21 Aug. 2019

Izzy Flint “Sometimes you just have to move the goal posts”

Izzy Flint Update

I started writing this update in June when I had lots of spare time, here’s a list of what my life has looked like since my crash:

  • 3 months of no racing
  • 4 weeks back into training
  • A winter cold that has hung around for more 2 weeks (Thanks to Tassie’s winter climate)
  • Lots cold and flu tablets
  • 1 Cross Country MTB ride
  • 22 Zwift rides in 6 weeks
  • A bunch of dog walks
  • Unlimited Netflix hours
  • Rewatched the entire 8 seasons of Suits
  • Many, many marvellous cooking creations

It’s now August and thankfully I have a far more notable list:

  • 5 race days
  • 12 weeks of riding back under my belt
  • Another winter cold that only hung around for just 1 week this time
  • 45 Zwift rides
  • Less Netflix, a lot more homework
  • Many recipes developed
  • 125 hours of training
  • Finally got enough balance back to stand on a gym fit ball!
  • First time away competing; Reef to Reef and National All Schools Championships
  • A far more happy, chappy Iz

 

Speaking of racing; having the events of National All Schools Champs on the Gold Coast and Reef to Reef in Cairns in my sights meant I had a little carrot to chase, and boy did I chase it! After having my freedom, passion and the one thing that makes my world go round taken away, I had a new appreciation and love for this incredible life I get to live.  I also had new goals - not only on the bike but off it as well! A new zippy stealthy MERIDA Big Nine was the icing on the cake for my first races back!

Much as I love racing, I was completely petrified to be competing again. I was proud of myself to have made it to National All Schools.  Getting there was a huge emotional journey with plenty of setbacks, hurdles, heartache, joy and tears but I went in to these races with no expectations and while I know lots of athletes say that (I’ve said it before too) but I’ve never actually gone into an event without having some kind of expectation on myself and been content with that. It’s something I think is really powerful and it was a huge learning for me! In order to perform at your best, you have to know yourself inside out and back to front and learning new ways that work better for you is awesome! I was so stoked. I think this mindset changed the way I raced, and it worked out pretty well. I raced the short course and Cross-country races and to my surprise slid back into the front end of the race; something I didn’t think would happen! It wasn’t something I thought about in during the racing, I just enjoyed pedalling my bike (my big smile in all the pics is proof of that) although it did turn into a grimace part way through when my heart rate reached its max, but there was still a smile underneath. I was back doing what I loved most, using the best products possible, with the sun on my face and at last my world was finally round again!

From the Gold Coast I travelled to Brisbane to visit MERIDA HQ.  It was awesome to see some the people behind the scenes who believed me in and helped me achieve my goals! From Brisbane I travelled to Cairns ready for Reef to Reef, a stage race that I was pumped for.  It was my first race of the ‘EPIC series’ and I paired up with my good mate Jacob Langham.  Again I raced with no expectations and no pressure (a feeling I’ve realised I like a lot!). I was super excited to be debuting the brand-new Pearl Izumi kit and just buzzing to be back in a race village seeing all the familiar faces I’d missed and even better to see the MERIDA Crew; Tas and Holly.

Things have a way of just happening. Stage 1 and 2 were cracking.  I was feeling okay and I was riding pretty well.  I was having a ball and that’s all I could have possibly hoped for. Sadly, my Reef to Reef only made it halfway.  I fell ill over night after stage 2 and was in no shape to race on. A bitter end to add to the season I’ve already had but things will be when they are meant to be. No one gets to walk a smooth path through life.  Mine’s been like riding a gnarly enduro track recently but lucky for me I’ve got a brand-new MERIDA One- Sixty 7000 called Harley (inspired by his sparkling harlequin colour) who’s capable of anything…. And I know that we’ve got this! I’ll keep chipping away and when the time is right, things will start to fall into place and I will find a path that is slightly more smooth (but still has big jumps, rocks and roots because that’s what Harley and I are meant for.

 

Race results:

National All School XCC- 1st

National All Schools Cross-country- 1st

Reef to reef stage 1- 4th

Reef to reef stage 2- 3rd

 

Photography by FLOW MTB