We’re proud to announce the arrival of a new voice on the Trainright blog! Arleigh Jenkins is a new mom living in Denver and a veteran of the bike industry, with 15 years of experience in bike shops, cycling advocacy, and a range of other roles. You can see more of Arleigh’s work by following her on social media, where she goes by @Bikeshopgirl on Twitter and Bike Shop Girl on Facebook.
By Arleigh Jenkins, CTS Athlete
Six weeks ago I started on a journey of personal and athletic growth by signing up with a CTS cycling coach. During the initial month of coaching, I shifted from feeling unworthy to the feeling of higher self-worth. I learned valuable things about myself, how to get the most out of having a dedicated coach, and a firm reminder that life is what you make of it.
Overcoming the First Hurdle
At first, signing up for coaching was a bit intimidating. I’m an out of shape mom with limited time and a huge slice of “mom guilt” that was keeping me from making substantial goals for myself or hiring a babysitter so I would have time to workout.
While going through the onboarding process with Athlete Services and my dedicated coach, it reminded me how it felt to be an athlete and to classify myself as an athlete. This experience gave me the quick shot of confidence that I needed.[blog_promo promo_categories=”coaching” ids=”” /]
Making Yourself Accountable
Over the first week of training, I was continuously reminded how it felt to be involved and focused on something of my own that wasn’t work, and that was making me a better person by doing it.
I was also reminded how it felt to be accountable to someone other than yourself. Not only do I feel accountable to my coach after every workout, but I feel very accountable to my family so that the time I am dedicating is quality, and helping me become a healthier, stronger and more focused person.[blog_promo promo_categories=”camp” ids=”” /]
Focus on Goals With Your Support Team
Over the first few weeks of coaching and after the initial guilt wore off, I came to appreciate that this experience is very selfishly about me. Working with my coach (and wife) to outline my specific goals and individual needs are the most valuable aspects of having a coach (and wife).
I love that having a coach is like “chose your own adventure.” An athlete can easily log in and do the work prescribed, or dive in deeper by communicating struggles, successes, or fears to the coach. Personally, I recommend the latter to really get the most return and see big improvements.[blog_promo promo_categories=”bucket list” ids=”” /]
Learning to Enjoy the Ride
Finally, the most essential aspect that I have learned over my first month of coaching is to enjoy the ride. Enjoy the workouts, the communication with coaches, the late night trainer rides, and the early morning rides outside.
While it is important to push yourself to hit all goals, it is also critical to remember where bike riding or racing falls on the priority list of life – and life will happen. I’ve had to cut a workout in half because naptime was cut short and ride late at night on the trainer because my wife works crazy hours – the next ride I enjoy that much more.
I make sure to communicate with my coach my struggles but also my happiness. Be proud of who you are and what you are making of your life. Dedicating your life to finding a perfect harmony between family, work, and personal endeavors is hard so give yourself (and your coach) a high five and enjoy your next interval.
Arleigh Jenkins is passionate about empowering women to live an active lifestyle while balancing all of life’s responsibilities. Over 8 years ago Arleigh created the website and online community, Bike Shop Girl, originally focused on empowering women in the intimidating culture of cycling. With over 15 years of bicycle industry experience from head team mechanic to operations manager, outside rep and avid bicycle advocate, Arleigh has done a little bit of everything around bikes. After becoming a mother in early 2015 her energy expanded to helping women find the balance of family, work, and staying active.