We humans, are capable of A LOT more than our brain will let us think. I believe this message is applicable to many people. They don’t know until they try and shut out the little devil inside…
July 2013 – while going through challenging times in my life I blindly (or semi-blindly!) decided to put my head and body on a challenging goal to keep going forward and achieve something. That day in July, I pushed the “buy race entry” button for the BC Bike Race – the ultimate singletrack experience. That was when I started a whole new journey… a preparation journey.
Of course, I had to prepare my body physically to go through that amount biking in a short amount of time. Spin class, cross-training, XC skiing, fat biking, long days touring, lots and lots of long rides…I’ve done it all! And it was fun for the most part because I had a goal. It was a good and hard mind game at some points though. I definitely went through lots of doubting, fatigue, tears, but that seemed to all turn into love, smiles and excitement. All of this including a lumbar sprain (from sleeping!) 1 week before the race; it got me well rested!
June 28th 2014, finally found me at the first day of the BCBR, way faster than I thought. My legs were feeling excitement, my heart beating fast and my mind all over the place! This was only my second XC race ever, and here I am, Day 1 of a 7 day race, standing at the starting line asking myself how fast I should go!!
I went fast (my fast!), haha, and I had a blast. Day 1 got me in the groove and the emotion of the total 600 avid racers out there. Then, I knew right away I would be able to do it all, I was believing in myself. It was fun and I was accomplishing something more than a bike race.
The whole week was hard, very hard. It was challenging, it hurt all the time, oh, so much! Mostly the second climb in Cumberland stage 2!!
But how beautiful the views were. How special those moments like when we got acclaimed by the whole community of Powell River upon arrival. How great those moments of venting about our sores and aches and overused muscles (and/or butts!). How awesome to jump in the ocean after a hot day consisting of 50 km of pedalling and 1500m of climbing. How many breathtaking landscapes seen in one week, that were totally worth all that pain and ferry rides.
But, out of all of that “awesomeness”, the best part was to share the beauty and rip down with other athletes sharing the same passion. All of them went through the same amount (ish!) of preparation to be able to ride all of those amazing world-class mountain biking trails; it was so impressive to see! I had the chance to get to know some of those awesome people during that week; Stu, my favorite downhill partner (go Bromont!!) , Ahmed, the Californian Indian who was always kindly letting me by on the downs (here comes the crazy french downhiller!), Team South Africa, who had such a positive and upbeat attitude, Cindy the crazy fit road rider gal who was best partner through that week and the 3 Muddbunnies – Karin, Saravie and Kim, who all had a great attitudes and were all 3 very accomplished women.
Looking back now I am still proud that I have done it! I went through all the training and the mental preparation to achieve , complete and even succeed in a 7 day mountain bike stage race, after the experience of only one XC race!
Finally, I think I mostly had to do all of this to notice that my capacities are so much than what I’ve thought or expected from myself. I can apply everything I’ve learned for that preparation and race experience to my career and relationships in life.
Go out there, live confidently in the direction of your dreams, aim high and live the life you’ve imagined!!
words by Genevieve Baril – who is currently taking on the EWS World Series. Looks like she managed to shut out the little devil inside – GO GET ‘EM GEN!