I suppose I’ve been too much like a cocktail of emotions to write much online over the last few months. Grumpy, nervous, upset, lazy, fed up as well as completely over the moon and more excited than I’ve ever been to name a few. I don’t like publishing stuff that’s not super happy. I genuinely love what I do and don’t want to give the wrong impression. One of my biggest fears when writing these is people thinking I’m this ungrateful, moaning cyclist. When I was a kid, I dreamt of doing what I’m doing right now (not cycling specifically, I hated cycling to school. I’m not going to even begin to sell that I’m cyclist from birth.) However, 10-year-old me didn’t really have a clue what she was really aiming for, I don’t like writing stuff I think would have let her down, and crush what she was doing everything for. Or influence an aspiring GB athlete, because I still wouldn’t change a thing, it’s just harder than I thought it would be. I’ve got people that have my back, the support network around means I never fall too far. So, nothing drastic is going on here. I just haven’t wanted to dwell too much, and shout around during periods not going the way I necessarily planned. Not specifically results and performances, just injuries or illnesses, then rehab/recovery from either one. But it seemed like it was all going on in a rotation.
And I’ve had a fab last couple months, the Grenchen race in December was my favourite competition of 2018. It was just such a great experience and the free Red Bulls was a bonus. I had a lovely Christmas and New Year with all my family. My 20thbirthday was awesome and having my family watch me compete at Nationals was ace. And on my tour of Universities I had a lot of fun visiting loads of school friends. It means so much to me to be able to pick up where we left off, and just enjoy the time we can grab together. I went to the British Cycling Awards evening too! But underneath all of it, kind of ‘behind the scenes’ niggly injuries still lurked. I was icing my knee everyday day and asking for any available frozen veg to use instead of ice, was becoming the norm. I was rolling out whilst catching up with friends over a cup of tea. And I missed most of Nationals because I was ill. Or put on the wrong gear when I was riding, but that’s a completely separate issue. And in an ideal world, you embrace not being able to do sessions, missing races and love every second, but let’s be honest, it’s not that much fun is it? Let’s not beat around the bush. You don’t train, to not race.
But anyway, I’m still grumpy for not being able to do certain lifts or certain things at times. I still get upset about missed opportunities, but the world still keeps turning and there’s more for me to get through around the corner. So, let’s move on to the next one… Other parts to training are going a lot better than planned, so you win some; you lose some. Happy days. And like I say I’ve got a cracking team around me, so it can never really get that bad. And after returning from what was my favourite camp, I’ve found a new sense of perspective. And to be honest I wanted to brag about it, so here it is.
After just two months of a wet and windy 2019, the Sprint Academy had had enough of the rain, and headed to a villa in Mallorca for just under three weeks. The plan was to get strong and enjoy yourself. We all did exactly that. Everybody wanted everyone to hit their strength targets, the hype was contagious in the gym. It was a dream place to train, in a room full of people with the same passion, ambition and empathy all under the beaming sun. We hit the gym, the track and the road hard. Some of us did this both metaphorically and physically. I must have thought I was the former BMX rider Blaine Ridge-Davis at one point, as I thought I could successfully jump from a meter ramp on to a main road after some miscommunicated directions. Absolutely not. Within a few days of arriving I’d taken a chunk from my shin, sprained my wrist and smashed my knee (the previous good knee as well!) Perfect. As you can imagine I wasn’t too excited to back on the injured bus. You just can’t make this up. But it could have been a lot worse and thankfully after a few days I was up and running pretty much normally. It was hard to be too upset surrounded by the most beautiful scenes and team mates always looking out for you. Especially my fellow ‘mountain goat’; Lusia Steele keeping moral high 24/7, as I had the honour of being her roommate.
We took full advantage of the long smooth roads, and sun as well as the track and gym out there. We had the choice of the flatter route or a steeper route most days. All expect the last day, when after a hefty double day, we all climbed Sa Calobra. Classic, of course we did. The 682m of straight climbing. We also did yoga at 7.30am every morning, this was something I was made aware of before we left but I thought this outrageous suggestion would soon be abandoned. 7.30am every day, surely not? It was not abandoned. I would do the yoga, eat some food, and re-awake at around 9am as much more alive version of myself. Admittedly the yoga itself was rather beneficial, my muscles are tight having done it so I’m not thinking about the state they’d be in be in without it. We were also joined by the 3 cats each morning, that belonged to the house but were not allowed inside. It added a new meaning to the Cat-Camel stretch. There was obvious divide between cat and dog people when one wormed their way into the house.
The main takeaways from the camp would just be how although throughout, people picked up various injuries, niggles or just sometimes had a bad day, not one night did the overall atmosphere of the group dip. It was constantly a place that made you happy to be there. Thankful for the opportunity, and excited for tomorrow but also not wanting this one to end. I loved it. As well as just having the chance to stop and just be proud of how far you’ve come. Some of us were guilty of being annoyed for not hitting an extra rep at a new PB, but we had to just look at how far we’d actually come. We’d had our heads down for a while just getting it done. Getting it in the tank. But sat looking out in to the ocean at the most amazing sunset I’ve ever seen, we all just thought about how we’re actually doing alright. We’re gonna be okay, we’ll get it another day. Just enjoy right now. So that’s exactly what we did. Right after we took a picture for Instagram.
3 thoughts on “The one after the six month break”
Great blog Milly. Lots of work but lots of pleasure. Keep it up.
Tough 6 months Mills, but well done for keeping focused. Keeping your focus and determination when everything else feels like it is going wrong is just, if not more, important than the physical results. It is what will allow you to achieve your absolute potential. I am so proud of you, keep it up and keep learning. X
Going well, nowt worth doing is ever easy da Millster, you got this. Xx
Pwoud vewy pwoud