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You know that tips section on the homepage just below the featured stories and newsletter sign up? Well, that section is populated by responses to the question: “What do you know now that you wish you knew then?” We ask that question nearly every time we do an interview with someone for the first time. We ask the professionals. We ask the industry leaders. We ask the women on our group rides and the women leading those group ride. We ask the beginner rider and the experienced racer. We’ve discovered everyone has something to offer.
While on team camp, we asked the ladies of pro team WiggleHigh5 to share some of their tips and experiences with us. Read their responses below or watch some of them explain it in their own words.
“What I really wish I knew when I started out cycling was that being perfect wasn’t always going to make you the best cyclist. I think that you pick out a lot of habits and professional athletics is a really easy place to try and find perfect because you can measure things and quantify things. And if you spend so many years teaching yourself to do that, it actually becomes harder and harder to unlearn it later in your career. I wish that earlier in my career I had given myself more freedom to be imperfect.”
“Nutrition. I think that when you’re younger you think you can get through a four-hour ride on nothing, and then you get home and you’re completely bonked and you just raid the cupboards for chocolate and those things you probably shouldn’t be having, which isn’t the best recovery. So that’s definitely one [that I’ve learned]. Make sure you’re drinking –a bottle an hour is what they’re recommending—and stay on top of the food. Make sure you’re not getting to the end of your ride completely bonked and can’t even walk up the stairs. That’s pretty important.”
“I wish I knew that I was going to get to visit so many nice places and meet so many awesome people. I think that’s something you forget about. You only think about the sport and you don’t think about all the things around it.”
“You always set such a goal for yourself. You want to be good. You want to be the best. And I think that when you’re getting older you forget to enjoy when you have a good result. I think it’s so hard when you finally reach that result, to enjoy it. You always want more, more, more.”
“Yeah, you always want to reach higher and higher,” Johansson interjected in agreement. “And high is not enough.”
“There are many things I didn’t think about because you’re young, and you’re excited to be away from home. And now, as Italian as I am. I miss being home. Maybe when I was younger, I didn’t think about the sacrifice. Of course you get a lot back, so it’s a good balance.