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This I Believe!

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Have you ever taken part in a sport and felt as if your body could give no more? There are athletes all over the world whom take part in the sport of cycling, one of the most physically demanding and mentally strong sports on the face of the earth. Cyclists are not weak minded people and are often determined to achieve goals, which is why many place faith in this sport. With belief in the quote “pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever”, I can pull from life experiences of racing a world cup bike race, where I suffered a disastrous injury that threatened my entire race.

When I arrived in the town of Val-D’-Or, Quebec last year for the biggest and longest junior world cup cycling event, Le Tour De L’Abitibi, I had no clue what was in store for me. After the 400 meter prologue sprint, where I managed 122nd, I instantly felt a stinging sensation in my lower abdomen. As if not fearing enough for the well-being of my race, I went to see a doctor whom only spoke French. After a long two hours in the medic’s office, I was confirmed of having a hernia. I was soon told that if I were to keep racing, I was surely going to do great damage to my body and some might not be repairable. I sulked in my room for a while and later confronted my coach with my decision; I was going to continue a world- class, week long, 700 kilometer stage race with a hernia. The following stage was full of pain and anguish, where I constantly had to keep pushing the muscle back into place. I was soon known around the race as an amazingly strong racer and a “professional bad-ass” as dubbed to me by a teammate. Every day was a struggle just to keep riding. So many times I had to tell myself how disappointed my parents and supporters would be back home to find out I had given up on the biggest race of my life. The third to last stage was a monster Criterium race where I had to do 72 kilometers worth of laps, each lap was up a nineteen percent hill. I was instantly dropped and it was miserable to ride by myself but it allowed me to realize how strong I truly could be in times of crisis. When all the racing was done and in the bag, I finished 127th overall out of about 151 riders and immediately flew home for emergency surgery in the next couple days following my return.

In believing that “pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever”, I have truly proven to myself what my body could put up with and how strong of a will I really do have. A year after my initial Tour De L’Abitibi, I had the chance to go back a second time in the summer of 2008, where I lead my overall teams results finishing 121st after crashing and almost missing the time cut on stage one. I now have a huge level of belief in what I can overcome and feel there is nothing that can stand in my way after my horrendous 2007 Tour De L’Abitibi, for I believe in Pain being temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.





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