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Old 08-09-08, 11:37 PM   #1
Smartyy
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Is it possible for me to compete...

Hello everyone, I am new here to these forums and am one a missions: to fine out if what I want is possible.

My mom and my uncle both competed in the Olympic trials for the US team in the 1980s, placing 6th and 10th, so barely not making the team. My grandpa (the father of them) was their coach from the beginning.
So I guess you could say that I come from a good family of cyclists (my dad also competed in road races in high school) but unfortunately no such cycling team exists in the city of Louisville where I live.
Earlier today I found out about the Youth Olympics, a new thing going to be hosted in Singapore in 2010 for people of the ages 14-18. I looked up all the events going to be hosted and I noticed cycling was one of them... more specifically, BMX and Mountain Biking.
Now the longest I've rode in a day was 130 miles, I'm more of a distance person in everything that I do (in swimming I was the fastest miler and 1k-er on the team, and one of the fastest in the state) I've never competed in any sort of cycling and, apart form doing it for fun in the forest in the back yard, have never truly Mountain Biked.
Since it's unfortunate that there isn't going to by road racing in the Youth Olympics, I had a thought. If I trained really hard and stayed focused for the next 2 yeras, is it even remotely possible for me to make the US team and compete in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games?

Honestly it was just a thought, when it comes to something I want usually I stay more focused on it that anything else in the world. My mom describes it as "I put blinders on and only look at the thing I want"

So my question is if I train hard and stay focused, is it even possible for me to compete? My grandpa would be my trainer, considering he got my mom and uncle almost to the olympics, I'm sure he's still got something up his sleeve and would be a great coach.


Thanks so much,

-Smartyy!
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Old 08-09-08, 11:46 PM   #2
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Get on the bike and bust your ass everyday. Do races. And go try to qualify. Worse case scenario you will be in beastly shape.
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Old 08-10-08, 12:07 AM   #3
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Get on the bike and bust your ass everyday. Do races. And go try to qualify. Worse case scenario you will be in beastly shape.
heheh I never gave any thought to that worst case scenario. and it's really true!
I need to get a new back tire for my bike though.. last ride I did I popped it DX


until my grandpa gets back (he's in california for the next week or so visiting my uncle) how should I train?
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Old 08-10-08, 12:23 AM   #4
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Never really trained on a bike. But in most running, I did cross country for 4 years, you need to start with a solid base. Just get on the bike and start logging miles. Once you have down a solid aerobic base you can start worrying about more specific things like sprinting, climbing hill, etc.
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Old 08-10-08, 12:40 AM   #5
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Okay i'll do that. I've already started to plan out a course for me to do tomorrow. Kentucky isn't really the biggest state of biking, but wher eI live they do have 1 bike lane that I can take down and ride through a few neighborhoods.
I do remember asking my grandpa "At first how long should I go out for?" and he simply answered "Go out for as long as you can, then once your butt starts to hurt, turn around, by the tme you get back you should have a really sore arse"
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Old 08-10-08, 12:53 AM   #6
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So my question is if I train hard and stay focused, is it even possible for me to compete? My grandpa would be my trainer, considering he got my mom and uncle almost to the olympics, I'm sure he's still got something up his sleeve and would be a great coach.
-Smartyy!
his knowledge is dated....you don't stand a chance. IMHO lolz

mx
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Old 08-10-08, 12:59 AM   #7
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well your optimistic..
no my grandpa still rides and when he lived in colorado he still did races and had a bike shop. His knowledge is definably not dated, even today he still rides in local clubs and stuff, but there aren't any races except for BMX racing here.
besides, my grandpa is like a freakin' walking wikipedia... you can ask him anything and he will go on and on and on for like an hour about it and doesn't shut up...


anyway.. yeah his knowledge isn't dated. IMHO that was a very rude comment considering you know close to nothing about my grandpa. I'm not mad or anything, I'm just sorta taken aback that you would make such an abrupt comment about someone you know nothing about.

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Old 08-10-08, 01:11 AM   #8
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well your optimistic..
I'm not mad or anything, I'm just sorta taken aback that you would make such an abrupt comment about someone you know nothing about.
thank god you're not mad or anything.

if your grandpa was training athletes in the 80's, his exercise phys knowledge is dated. i wouldn't want to be trained as your other family members were as you stated.

mx
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Old 08-10-08, 01:18 AM   #9
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oh I see what your saying
well I'm sure he can still teach me the basics because I'm sure some basic techniques haven't changed that dramatically.
have they?
and even if they have, I could always join up in a club and get advice from fellow bikers... right?

and even if I don't stand a chance, as jcook stated "The worst case senario is you don't make it and you'll be in beastly shape"

so i've really got nothing to loose, except the tryouts race.
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Old 08-10-08, 03:32 AM   #10
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So my question is if I train hard and stay focused, is it even possible for me to compete? My grandpa would be my trainer, considering he got my mom and uncle almost to the olympics, I'm sure he's still got something up his sleeve and would be a great coach.


Thanks so much,

-Smartyy!

The question is do YOU think it's possible for you to compete? Olympic athletes don't ask if they can compete they just do it.......They train every possible minute. They eat, breathe and s**t whatever sport they are competing in. I mean listen to every one of the athletes they interview over the next few weeks at the Olympics, I bet almost everyone of them will say something to the likes of "When I was 11(or whatever age) I decided I wanted a gold medal" Not "When I was 11 I asked if it was possible to get a gold medal". So just start training and see what happens. Put your blinders on and just look at the end.... you on a podium with a medal.
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Old 08-10-08, 11:02 AM   #11
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Two years is a pretty short time to set yourself a goal like this. Those kids have probably been training for years and years. It's possible you have absoultely insane natural ability and can get yourself to that level in time...but you have to remember that Olympic athletes generally have both insane natural ability and the hard work and experience to get where they are.

Going by the age limits you mentioned, I'm going to assume you're ~15-16 years old. Honestly, I think you're better off setting yourself a goal for 8-16 years from now...and trying to get yourself into the Trials. Plus you said you're more of a roadie, and the normal Olympics includes road cycling as a discipline. I've seen tons of kids just like you, who set themselves a goal and say they're going to start training tomorrow and work their ass off until they get there. And they do start...but then they drop off. They give it up because the road is too hard, too painful, and not a lot of fun. They miss their social life, or spending time with their significant other, or they want to go to the bar when their friends go the night before their speed workout instead of going to bed at 9:00. They want to sleep in instead of getting in their 4am workout before class, or they want to hang out with their friends instead of doing their second workout while everyone else is getting ready to go out. They hit a failure or setback, a big loss or injury, and instead of getting up and forging on, they give up. If you want to set yourself apart from the rest of them, stay focused for the next several years. Be ready to sacrifice and set your priorities in ways that might seem twisted to all but the others who share your dream. You say you can put on blinders...get ready to put them on for years. Those temptations? They'll look really appealing, especially in the lowest, darkest points in your training...but whether you're going to give in should never even be a question. Someone once said to me, "Athletics, academics/career, social life...pick two." In my experience, "pick two" leads to mediocrity, so it's always been "pick one," yet I'm still heartbreakingly far from Olympic caliber (though my primary sport is not cycling, I can only assume it's the same way).

Instead of planning on starting your training tomorrow...just start planning tomorrow. Do some soul searching and decide if this is what you REALLY want. And if it is, just start researching. Research different training methods. Get in contact with some coaches and figure out how much they charge. Talk to some local cyclists and see if you can put together some rides. Start base training...you're going to need hundreds of thousands of miles under your belt before you can even consider something like this. And if you decide that this is really what you want, take scandluz22's advice. Don't ask if you can do it, because everyone will say no. Friends, coaches...everyone really...will say no. My biggest fan in the world...my mother...told me it wasn't possible. In the end, it shouldn't matter what they think. If you want it, go out and get it, and to hell with the doubters. Take their "no" and turn it around as motivation to prove them wrong.
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Old 08-10-08, 11:24 AM   #12
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Zephyr,

This road you are talking about, I've been down that road. I swam for 9 years on a year around team, I had to get up at 4 to practice before school, then again from 3-7 after school. I know what your talking about when you say the temptations of not going. And I didn't exactaly drop off, I've "Taken a break" because of marching band being too expensive and my family can't afford both for my sister and I.
And yes, I do realize that Olympians have insane talent and tons of hard work, and in the off chance that I do have insane natural talent for it I will still ahve to work twice as hard as everyone else to get to their level. The thing is I do enjoy cycling, a lot. And mountain biking, the little I've done was tons of fun. I can't imagine ever getting bored of it because each trail has new challenges, obstacles, they are always changing.
I never really like swimming to begin with. Sure it was fun to go on a summer team and have a meet every week, but going to practice 9 times I week as I did just got too much. Swimming to me was something that you could just go tot he pool and do, not something you'd do 9 times a week.
Besides, my mom is a hard-ass about stuff like this and wouldn't let me quit.
Honestly I can't say I could get bored of cycling, especially mountain biking. I got bored of swimming like on the 3rd day, I was just really good at it and my mom and dad wouldn't let me quit.

And even if I don't make it, like you said a long term goal would be 8-16 years from now, I'll already be in shape for it and maybe even at the lever if my competitors so it would give me an edge.


But maybe what your saying is true, maybe I'll start at it, then drop off in a month. I can't tell you how much I will really enjoy doing it. Either way, it's worth giving a shot.
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Old 08-10-08, 10:12 PM   #13
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"Taking a break" and "dropping off" are the same thing. Whether you "drop off" because of "temptation" or "necessity"...either way you quit, and there's not a whole lot of difference...you aren't competing anymore. We all drop off sometime...whether it's because we give in to temptation, face the "real world," find ourselves no longer in the competitive mental state required to compete at that level, face physical breakdown, or die, it's eventually inevitable. The question is when, how far you've gotten, and how your experiences have changed you before you "drop off."

There will be times when cycling will be the same as swimming. There will be times you hate it, times when it "gets to be too much," times you get "bored with it," times when it is not at all fun, and times that you'd rather be doing anything but cycling. Even when you love a sport, with that much training, you will not always enjoy it. Sport doesn't work that way. A good athlete faces these demons and trains anyway...there's never any question whether or not he'll get out the door and get his workout in.

The biggest problem I see with shooting for a goal this soon instead of one farther down the road is the possibility of burning yourself out too soon. As I said, I think you're better off with a longterm goal, just because I think you'd have a better chance. You could work on a base for years, and figure out exactly what works for you. But talk to a coach about it, and they'll give you a better idea of how to train and peak than I can.

I never said you'd drop off in a month...I said you'd have to be willing to sacrifice.

You'll face doubters a million times over throughout your career. I don't consider myself a doubter, but I consider myself a realist. If you find yourself rattled and upset by what I'm telling you, you'll never make it. But if you can read my posts, understand that the road ahead is hard and long, and accept that and forge ahead anyway, you're one step closer to your dream.
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Old 08-10-08, 10:22 PM   #14
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what's with all these long posts??

i can't read this...it hurts!

mx
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Old 08-11-08, 10:23 AM   #15
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Sorry mx, guess you'll have to learn ow to read above the 5th grade level!
=P jk

Zephyr, I am taking what your saying to heart, I am certainly not reading it saying "this guys an idiot, i'll show him!" but rather "that's a good point" etc.

I do have a question, what do you mean by "burn out too soon" ?

and I also found out there there is going to be a triathlon at the YOG, which include (obviously) cycling, but more specifically road racing. This would definably be a better choice since I'm already a good swimmer and I was on the track team last year. I've also done a short "super sprint" Triathlon when I was 13. I don't know, I'll have to ask a coach (like you said)
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Old 08-11-08, 11:19 AM   #16
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thank god you're not mad or anything.

if your grandpa was training athletes in the 80's, his exercise phys knowledge is dated. i wouldn't want to be trained as your other family members were as you stated.

mx
I'm sure he can learn the rest from Wikipedia.
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Old 08-11-08, 11:23 AM   #17
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I'm sure he can learn the rest from Wikipedia.
Since cycling is a lot of sitting, I tend to prefer the Sit and Be Fit method:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=txjlhm21IVg
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Old 08-11-08, 12:55 PM   #18
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^ ahahaha wooow lol that's amazing...
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