season planning

Alison Tetrick: Season Planning in Uncertain Times

By Alison Tetrick,
Pro cyclist, Entrepreneur, CTS Contributing Editor

Your sights are honed. You have your target in mind. You’re laser focused. You start dialing in your objective. I just hope it isn’t on Bambi. (Whoever put their sights on that baby deer traumatized an entire generation.) As another cycling season gets rolling, there are lots of things to focus on – I get it. But let’s turn our season planning attentions toward something we can rally around, other than the fate of a cartoon critter.

Here we are, frantically scheduling, planning, and starting our year. You start filling out your calendar, circling the important days. You cross off the travel days. Rest days fall into place as you need to travel for work and fulfill that life balance. You fill in your kid’s soccer schedule and your parents’ anniversary. Hopefully you’ll mark your own monumental dates as well. Is Valentine’s Day still a thing?

There are occasions and goals and events coming your way. Are you ready for them all? Did you color code everything correctly and use the appropriate stickers? Am I the only one who still uses a paper calendar for season planning? I prefer the 8.5×11 spiral bound kind. I track metrics, events, birthdays, and dreams.

It’s already February, but there is still a whiff of uncertainty in the air. Do we even like riding with people? Do we still know people? Where can I muster the courage to push myself? Ah. That courage that you need. Where is it? I know I put it somewhere. It’s somewhere deep inside in a very special place, so special and unique that surely I will remember it. So, where is it again? Probably with my keys and calendar. Hopefully I find it all soon because, well, the year is already happening.

We have beautiful opportunities: to attend events we have been craving, to push our limits, to see friends, and to cherish the moments we have. But as we start filling the calendar, does anyone else feel that sense of angst, like applying for college again? Are you enough? Are you ready? And do you really want to leave your own comfort zone? I mean, working from home has its challenges. But then, we got used to them. We found our routine and identified what we could control. Is anyone else worried about venturing out into the world? I am. But it comes with the opportunity to reunite with friends and bike family, so… YES!

I love the adventure cycling brings me, but I also love the mundane process that accompanies those adventures. I like being able to plan accordingly for my version of the method to my madness. In my case, there is a lot of madness, and not much method, but hey, this is my dance. As we start venturing out into the wide-open spaces, ready to race  and adventure and be human, to see and be seen, how do we incorporate days away from home and the insecurity of the unknown into our season planning? Good question.

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This is what I have come up with:

  • Make it count – Figure out what matters most to you about experiences with your friends, family, and events. Now, make the most of those experiences. We’ve been waiting a long time for this, so go with gusto.
  • Control your controllables – You can’t dictate how life happens, but you can do your best to be prepared to roll with the punches. If things aren’t quite how you remembered, that’s okay. Embrace the new way and enjoy what comes, you’re ready. Also, I know ‘controllables’ isn’t a word, but I will still use it.
  • Prioritize your priorities – Doesn’t that sounds redundant? Because it is. We all can make time for the things that mean the most to us. So, think about what matters the most to you and don’t let those things slip to the sideline. Hint: your season planning should include all the time with family and friends as well as a bunch of PRs, wins, and all-day rides.
  • Don’t focus on Bambi – We all love adorable critters and laser focus is great, but Bambi was a cartoon character. Make sure what you’re focusing on is real and attainable. We can’t live in a dreamland, but we can create our own reality. One step at a time.
  • But, do focus. Yes. Focus is key. Focus on what matters. See bullet point one.

We are entering a new phase of the eternal juggling act. And believe me, sometimes I feel like I can’t even juggle one object. But what we can do is get the best out of ourselves every day. And remembering now that we can venture out with others, we should also remember to look out for one another. The year might look daunting, but if we collectively focus on being the best version of ourselves, together, we are going to be able to hug, celebrate, race, and win.

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Comments 4

  1. Fun, witty, engaging article!

    Paper calendars are the way to go for goals, important dates and milestones.

    I’ve been accused of making a list to make a list.

    As busy as my schedule gets there is always enough room left over to enjoy a beer.

    Keep up the great writing!


  2. It may be sign of sickness, but I actually enter a lot of non-cycling events (including birthdays and other significant dates) on my Training Peaks schedule, since it’s the only one I look at with any regularity! Then I can plan and move around all my cycling stuff.

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