Perhaps this should be a 'Motivational Minute' cautionary tale. Because I lost the mental game at the WORCS race in Primm last weekend (www.worcsracing.com). First, the start. There's nothing like the start of a motorcycle race. Bikes on either side, revving their engines, every eye focused on the starter, anticipating his throw of the flag. Then he tosses it up, and the crowd thunders to the first turn, wrestling and vying for position, dirt and dust flying through the air. I excel at holeshots, launching off the start and getting into the first turn in the lead. This race I reacted quickly when the starter threw his flag, but bogged my engine. I should have revved it more. Entering the first turn, I found myself midpack and started the bad self-talk. "You suck!" "I can't believe this!" A few qualifiers here. This is not to justify my poor performance, but to put it in perspective. The WORCS series is a bunch of committed riders. They compete in five states, so they spend a great deal of time, money and effort to their sport. Also, I attended a speaking seminar (http://www.worldchampslive.com/champcamp-lady.html) and drove straight out to the track, changed out of my slacks and sweater and went racing. Not a good way to get your head in the game. The first lap consisted of numerous people passing me as I mentally flaggellated myself for my performance.
The course wove through the desert with short straights and myriad turns. Plenty of braking bumps and ruts kept the riders on their toes. The turns consisted of fluffy sand with ruts carved in from hundred of bikes railing them previously.
On the second lap, I rode better and even passed a few people who had either fallen or had bike problems. No matter- I passed them. On lap three a rider passed me and I kept up with him for almost the entire lap. Then I CHANGED MY MIND and passed him.
I figured out the turns, finally. Enter with more speed and turn wider. Protecting the inside proved to be slow going, and corner speed increased tremendously.
What do you know? The rest of the race was fun and free, riding fast, full of joy. Because no matter what happens in the race of life, you better be enjoying the journey. And the results? Hmm. 15th out of 16 in my class. And that guy didn't start. Last place. Rats. Well, nowhere to go but up, right?