I’m always super reflective during October. Partly because it’s my birth month, and holy shit another year of my life has flown by. But also because there’s finally some quiet space to slow down and breathe. It’s like my own kind of off season to look back and reflect on the year, assess progress, and allow myself time to refresh.
After shooting my last race of the season, my camera sat in my camera bag for a good couple of weeks, untouched. Every day I would walk by it and feel a sting of guilt for not filming anything. But I wasn’t ready to pick it up yet. I imagine this is exactly how every pro cyclist feels during their off season. The bike sits in the corner and waits for its rider to refresh mentally and physically after a long season.
This down time is so important in order to see the big picture. It’s so hard to it see when your head is down, hustling in survival mode. In this quiet space you can begin to put the season into perspective.
The races are over for 2017. This ending was jarring and abrupt, too final. I could sum it up easily in terms of videos made, total number of views, or number of countries visited. But instead of reaching the end of the calendar, or counting stats at the finish line, I see this year as part of a massive journey. A whirlwind of creative success and failure, laughter and frustration, held together with lots and lots of coffee.
There were some days when everything clicked and came together perfectly. Good race footage was plentiful and interviews flowed freely. It was brilliant when the team had a victory or the girls did something extra hilarious on camera. But some days all my footage sucked and it was a huge challenge to keep things fresh and interesting race after race. In the beginning I struggled with self-doubt every time I hit the upload button.
But this is all part of the journey. It’s super easy to appreciate the good moments. But never discount the hard stuff. The really hard shit… that’s where progress and growth come from.
I’ve realised in these last few weeks that even though the season is over, the journey continues. It doesn’t end just because the calendar says so. The creative journey lasts a lifetime.
Now I can look at my camera with excitement again instead of guilt. My mind is turning with ideas. I’m looking forward to telling the next story.
Off season over.