I just received the coolest source of inspiration in the form of a kick ass send-off gift before I depart to Holland for Worlds.
But before I tell you what it is, a few explainations are needed.
First, the send-off gift is from a bunch of guys I work with. These guys are all true roadies — meaning they are passionate about cycling and cycling only and love to talk gear ratios, race strategies, and the mechanicals of bottom brackets and bearings oh my. We all rode a lot together as I first dipped a toe into the triathlon waters. They’ve not only taught me a lot, but they have also helped me choose equipment, fix mechanical failures, and even plot race strategy. They’re a good lot.
Second, in cycling, when a rider is deep into their race and they decide to make a concerted push to pull away from the group, it’s considered a breakaway, and in order to break away, the rider must do what we call “Drop the Hammer.” So it’s common to talk about how in a race I “dropped the hammer” from the gun and held on for dear life for the rest of the race. Or with triathlon, I’ll say I dropped the hammer after the first 10 miles and held it as steady as I could until a few miles left, where I purposely would spin out the gear in attempts to best recover for the task of running.
So just yesterday, the very best source of inspiration came to me by way of gift from my roadie work mates. They gave me my own personal Hammer, the Thor Hammer, or the Hammer of Thor, so that when I’m at Worlds out on the flats and wondering whether I should make a pass of yet another age group athlete in my way, I can think of the hammer I have stored in my legs, feel the strength of support coming from my roadie pals, and draw deep on my Thor Hammer to not only drop that son of a bitch to the slat, but to smash that iron core with all my might to the race course and what might remain of any competitor thinking they can hold on.
This thing is heavy and solid, and I know it will not fail. Just holding it high above my head, ready for what might come, I can feel the force within.
Before I leave for Holland, I will find quiet time to grab that hammer with all my might and then set myself into a steady state of visualization. I will see in my mind the course, my competitors, and the windy conditions, and with that I will formulate my race plan knowing I have the strength of the Hammer.
Because come Sunday, August 31… I will Drop the Hammer!
Thank you, guys!