Published on 23rd April 2016 | By Chris Walker

In cycling, a lot of people see the person on the outside, the one with glasses, the one with the helmet, but it’s true to say that people can’t see the person behind that. A person can be totally different on race day to the one you catch drinking a coffee on a rest day.

Sometimes admitting that something is wrong for me is the hardest of things, I sit there debating with myself and half of the time don’t resolve anything in my own mind, because of hunger because of willingness I’m not sure. However when I think now for a long period I’m not sure of the last time I trained to a good standard, or even raced when I felt 100%, That’s how it’s been going for a long time now, even before I wrote my last blog. It’s not because I don’t have the mentality for it, training is something I do well, it’s because my body just hasn’t allowed me through sickness.

It’s really been a downward spiral from the first races I opened with in France, and when I have been sick I haven’t allowed my self to build back up from the illness, it’s always been straight in to a race, more so because I want to be back at a good level as quick as possible for goals I’ve set, but with doing that I’m now missing out on my bigger goals for this month, and some very exciting ones, which believe
me hits a lot harder than any illness I’ve had.

A couple of weeks ago I was planning the trip home for 2 races, I was sorting everything out which at the beginning of the season was a bit of an unexpected trip home, then yesterday I was ringing home saying that I won’t be coming. After doing a training ride earlier this week over any little climb I was struggling to keep up or even breath, I truly believe I would have been dropped over a motorway bridge, I was to the doctor that evening and he informed me I had a lung infection, we talked through it and agreed to miss my first target to focus on the second one, but the truth is it’s not clearing the way we thought and it’s led to having more days off than originally planned.

I could still have made the trip home in hope that it cleared before the race next weekend, but to get on the start line in bad condition, to go straight in to a high level race, to maybe be dropped or pull out early in my home race would be a lot more disappointing than admitting I need time for this, and would neither benefit the team or more so myself.

So sometimes in bike racing the tough times are had away from the bike, to be suffering on a climb but been in good condition is something for me that makes
me happy, because there’s nothing wrong, I can push through that, but pushing through this is not the way forward and doesn’t benefit the rest of the season.

The thing I look to at the moment is even when I’ve not been a 100% I’ve been able to compete, not just for myself, but for the teams I’ve been riding for, there is definitely something there that I feel I can push this year, but it’s finding a clear path for me to be able to do that and to show people I can.