Remy’s dust up with the shoulder this last week reminded all of us of our own experiences with the nastier side of the sport. Over the last few days I have coincidentally come across a number of stories about pros who have rebounded from adversity. Taylor Phinney (BMC) and Chad Haga (Giant Alpecin) both had near career ending crashes. At the same time both were able to look at the benefits of having to face adversity. Taylor Phinney – “That accident helped me to broaden my horizons so much, I’m truly grateful for the experience. It’s given me a completely different outlook on what I’m doing in life. Chad Haga – “I hug everyone a bit tighter now. It can all end very quickly. I try not to think about it too much, or think that I shouldn’t ride again. I want to live my life the best way I know how, and God will decide.” Adversity comes in many forms. Velonews posted a story today about Evan Huffman (formerly of Astana) who, while not facing recovery from a crash, failed in his bid to find success racing in Europe. “I think from the outside it looks really bad, in a lot of ways, to go to a WorldTour team and then come back down. It seems like a failure. But I don’t really feel that way. I think that I learned a lot. Even now, this year, having been back for a year, I’m still drawing on those experiences and those lessons that I learned from Astana to be successful now. So I don’t have any regrets.”
Cycling has received a bad reputation as countless pros have betrayed the ethic of sport and have accepted that its ok to “win at all costs”. Doubt and skepticism accompany the achievements of all in the Peloton. By contrast, Huffman sports two tattoos; on one arm is “truth” and on the other “grace”. While these are testimonies to Huffman’s deeply held faith in God, they are also statements about a commitment to engage sport and life at another level. Here’s to three men that understand that a real win comes from a deep understanding of the importance of truth to self and others and in the grace to accept and grow through the difficult challenges in life.