So all of this Olympic stuff has got me thinking a lot. At one time my goal as a kid was the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. This was also the first year they let professionals in so I knew my already .0001% chance was even slimmer. Once I hit 18 I got burned out and never did make it to the Olympics. I love listening and watching the athletes stories of how they got to where they are now. All of the hard work, dedication, sacrifice of everyday things we take for granted. All of the time, money, effort, sacrifice that is put in by the parents as well. It is so awesome when they show the parents in the stands after their child just won an event. I don’t care what country they are from, the reaction is always the same. I think a lot of times they should also award the parents with a medal also!
Blood, sweat, tears
I got into cycling when I was around 13. My parents were always super supportive. It was up to me to pay for my own equipment (paper route, mowing lawns) but they always took me to the races. Granted they did not know much if anything about proper training, nutrition, etc. This was before the internet was really around. I am not faulting them at all. They always went above and beyond in my book.
The local cycling club had a Tuesday night time trial during the summer months. It was a 5 mile out and back (10 miles total) course. We lived about 30 minutes away. Every Tuesday my mom would help me fold my newspapers so I could do my route faster than normal and than load up my bike in the minivan along with my 3 younger brothers. My dad would meet us there and I would do my ride. Remember this was in the summer!! They would wait there in the hot weather for me to do my ride. We would pack up and head home afterwards. This was every Tuesday for a couple of months! Talk about dedication on their part.
There were a number of times we would have to get up at the ass crack of dawn to drive to races that were 2 to 2 1/2 hours away. Racing as a junior my races were always first thing in the morning. Mom would get up to make me some of those Lipton pasts noodles for “carbo loading” and than Dad and I would hit the road. At times the whole family would go to. I had my own cheering section!
Like I said I think the parents should get the same medal that their child gets in the Olympics for all of the work they have had to do also. I know that my love of cycling that I have would not of been possible if it was not for the help of my parents. They were awesome and still are awesome to this day!