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Main | Champion of TTE: Lois Christina Duke »

Champion of TTE: Jessie Chapman

"You know cycling is your sport when it thrills you to see good cyclists on the road when you’re driving and you wish you were on a bike instead. It’s a beautiful thing! I’ve enjoyed this feeling for years. What surprised me is that I’d discover I actually had some talent for cycling myself in my mid 50s. That was a little over three years ago when I first walked through the doors of what is now TTE and started to transform from a ‘sort-of-better-than-average’ recreational cyclist into an athlete. Power tests, events and my (one and only) race result, indicate I have a pretty decent pair of legs and lungs. A late bloomer! Even at my age, I’ve continued to get stronger with training. Even though I am time and sleep-challenged, my training averages only six hours a week, and recovery takes longer now. There are two things I’ve learned are most important about endurance training at any age: Consistency and managing through pain. You’ve got to show up and do the work, and small increments add up over time. (Prior to TT, my approach to cycling had been all or nothing.) Pain isn’t always bad and it can have a purpose. These lessons continue to inspire me not only in cycling, but in life. It feels good to be strong. And to believe it’s never too late to discover a talent or achieve something new. I know it’s only a matter of time before my power profile starts to head in the opposite direction. I can’t say my ego won’t mind. But “being a champion” means working to be your best regardless of shape, size, physical capabilities—or age. And when I start to regret that I didn’t take up cycling more seriously when I was younger and wonder how good I could have been, I remind myself of this proverb: “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is now."


"On weekday mornings when it’s cold and dark and I’d rather drink more coffee than put my rear end on my saddle for a 5:45am torque class, I remind myself, “You don’t ‘have’ to do this. You ‘get’ to do this.” I never take cycling for granted. To me, it is a privilege."

Reader Comments (1)

Great post, Jesse...I'm motivated for tonight's hill climb!

March 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn

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