This episode is all about the power of having a team who believe in you and about choosing goals so big they scare you.
The Veloroos are an Australian cycling team that formed in 2014 when a few friends set their sights on a goal — to ride across America.
The Race Across America (or RAAM) is regarded as one of the world’s toughest and most respected cycling races.
It’s a 5,000km cycling race, literally, across America.
From the west coast to the east, it is 30% longer than the Tour de France and must be completed in 1/3 of the time.
Our first guest, Julie-Anne Hazlett, was a member of that team and shares some of the adventure in this conversation - including not only winning their category but breaking a long standing record in the process.
(You can see the trailer of the film made about the team, called RAAM Bam Thank You Mam, here).
And next month (August 2017) the team will become the first Australian team, male or female, to start the Race Around Ireland, a 2,200km cycling race around the spectacular, rugged and windswept coastal roads of Ireland.
Our second guest, Sarah Anne Evans has joined the team and will line up at the start alongside Julie Anne, and two other riders, in a few weeks time.
There are two things I love about this team.
Firstly their mission to encourage more women to get into cycling.
And secondly, they are normal everyday women like you and I; they work full time, having demanding careers, families and all the other ‘normal’ obligations of everyday life.
But they have still found a way to chase their extraordinary and demanding goals.
It would be so easy to have a dream of doing something like RAAM or the Race Around Ireland and put it in the “too hard” (or even “impossible”) basket.
Not these ladies!
They are an incredible example of what a normal, everyday woman can achieve with commitment, dedication, belief and the right support network (and I don’t just mean crew - I’m talking family, training buddies and the wider community).
In this conversation we cover:
* How they both got into cycling,
* The logistics of the RAAM including how they handled the 48 degree heat, fatigue as well as strong cross winds that nearly blew them off their bikes,
* How they fit training for a multi-day endurance event into their busy lives,
* The upcoming Race Around Ireland and some of the “unique” challenges they’ll face,
* Their experience with self-doubt, the Imposter Complex and how they manage their fears when they stand on the start line of an event that seems “impossible”.
Some of my favourite quotes from this episode include these from Sarah Anne:
What I loved about them was that tenacity. That there’s such a lack of belief sometimes in women riding bikes. And nothing wavered the girl’s belief in themselves and that was..for me one of the most inspiring things…they went out to break the record and… nothing was going to fall short of that.
When you get to races, your first 10km, your first Half Ironman or your first Olympic or the Race Around Ireland or the RAAM, [standing on the start line is…] the prize; it’s the thing you’ve worked hardest for. So to crap all over that by beating yourself up on the start line…you deserve so much when you’ve put everything into it.
And these from Julie-Anne,
I think [self-doubt is…] part and parcel of competing and unfortunately it’s a little bit of human nature where you question yourself and wonder what you’re doing. But it’s how much control you let that have.
Don’t second guess yourself so much. You can do anything you can put your mind too. Just do it. If it’s something you think about and you think you’ll be interested in, go out and do it.
I think quite often women tend to overthink a lot and talk themselves out of a lot of things they could definitely do.
Notes and resources:
You can also support the Veloroos by making a donation here.