over. Then why cannot I stay in the pain? Why can I not find a deep level 10 pain and stay in that pain? Why do I always drop back to 9?

I realize we all have good days and bad days. Some days we are rested, well hydrated, well fed, life is good, we are on fire – and so is our body and our performance. Other days, none of the above comes together and performance drops. I know my own body well enough to distinguish between the two. My problem is that I see a pattern. A pattern has formed around 9!

No matter where I reach in my life or what I can achieve in my quest for amateur competitive cycling, I know I have not reached my full potential until I have learned to reach 10! But first I must break down the wall between 9 and 10. How?

Is there a code for this? And what happens when I learn to stay at 10? Does the pain go away? Do I become numb? Does the pain feel less? Or do I learn to become more comfortable with that pain? Am I meant to see stars? What is the sign that I have cracked the code?

I have no aspirations nor is it realistic to become the next World Champion, but I am not giving up until at least I know within myself that I have tried my best.
10 is my best. 9 is not!

I will keep fighting.
But can you help me crack the code?
Or am I being too hard on myself?

Mental Toughness Racing Uncategorized

The letter I wrote to myself – and its powerful effect

The biggest, or should I put it like this; the most important race and the finale of the UAE cycling season, was just around the corner. It’s not the hardest race due to its shorter distance of 75K and pretty much completely flat, but it is an important race to me as in previous years we have seen some rather generous prizes; prizes that potentially could make a significant difference to me.
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