A big question among friends and colleagues in the pro cycling world right now is, “So, what are you doing next year?” It’s a common enough question each year once the cycling transfer season opens. But this year the question seems more urgent. A number of teams are closing their doors. A significant number of athletes and support staff need to find new homes for 2019. For myself, I don’t yet have an answer to this question.
I landed this job with Wiggle High5 in the fall of 2016. Since the first day I’ve been super aware just how unique and rare this job was. With many women’s teams still unable to pay all their athletes and support staff a full time wage, having a videographer travel with the team can seem like a straight up luxury (a subject for another blog).
Chatting with a colleague about his options for next year, he mentioned he might start looking for a “normal job.” Meaning, getting out of pro cycling altogether. His statement immediately threw me flashbacks to a grim period of working in a windowless beige cubicle in Denver a bunch of years ago. After two soul-sucking months, I quit.
Working as a cycling videographer has been the complete polar opposite of that experience. My office is on the Strade Bianche, the Mur de Huy, the Paterberg. My colleagues are skilled photographers and filmmakers. We tell the stories of Olympians and World Champions. Creating meaningful work and engaging with the wider cycling community has given me a sense of purpose and pride that’s been missing from any previous job I’ve held.
This was most evident to me during the TTT World Championships in Innsbruck. Filming from the backseat of the team car during the race flooded me with an overwhelming sensation of gratitude. Gratitude to be sharing and documenting that moment with the team. Whatever the outcome of the race was, I knew this was exactly what I was meant to be doing. A rare fleeting moment of realisation.
Now as the season is winding down I’m staring a fast approaching 2019 in the face. My answer to the question “So, what are you doing next year?” is still, “I don’t know.”
I hope that all my hardworking friends find a home for 2019. Hopefully a few of my options become a reality. I didn’t write this for anyone to feel sorry for me. On the contrary, be delighted that my work over the past two years has created a spark of purpose. Don’t worry, I’m never going back to that beige cubicle.