Sunday, 23 November 2008

I love winter....

Well... I sort of love winter, in a Rocky IV 'training isolation' type way! Unlike winter, tonight's post is going to be short sweet and to the point...

A few weeks ago Hels and I were in J E James Cycles in Sheffield kitting ourselves out in some nice cozy winter gear to help us through the next six months, and whilst we were waiting for the card to process I was having a chat with the lad behind the till. Every now and then someone says something completely out of the blue that just absolutely hits the spot and stays vividly etched on your mind for quite some time, and this was one of those moments....

"Champions are made in the winter"

There's absolutely nothing to add to that really, it's absolutely true yet was said with such naive honesty by this teenage lad that I'm sure the truth and magnitude of those six words passed him quickly by... but not me.

So what's motivated me to write about this today in particular? Hels and I spent this afternoon at the Yorkshire Road Cycling Club's annual Christmas Luncheon and were probably in the company of more 'champions' per square foot than our thirty or so years have ever known. We were kindly invited by our friend Steve Woodrup (owner of the best bike shop in the north and, along with his son Tony, responsible for H and I flogging ourselves round the Pool Triangle every Wednesday in the summer) and only knew a couple of people out of the 100 or so in attendance. In an effort to get to know a few more of this hardiest of athletic communities we'd ticket the box on the booking form indicating that we didn't mind who we sat next to, which saw us end up with eight of the YRC's most 'experienced' members.... and considering their club was founded in 1892 they had some serious stories to tell. For a good few hours we enjoyed being entertained yet motivated with endless stories of pioneering trips round Europe in the 50s, all done on a shoestring and more often than not ending up in Tour de France stage victories... as you do! We were made to feel really really welcome and loved the easy way in which phenomenal athletic achievements rolled off the tounges of our octagenarian hosts, things like... "what sort of time do you do round the Pool triangle?" to which I replied rather proudly "a short 30 minutes" to which the reply was "that's fantastic, my son's done 25 minutes round there and also won a bronze medal in Sydney"... as you do!

I'll leave Hels to chat about the greatest champion of the day, double Beijing Paralympic gold medallist David Stone, who's wise words will fuel our training fires for the next six months and then some.

To cut a long story short we were both humbled and inspired today.

See you soon,

T x

1 comment:

Ben G said...

"Champions are made in Winter" too right, and especially so if Lanzarote is your A race! I like your positivity Tom, hibernation is not an option this year.