Craig Rotile is one of my hardest working clients and team mates both on and off the bike. He picked up the sport relatively late in life, but he is putting a 100% effort into everything he does and makes the learning curve steep and the progress steady. Craig wants to do well in what he does more than anyone and no matter if it is a training ride or a race Craig gives his all and his best. He knows it will pay off sooner or later to suffer through the hard workouts and beat downs at races mentally and physically.
Well it did, Craig achieved a great personal goal this past weekend finishing 3rd in the last of the H2H Mountain Bike series race and clinched the win for the over all title in the Cat 2, 50+ group. This was a goal we set out to achieve last year and having this in the back of our minds since last summer really kept Craig motivated and digging deep when it mattered.
I think this is a great story because Craig does not win a lot of races and in mountain biking specially there are so many factors that controls your success. Fitness, skills, equipment etc. But you can only get good at mountain biking by riding your mountain bike, there are no short cuts and nothing is being handed to you for free. When you have a full-time job, family, and limited time to train most days, but once in a while little more time to spare like Craig and most of us, it is important to make every moment count and have a training schedule that suits your life in a positive way—that is when you get results like this.
Here are a few words from Craig the man himself about winning the series.
“This past Sunday was the season finale for the 2016 H2H Series at Mountain Creek. The course had some new, challenging sections and it seemed like the rocks grew this year, LOL. I entered the final race with a small lead, determined to keep that lead and win the series. I was not going down with out a good fight. I took 3rd in Sundays race and that was just enough. It’s been a solid year, with 5 podiums out of the 8 races, and the main season goal, the series win, mission accomplished. It’s been a fun MTB. season, starting with those winter rides chasing Roger, Al, Chris, Christoffel and Carl, to the crazy early morning workouts Roger dialed up! Im really proud to fly the Finkraft colors and achieve this goal of mine. Hard work does pay off! Now it is time to get that cross bike ready!”
Throughout the season each race was a test mentally, skill wise and of physical fitness for Craig. We made adjustments as we went on and worked on his weaknesses to fine tune his form. I think these factors are key in coaching, training and racing. Flexibility and to be able to see what is needed to make someone better even though they are already doing their best. Goals and plans are important, but so is a plan B.
Every athlete on any level, pro or age group amateurs, has their ups and downs throughout every season. For athletes to keep believing in themselves, in their coach and their preparation, requires a lot of positive thinking and support not just from yourself, but also from everybody around you. I am only one part of that, family, teammates, friends and even social media these days have a great effect on an athlete to stay motivated and driven to get out there every day and on race day give it all they got.
Congrats to Craig and I hope this story motivates you a little more to achieve your own goals.