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Cam Piper on Coping with Coronavirus

  • April 10, 2020
  • Cameron Piper

Finding motivation in uncertainty – something that I’m sure nearly all of us are struggling with at the moment.  Whether you are struggling with the motivation to simply go for a walk, or practice the sport or activity you love, these trying times are difficult for everyone. Being someone who needs to structure my life around my racing, training, and work, knowing there is no racing on the horizon dealt its initial blow a few weeks ago. Will this whole situation last two weeks?  Two months?  The rest of the year?  No one truly knows, and the situation remains fluid – and that’s almost as challenging as your hardest interval set or competition.

I started my season at Tour Colombia, right as the virus was seemingly invading all of Asia at the beginning of February.  At that time, it was just a few headlines in the news (but times change so quickly!).  I didn’t have the race I had hoped or trained for, courtesy of the high altitude and after an unfortunate crash in Stage Three – but I pushed forward, still finishing all six stages so I could help my teammates.  I came home with excitement for the season, but that would quickly change focus.

I received a text message that flashed on the display of my cycling computer a few weeks back – right in the middle of one of the hardest interval sets – from a friend saying all events are canceled through the 1st of May.  I couldn’t believe it.  I literally felt the strength from my legs disappear.  Why would I keep pushing myself? When would I actually get to race again?  I pushed myself to finish my ride, got home, and immediately asked my coach what to do.  He kept it simple – offering a different perspective of the situation.  Why not use this time to figure out why you simply love to push yourself further?  Why not use this time to figure out why you strive to be better each day?  It’s not about targeted training for a specific event, it’s simply about training to figure out exactly who or what is your best self – whatever that might be!

We all face challenges in our lives, and they’re all unique.  It’s not always a challenge to see who is the most fit to win a race or competition, it could just be a challenge to better ourselves.   Racing continues to slip further away as the virus really takes hold around the world, (heck, I’m even supposed to be in Thailand racing right now!) but that’s no longer my focus.  I’m purely taking each day with the mindset that I want to see how much better I can be.  Better about hydrating throughout the day.  Better about making my bed every morning.  Better about caring for others and showing compassion. I find the motivation in knowing that after all of this – whether it is two weeks, two months, or a year away – that I will be a better person.  And for me, that’s all the motivation I need!  Hydration is power, but so is your mind – and don’t forget that!

Stay happy and healthy – and never forget to broaden your perspective on the why in order to be better.

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