Tuesday, May 20, 2014


When I crossed the line at the New Plymouth World Cup in March, I had an extremely intense pain high in my adductor. I could not walk without limping, and thought that I had probably strained a muscle. Frustrating, since my training had been rolling along nicely. I started slowly running about 4 weeks later, convincing myself that the pain was decreasing, but in reality is was a stabbing pain with every step.  I had an MRI to confirm the diagnosis, and the scans showed that I actually have a stress fracture in my pelvis. It never even crossed my mind that this could be a bone injury. Before the scan, I stupidly ran 10k around Elk Lake when my pelvis was screaming to my brain “STOPPP I’M BROKEN DOWN HERE!”. Athlete minds are pretty powerful when it comes to ignoring these screaming signals of discomfort. This can be a great tool in the middle of hard training sessions or races, but in this particular case I was ignoring my fractured pelvis telling me to stop pounding on it. Not awesome.

In the midst of this disaster my coach Joel Filliol parted ways with me. Fortunately I’m in Victoria where I have a smart team of people who are helping me though my obstacles. I’m really grateful for having the opportunity to work with Joel over the past few years, I’ve learned so much from him and the amazing athletes in his squad. I’ll really, really miss it.

So, I’m in a pretty rotten situation. Not that this is new to me, I have lots of practice dealing with setbacks. I feel like I've posted a similar blog about 16 times now. I've cried all the tears out my body, so I’m left to figure out logically what to do next.  A few people have questioned my motivation and enjoyment of the sport. Sometimes it's freaking hard to find enjoyment in the day-to-day environment when struggling with a stubborn injury, or not seeing fitness return as quickly as you want it to. I read a great tweet the other day:

I've been out on my bike recently with no clear timeline of when I’ll be able to race again, but still loving it. I do enjoy the day-to-day process. I have no lack of motivation. Actually, I'm more motivated than ever. It felt so good to toe the line at some early-season races, and it made me hungry for more. Sometimes being an athlete is more frustrating than other times, but I can honestly say that I love it. That’s primarily why I continue stick with this when the light at the end of the tunnel is seemingly so far away. I know it’s there somewhere. Bones heal. I believe I can do it, and most importantly, I’m happy doing it. I'm determined not to let these setbacks derail my whole season, or my whole career. 

On a positive note, here are some fun things I've been doing over the past few months. Thanks for still reading my bad-news blog, I promise I'll be back posting race reports eventually!


Shawnigan Lake 

Underwater treadmill running 

Swimming in 12 degrees C

Breakfast with Mark Cavendish (kind of) 

Riding in the Specialized wind tunnel 

Riding in the sunshine 

Riding on the ferry

Vitamin D

Visits from the other red-headed Findlay 

Dog sitting this guy 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Reminder to Myself, Mostly.

I was out for dinner with my friends when the Auckland WTS race was going on. Refreshing my twitter feed every 1.5 seconds, checking the live results, nervous, anxious, palms sweating, and ultimately being a really bad dinner guest.

When the race was over, I was overwhelmingly envious. Longing for the times when I was in the mix and so jealous of everyone who had raced well. One of my friends (in the picture below), a medical student who is familiar with a competitive environment of high achievers, sensed my jealousy and told me something VERY important.

You have to be happy when other people are happy.

If we are constantly jealous of others, we will never be happy. We need be motivated and encouraged by the success of others instead of loathing it. Most people probably do this already, but it certainly does not come naturally to me. My first instinct is to think, “UGH, I wish it was me”!

So, I’ve decided to work really hard at this. It’s definitely not easy, but I can honestly say that it’s making me happier. Other people’s successes do not take away from my own, and they can be used as motivation to achieve my own lofty goals. Whether this is in sport, or in school, or just in every day life, I’ve realized that jealousy doesn’t serve anyone well. 

Take joy in other people’s accomplishments. Use them to inspire you. It’s simple, but maybe the best advice I’ve ever had.