alison jackson

Fueling Performance with Joy, ft. Pro Cyclist and Social Media Sensation Alison Jackson

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Topics Covered In This Episode:

  • Living through the highs and lows of 2021 and 2022
  • Staying motivated through illness and injury
  • Practical tips for training through adversity
  • How joy (and dancing) create balance with tough training

Host

Adam Pulford has been a CTS Coach for more than 13 years and holds a B.S. in Exercise Physiology. He’s participated in and coached hundreds of athletes for endurance events all around the world.

Guest Bio

Alison Jackson is one of the most recognizable Canadian professional cyclists, not only because wins races all over the world, but also because her dance moves have made her a social media sensation. An Olympian and multi-time Canadian National Champion, also Jackson finished 6th at the UCI Road Race World Championships in 2022. For 2023, she will race for the EF Education-TIBCO-SVB Pro Cycling Team. Alison works with CTS Coach Adam Pulford.

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Episode Transcription:

Please note that this is an automated transcription and may contain errors. Please refer to the episode audio for clarification.

Adam Pulford (00:00:00):

All athletes professional, amateur weekend warriors, we go through adversity and seek to overcome the challenges as we push toward our goals. I’d argue that all humans living a life do the same thing. And in the context of an athlete, the goal is a bit more objective. And the context of a professional athlete whose sole purpose and paycheck relies upon their performance to keep their job is even more objective. And that’s why I’ve chosen the guest specifically for today. She’s a professional athlete at the top of her game, going for wins in the Women’s Pro tour, Peloton and medals at the Olympic Games, all of which are very objective goals. However, the human element still needs other subjective things like balance, happiness, un other non bike things. Everyone’s balances as different as their own story. But I hope that the stories we tell today helps you, the listener, to seek balance and overcome adversity when it does happen again in the pursuit of your objective and subjective goals into 2023 and beyond.

(00:01:14):

We have a lot of fun today on the episode. The person who I’m interviewing, she’s one of my athletes. We’ve been working together for some time, and I I just think that she, you know, she brings really good energy to the table. She’s got good perspective on all of this. She never ducks away from the pressure. She loves it. She loves to win, but at the same time, she keeps the balance throughout. She has a ton of fun. So we do we start a little goofy <laugh>, but it’s, like I said, we’re just having fun throughout. And then we get into some of the nuts and bolts of how we’ve done it both successfully and sometimes unsuccessfully throughout her career. And again, I just hope that the stories that we tell and some of the the techniques we used are helpful for you to apply, to apply to your own training. What up, Allison?

Alison Jackson (00:02:12):

Hey, Adam.

Adam Pulford (00:02:13):

<Laugh>, how’s, how’s life in the North country?

Alison Jackson (00:02:18):

Yeah. been actually pretty sunny and dry. A bit crisp, but we’re staying above freezing, so I’ll take that as a good day.

Adam Pulford (00:02:28):

Yeah, that, that is a, that is a good day up north area. <Laugh>,

Alison Jackson (00:02:33):

You

Adam Pulford (00:02:34):

Betcha. Oh, you betcha. Oh, you betcha. Oh yeah, there. Well, <laugh>, well, we’ll be coning around in this episode a little bit a little different flavor than in times past. And I would say that most of our listeners who probably know who you are if they’ve been watching the women’s tour right now, but for those who haven’t been, shame on you. First of all <laugh>, but for everybody who may not know who Ja Allison Jackson is, could you tell us who you are and perhaps where the best maple syrup in the world comes from?

Alison Jackson (00:03:09):

<Laugh>? Well, I think that last question, it’s an obvious answer. Of course. It’s Canada,

Adam Pulford (00:03:15):

Avi, Avi,

Alison Jackson (00:03:16):

Maple syrup, <laugh> <laugh> from Quebec. That’s, that’s the place to be. Unfortunately, I’m not so close to that area, but we still get all the good drippings out here in the west of Canada as well. Yeah, no, I’ve Allison Jackson from Canada been racing professionally for, yeah, seven, seven seasons now. Most of that has all been, been in Europe, came to the sport a little later in life. Signed my first contract when I was 25. And yeah, I’ve just had yeah, basically growing from one success to the other, finding out yeah, how to be the best that I can be in this, in this sport and enjoy myself quite a bit along the way.

Adam Pulford (00:04:06):

Yeah, that’s a, that’s a really good summary. And you know, for, for anybody who does know you and kind of follow the socials and some interviews and stuff like that, you, you, you bring some energy to the table, in other words

Alison Jackson (00:04:21):

<Laugh> Yeah. People, people say I’m a bit extra <laugh> Yes. At times. But yeah, I bring a lot of that extra well, all in a, in a positive way. Yeah,

Adam Pulford (00:04:33):

I think, yeah. Yeah, I, I’d agree with that for sure. And it’s, it’s a huge part of why I want to bring you on the podcast because like I said, my kind of opening remarks for this episode is, you know, you got, you got some real pressure in, in, in the way of performance, but you do a really fantastic job of, you know, having your cake and eating it too when it comes to being a professional athlete. And it’s something that I’ve always respected about you ever since we met back yonder whatever year that was. And and then we eventually started working together. But, you know, over time it’s just, you know, from afar and then working together, it’s, you know, your, your capacity to kind of punch through the bad and celebrate the good has been really remarkable. And that essentially, you know, all joking aside, that’s what I want our listeners to really lean into today.

(00:05:30):

Because I, I think sometimes, you know, whether it’s that, you know, that huge Iron Man or you know, Leadville or getting in 18 hours of training as well as a 50, 60 hour work week, have a couple of kids, a relationship, a dog, and trying to keep it all together, you know, that can be pretty challenging. And when I, I look at an athletes like yourself who can kind of, I wouldn’t say maybe, you know, balance, we’ll talk about balance, but as I said, just do a good job of kind of leveling out all aspects, taking the pressure down a little bit when you have to, elevating it when you have to. It’s, that’s what I want people to to hear. So do you think we can do that?

Alison Jackson (00:06:14):

I think we can do that.

Adam Pulford (00:06:15):

Okay. <laugh>. Yeah. And I’d say too, I mean, those who look upon you, I mean, they may think that you present the lifestyle of a professional athlete as being pretty fun and glamorous over to you, Allison, is the lifestyle of a professional women’s cyclist all fun and glamor,

Alison Jackson (00:06:38):

<Laugh>? It is not, although, I mean, there are parts of it that I also absolutely just love and eat up and, and those real good parts I for sure project the most. Cuz there are a ton of fun moments and, you know, life is about story collecting and doing a lot, a lot of that. And, you know, sharing that in, in a fun way. But I mean, when I signed my first contract, I basically, I knew that I was gonna be missing out on, on some things. And I knew that there, when you accept the good, you’re also accepting the, you know, the dark side of that, the bad things. And before I signed that first contract, I basically sat with myself and thought, okay, you know, what are the things I’m saying yes to, which means that I’m saying no to a bunch of other things.

(00:07:30):

And so, and you know, counting the cost is what I, how I say that. And basically that was like, nope. If I’m gonna be a pro athlete, I’m going to yes, say yes to the travel, say yes to new experiences coffees in all sorts of different countries and meeting people and, you know, getting new bikes and stuff. But I’m also gonna miss out on a lot of family time. I’m probably gonna miss out on, on, you know, best friend’s weddings, maybe birthdays, birth you know, missing out on Yeah. You know, family things. Also, you know, vacation stuff is gonna look a little different. I’m gonna, you know, have to be pushing my own agenda sometimes on, you know, more social trips or yeah, being away from home managing relationships in a creative different way. And yeah, switching pillows and beds over and over again. Long flights you know, taking on risk of, of injury, of bad injury, of yeah, taking on on stress and, you know, all the not blood and tears, <laugh> too, so yeah, it’s not all glamorous. Yeah. I have, you know, gotten to live in Italy, get to live in Spain, you know, all those things we just think sound so great. But yeah, there’s a, there’s a balance to that.

Adam Pulford (00:09:03):

Yeah, there is. And if you zoom out far enough, I, you know, you could, I see it as, you know, just another job. I mean, sure, there’s some cla if you’re into bikes, I’d say people outside of this industry, they look on professional cyclists, <laugh>, most of them anyway, and be like, where’s, where’s the glamor? That seems kind of gnarly. But just like any other job, I mean, you, there’s the great parts and there’s the crappy parts and you know, being, you know, throughout my career as well, coaching and directing, you know, being on the road and kind of being in the thick of it, you know, at races with athletes and stuff, you’re also just, you know, there’s times where you’re just schlepping the stuff and there’s times where you’re part of a world championship and Yeah. I, I think I grew to a point where schlepping the stuff was just as cool as that world champ. Cause you, it all combines together and I haven’t had a job in my life where you haven’t had some of the bullshit to go along with the awesomeness, right? Yeah,

Alison Jackson (00:10:03):

Yeah, yeah. And one, one of my motto of life is actually do well with what you have right now. And basically, for me, that helps me to, to look at what are the positives in my circumstance right now? Or what are the things that I can really dig into and fully enjoy that are, that I’m gonna grow from, that are gonna give back to me, that are gonna keep my heart happy. Really dig into those and then recognize what is lacking, but not use that as an excuse for maybe why I can’t perform or or yeah, an excuse for why the situation will be bad, but just look at how to manage those things, not dwell too much on that. Just really try to focus on on what are the, the good parts. And that will always be shifting and changing. So

Adam Pulford (00:11:01):

That’s great. That’s, yeah. In that, that mantra or that worldview, I, I would say it kind of hits home with what I want, like the kind of the the goal of this episode for a lot of people to, to hear, you know, and I think it also sets the stage for at least, you know, the past couple years of your career, because I’d say we were at some of the highest of highs in 2021 and almost at some of the lowest of lows in 2022. So I don’t know if you could, for our listeners, could you maybe like highlight some of those highs of 2021 and, and kind of like guides you into that 2022 and we can talk about that, but what happened in 2021 that was like, so amazing and and rewarding to you? What’s the highs?

Alison Jackson (00:11:53):

Yeah. I mean first off, I had a great team environment that just really made my heart so happy. And I think, you know, a happy heart really translates into good performance and how you can interact with the job that you have to do. But yeah, I had the, the best season of my life, so and made a lot of, ticked off a lot of things on the, the yeah. Box of goals and yeah. Made a lot of dreams come true. So, I mean, results-wise yeah, I got to be national champion, but on the road and the time trial double national champion, you get wear that double double New Jersey <laugh> a double double. That’s a great Canadian reference. I hope everyone got that <laugh>. And also, yeah, getting to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games absolutely dream come true. Yeah, won my first world tour stage siac ladies tour and won the, yeah, green Jersey tour Norway that year, and then had my best ever result at a world championships. Actually, the, the best result that Canada has seen since I’ve been a part of the program sixth place at the, at the World World Championships in

Adam Pulford (00:13:19):

Belgium. I didn’t know that that was the best Canada had done, huh, wow.

Alison Jackson (00:13:24):

For, for yeah. For as many years that I’ve been in it. Oh, okay. Yeah. Gotcha. Yeah. In, in Innsbrook in 2019 mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, we also had yeah, I was on the team and we got yeah, Caroline, she was also sixth. So we gotta break that mark. Yeah. but yeah, could

Adam Pulford (00:13:44):

Break the sixth barrier. Yep, we can do that. Yeah, so I mean, a ton of momentum, huge amazing year for sure. And everything was, you know, ship shape going into 2022. And, and I was super excited because like, as a coach kind of looking in, like we had all the boxes checked, we had all the, the CTL and all the metrics and all the momentum and all the trends going in the right direction. And all of a sudden, I don’t even remember what month it was, but like, early, early on, what happened?

Alison Jackson (00:14:22):

Yeah. I mean <laugh>, I yeah, you know, it’s a win winter months out here <laugh>, so we’re doing some skiing.

Adam Pulford (00:14:30):

Gotta stay warm there, eh, gotta stay warm <laugh>.

Alison Jackson (00:14:33):

And yeah, I actually, yeah, had a crash tore my acl. Yeah. And from other sports that I know, basically getting that news, I thought, oh man, that’s like season over. Thankfully, like the trend in how we manage ACL injuries is, has, has been changing, but also as a cyclist in a linear sport with a lot of stability. We didn’t have to go down the, the surgery route, but it still, you know, it takes time to recover from an injury. Then once you get recovered, then you get C and then that takes you out for a while. And then and already, you know, we’re in season at this point trying to Yeah. You know, catch up. Yeah. And then crashed again. Wellum was basically the, you know, the, my a list target for the year. Crashed bad, got a concussion you know, had to spend whatever the couple of days were in like full darkness and oh, it’s just, yeah, you know, one of those things you just gotta wait out.

(00:15:43):

So that was time off again. We’re getting back up to fitness, feeling really good coming into nationals, wanna defend that. The <laugh>, the double, the double double and and laid out that full week just like sickness. You know, all the snot and head cold stuff. You can’t breathe. I’m just in bed for the, the six days leading up. I have to, I can’t breathe on the time trial days. So I skip that hoping to be better for the road race you know, show up. I’m show up, it’s in my hometown I’m gonna race haven’t been riding all week, still feel terrible, but, you know, sometimes you, you know, you don’t get the best prep for an event, but your body sometimes <laugh>, you know, and also for me, I’m an entertainer. I get in front of a group of people on a crowd and my, you know, fans and family and there’s gonna be some energy pulling from somewhere, but, you know, still that’s not the, the place that you know, I’m not at peak performance. There,

Adam Pulford (00:16:50):

You, you rallied for nationals though. Like I was impressed, ultra impressed by that for sure.

Alison Jackson (00:16:56):

<Laugh> just full entertainer. Yeah.

Adam Pulford (00:16:59):

But I mean, kind of have it

Alison Jackson (00:17:00):

For the people. <Laugh>

Adam Pulford (00:17:02):

And still a double double but only for the silver medal though, nationals that year.

Alison Jackson (00:17:08):

Yeah, yeah, yeah, that’s right. I got to race in the road. Race second in both. Yeah.

Adam Pulford (00:17:14):

But let me, I’ll pause you there because I’ll give you, I don’t think, well, let me confession time here a little bit because, and I think it plays too on like how we overcome some of this adversity throughout, because, you know, we had really good momentum. We were both, you know, excited for the trajectory of 2022, that we had a major, major injury to start the year off. And I remember I was on a training camp in Florida when, when you called, and I dunno if you remember this, but I was like, I was like shopping at the pubs <laugh> and just probably like, you know because, and it was like super late at night, I’m talking to you and, and like, it’s emotional and I’m, and I’m like, man, acl like, all right, haven’t had an athlete with an ACL injury for a while. We can do this. And I was just like, trying to be as positive as possible, but I was like, man, Allison, like, I don’t know about this year. <Laugh>, like that was in the back of my head. I don’t know if I really communicated that, but <laugh>

Alison Jackson (00:18:17):

And that’s probably something, you know, also with the, with the athlete at some point, you know, the me the athlete might be so like, just strong, terrible. And we need the balance of the coach to, you know, keep the positives up <laugh>, but Oh man.

Adam Pulford (00:18:33):

Yeah. So, and, and I could, like, we were, you were low for sure. So I was trying, I was just like, no, we can figure this out. And we did. I mean, like you got on it from like getting all the doctors involved. I was reaching out to everybody that I knew. Pts, orthos, all the things. And I think that we did, so the positive and how kind of we were kind of first overcame that was, I think to get as much information as possible, get second opinions and be like, okay, so not go under the knife. What are the implications of that? How do we move up from there? And it wasn’t sexy, it wasn’t glamorous, wasn’t awesome. It was a lot of trainer time. It was a lot of start slow, you know, or start low go slow kind of thing and build up. And luckily we weren’t off the bike for so long that we detrained a ton. I mean, we lost a little bit, but we were able to kind of get back on the trainer in that unilateral <laugh> kind of pattern without having to do anything outside too much. But you’re able to build back up. And then as you alluded to, you know, getting covid and then getting sick, and you, you sounded really gnarly by the way before nationals. Like, it was didn’t, I didn’t wanna tell you that either, but I was like,

Alison Jackson (00:19:50):

Oh, yeah, <laugh>. So I mean, the mountain of tissues that was piling up in the bedroom, yeah, it was not good. Yeah.

Adam Pulford (00:19:58):

Yeah. But again, like I didn’t, and again, like, like coaching remotely, you know, I, I never said, Hey, aj, you sounded a little gnarly there. Why don’t, why don’t you blow your nose before you talk to me? Like, I was just like, here’s where we are. Right? Yeah. Yeah. And, and so, you know, throughout that time, I mean, can you, like, what’s the self-talk, what are you telling yourself when you tear your ACL after you just competed in the Olympics and placed the highest set world championship than a Canadian has done over the past 10 years?

Alison Jackson (00:20:35):

Yeah. You know, in those moments you just almost Right. You can’t take it back <laugh>. And so the, the time spent on just like, beating yourself up about it, for me, I get over real, real quick because it’s not helping us move forward. It’s just making you feel worse, you know? Yeah. Just digging you in that hole and so you, you know, I acknowledge <laugh> what I did, what happened, all right. We can’t change that. So we’re not gonna, you know, ruminate on, you know, sometimes this happens with bike racing, you know, you, you make a mistake in a bike race, and then I can’t sleep that whole night. Cause I’m just like thinking of the different scenarios or the, you know, better choice I could have make could have made, well maybe you spend an evening doing that, but you have, you have to just acknowledge that this is where you’re at.

(00:21:27):

So now what can we do from here in this point? And even if it’s, yeah, a bit chi that’s just, alright now if we believe everything is figureoutable, this is where we gotta get creative. We gotta reframe the situation or think of yeah, what can we work with right now. And so, yeah. And I think especially with the ACL injury yeah, we really had to get creative and that’s also when we pull into other resources and people to figure out how can we yeah. Maintain the training, how can we also heal the injury? And I mean, yeah, there’s a lot of emotions and the, the self talk that you have to go through and manage and, and keep that up. So yeah, the the, there was a lot of physio, a lot of, you know, the recovery tools that I could have, I had access to like you know, icing, icing the knee, doing the norm, tech boots yeah, lots of like appointments with the physio, with the different modalities that they have also, you know, yeah. I could still be on the, on the bike on the trainer being, you know, just careful with clipping in and clipping out and, you know, managing the, the you know, rp the rate, you know how hard you’re gonna go. But we also, right, the, the gym we did did

Adam Pulford (00:22:59):

We do hand or the urometer? Yeah. Forgot about that. Oh my God. How’d you, how’d you like that?

Alison Jackson (00:23:06):

Oh, how did I like that

Adam Pulford (00:23:09):

<Laugh>? I guess two, two maybe separate questions. Did you like that? How did you like that? Because I remember being like the first kind of observations or comments or discussion tell me because I know Yeah,

Alison Jackson (00:23:23):

That, I mean that cyclists, we are not used to using our arms, but, you know, I believe so much of I’m so fit, but man, that thing destroyed me. But it, it’s interesting cuz it’s like how is this like I’m, you know, cycling with my arms, how is this actually gonna help me at all as a cyclist, but right then that’s when we get to the basics of physiology. So what are we training? Okay, if we’re not training or we might not be training the leg musculature, but we can, we can train that with a bit of the, the physio stuff, the strength work on the bike stuff. But we’ve gotta keep up like, you know, our vo two, the, you know, how we’re breathing the the intensity and stuff. And that’s, that’s where your expertise comes in more than, more than mine. But yeah, to be able to understand what we’re training and how we can get the outcome by being creative and thinking a little bit differently.

Adam Pulford (00:24:22):

Yeah, and I had totally forgot about that while I was creating the outline here. But a quick note to that, and I, I think it’s also cuz I had to figure this out for another elite athlete who broke her lower leg or broke her ankle or something, I mean, years ago. And we used the hand or, and to keep energy systems maintain as best we could and what goes on with that upper body or garter, I mean, it’s just so hard. You can’t do volume really. You don’t have the <laugh> right? You don’t have the, you don’t have the specificity to training, you don’t have all the, the particular muscles in the bio kinetics, that’s not the right word for it, but you can’t do a ton of volume with your upper body. So therefore our approach was to maintain the glycolytic energy system and VO two max essentially by going more than medium hard and hard. Right? It was a lot of perceived effort of eight, nine, a splash of 10. And we would then couple that with all the other stuff you’re doing with PT and what we could do on the bike. Essentially the bike with the zone two and the hand or garter was zone four and above. And I think we did a pretty good job of that, even though it sucked at the time, <laugh>.

Alison Jackson (00:25:42):

Yep, yep,

Adam Pulford (00:25:44):

Yep. But

Alison Jackson (00:25:45):

Also I was pretty sure I was acting just like a crazy person in the gym, you know, that person that, right. Cause I know how to train, I know how to go all out. Yeah. So I’m in there probably flailing around like full gas, you know, like everyone’s heads are probably just like, what is going on? And it’s not a quiet machine either. So anyways, absolutely not. But do what you gotta do also.

Adam Pulford (00:26:07):

Do the best with what you got, right? That’s right. Pan Orgo is what

Alison Jackson (00:26:12):

We had <laugh>, and you got, you gotta be, you know, bold. You gotta be brave <laugh>, you gotta be brave to be bad at something new. And I, I’ll tell you, you’re very, that’s pretty brave in that gym. Yeah. Bold <laugh>.

Adam Pulford (00:26:30):

Well, I’m glad, I’m glad you were brave. I’m glad you were brave. We, we we got through it. Yeah, I forgot about that. That’s glad that’s behind us, by the way. But that reminds me too of how you approach and also I think how we both approach really anything bad or good. And the, the best conversation I had was actually with Jim Miller, who’s national I don’t even know what his official title is. He runs u USA cycling and coaches a lot of people for winning world championships dear friend, he’s been on the podcast. But we, we decided, we both had this 24 hour rule where you got 24 hours to either celebrate the successes or digest the losses, right. Do whatever you want, kind of in that 24 hours. But then we’re, we’re moving on. And I’d say that’s something I’ve never had to kind of officially talk about with you necessarily, just because you have that mindset and you’re like, all right, let’s move on, leave what does not serve us, keep what does and move forward in a positive way.

(00:27:34):

And that’s also something that I think people can learn, you know, from you and can kind of learn from that process. It’s just like, whatever it is. I mean, s definitely celebrate. I I don’t think that I’d say music coach, one of my drawbacks is I probably don’t celebrate the victories enough. I’m always kind of digesting how we can get better. But when you give yourself like a time period where you can scrub the bad or, or celebrate the good, then move on. I think it works really well, especially when shit goes sideways. Make life. Yeah.

Alison Jackson (00:28:07):

Yeah. And I think all through life we’re basically setting up reference points for ourselves to help us basically expand our comfort levels as we go. And so, you know, there’s a few moments in my life and in my sporting career that I have put a placeholder in as a reference point for you know, when I come to a situation like that again. So for example back in 2017, <laugh>, I was raised for an Italian team. We going Tolu a world, a world tour level race, but we’re traveling there. The, the day before coming from Italy, well, I have to wake up at 4:00 AM so that we can drive to the airport, catch a flight to France, then we get picked up, then we have to drive six hours to where the, the course is. We get there. Right. It’s, I mean, you’re, the travel time is already terrible, but then we’re gonna go pre ride, but now it’s like, it’s like 7:00 PM or whatever. We’re gonna go pre ride this course, we roll around legs feel terrible, we get back, we’re eating dinner at 9:00 PM and then our race is in the morning, the next morning like 8:00 AM start, it’s always super early for us. <Laugh>

Adam Pulford (00:29:25):

We’re

Alison Jackson (00:29:26):

Planned that already. I was like, this is not how one prepares for, you know, like a top performance. And I remember going into that race just being like, well, you know, I’m gonna participate. I’m glad I’m here, but like, I can’t expect anything outta myself. Well then lo and behold, hold I make the, the, you know, top group of maybe there’s like 20 or 25 that make it to the finish. And now we’re sprint, we’re sprinting <laugh> for, we’re sprinting for, I guess it was third place, there’s two up the road. And in the sprint, like I’m, it’s almost, I had already given up mentally before I got to that place. So when I got there, I was like almost surprised. They like, oh, I got a sprint. Well, I’m sprinting from way at the back of a group, basically like passing a bunch of people.

(00:30:12):

It comes to where between third and 15 we’re all basically the 15 of us are lined up like straight across the road. So it’s like half a tire, you know, between third and 15th. Yeah. And and for me that I will always hold as a, a placeholder for like, you know, sometimes you don’t get the best preparation and you have to, but what will get you furthest is you still gotta have the mentality that you’re in it, that sometimes your body can do more than what your mind thinks it can. And that’s, I mean, believing in all the training that you’ve done beforehand and, and, you know, sometimes yeah, you just get surprised, but you gotta be in it to win it the whole time. And so, I mean, that’s kind of the, when I think of nationals, the, the preparation for that was not good <laugh>, but you never know what your body can do.

(00:31:09):

And all you can do is just hold onto the hope to you know, feel it out to try hard and be willing to see what’s possible. And I think that was also how I went into the Olympics too, right? That was, I was last minute call up mm-hmm. <Affirmative>, I would normally have thought, mm, the prep we should have done a little differently, a little more heat training or, you know, tried to get the body comp dialed in for this like really climbing race. But, you know, I was like, well, I have what I have and I’m gonna do the very best with what I’ve got. And what I’ve got is, well, I, you know, I’m so jazzed to be here. I’m healthy. I had some real good training time and some heat in the summer in Canada, so I’m gonna take all of this energy that I’ve got. I’m just gonna do the very best with that. And yeah, I

Adam Pulford (00:32:04):

Yeah, no, that’s, that’s it. I mean we had a short runway for Tokyo for sure, but you know, race what you brung. Absolutely. And, and the more, the more hay in the barn you have the better meaning when you’re training well and you’re fit, you can figure it out on the ground a little bit more. Right. And that’s where I think when your trajectory right now which I think is very, very good you’re able to adapt in many situations and you’re able to like figure out the mental game and, and you’re on this continual journey of that in a and that’s an element with an athlete that is very hard to develop because it, it’s almost one of these things where if you say you’re 2017 in Italy race example, I think it was, you know, at that point the, the kind of that quote of if you think you can or if you think you can’t, you’re probably right because the mind is that powerful, right?

(00:33:05):

Yeah. And I think I’ve seen young and seasoned athletes get in their own way by having a lead in experience like that and just, you know, kicking themselves out the back because they’re like, Ugh, this preparation’s terrible. I’m gonna do terrible, therefore I’ll back soon as the suffering happens and all this kinda stuff. The thing you gotta realize is, you know, whether it’s, it is that Ironman and all you gotta, you know, do is kind of keep on going or if it’s a full on sprint, you know, life is chaotic enough and where anything can happen, keep on going. See what the opportunities and outcomes will be. And at the same time, like your, yeah, as you said, your body trust in your body, because sometimes it’s, it’s just kind of clearing the mechanism, clearing the brain, get your brain out of the way so the body can do what it’s, you know, has hours and hours and hours of time spent doing with bike racing right. For you. Yeah, absolutely.

(00:34:02):

Yeah. So I mean, you know, some of the main themes here is like, you know, life, life is never a steady state, you know, it’s always in flux, it’s always in motion there. There’s ups, there’s downs. And being able to adapt to those and being able to kind of figure stuff out in the, in the moment as the ups are going up and the downs are going down. I mean, that, that can be pretty scary for a lot of people. It can be <laugh> not relaxing. It can be frustrating, but it’s the kind of shit that we’re dealing with just as human beings. Like nothing’s ever perfect. Yeah. Nothing’s ever perfect.

Alison Jackson (00:34:41):

Yeah. Yeah. And I think that’s also why it’s important to notice, take that time when you have accomplished something or when you can celebrate, because that also becomes one of these placeholders. Totally. Or basically a shelf, almost like a restart, where you’re just like, good job, me. And you know, sometimes really we have to be our own best cheerleaders Yeah.

(00:35:04):

To yeah, keep us going and keep Yeah. I mean we are, the, the voice that’s loudest for ourselves is you our own voice in our, in our head. Yeah. And, and then it also helps us like when we take a moment and even if it becomes sort of like a, like a physical something that we do. So you know, it’s always like nice and art by graces. If we win something, well maybe we get that jersey so that there’s like a little physical reminder or moment or you know, that photo where like, ah, yes, I accomplished something. Or maybe it’s you know, buying yourself that new coffee maker or <laugh>. These are things that, that I’ve done to just basically take a moment to just like celebrate and put a pin in it to yeah, really let it soak in. Cause I think also, right, with athletes, we’re always looking ahead, ahead to the next thing, the next thing. There’s always gonna be a new goal. Then that can get absolutely exhausting. If you’re, if you don’t celebrate along the way and look back and be like, oh yeah, actually I worked real hard for that. Look what it took to get there and congratulations, because we need that positive feedback also when we’re trying to set new goals and, and keep going.

Adam Pulford (00:36:25):

Yeah. I mean that’s, that’s absolutely it, right? And I, and I go back to this abstract 24 hour rule. It’s, it’s almost putting these these bumpers in, in place for you to be in the moment, right? To, okay, go ahead and, you know, and celebrate, go ahead and like cry because of Yeah. The bad things that happen because that, I think anytime that you’re an athlete or a human being is if you are so unemotional and stokes not the word for it, because that’s a completely separate thing. But if you don’t allow yourself to feel that’s, that’s a ticking time bomb, that’s a keg bomb ready to blow. And so you need to, as an athlete, I think express those emotions and like lean into it, but like, doesn’t matter what happened in the past, doesn’t matter what’s gonna happen in the future, all that could change. And like that present moment I think is so valuable for the athlete because you know, in the, when you’re going for that sprint present moment is all you got when we’re on this <laugh>, when we’re on this podcast, present moment is all you got <laugh>, okay,

Alison Jackson (00:37:33):

This is all we got right here, this is all we

Adam Pulford (00:37:35):

Got right now. But the <laugh>,

Alison Jackson (00:37:36):

If you’re listening to this, you better not be multitasking. This is all you got right here.

Adam Pulford (00:37:41):

That’s right. Focus <laugh>. But really, I mean, it is, and I think once you realize that all we kind of have is the here and now and it gets a little fufu like that, but I think you find just a much greater joy to focus on the task at hand, which is essentially flow in, in the context of athletics and performance that is flow. It’s not to say that you’re tuning out about, you know, living or goals for Paris the next round of Olympics and beyond, everything filters into that. And it’s not to say that you’ve forgotten about mom and dad giving you all the resources possible to do what you’re, think you’re aware of all those things in that present moment in order to perform. And, and as an athlete, and as I’m working with athletes, you, you kind of come at it and you say different things, but flow is, is kind of, is that concept that we’re really talking about here to really develop that, that performance that we’re discussing.

Alison Jackson (00:38:42):

Yeah. Well, you know, I also, one of my big takeaways from the Olympics is seeing people and also cuz of our Olympics was delayed year cause of covid. Yeah. And so now it becomes this five year goal that if that is your only motivating force, the only thing then once that is gone, you just, it’s so deflating and I think you can have that goal. So having the Olympics as a goal, yeah, absolutely. That is, that can be your top goal and maybe that is your only goal or the main thing, but when you hang too much on one thing without having some balance or having, you know, other things that, you know, give you some positive feedback, if that’s not going well or balance out yeah, you, you can get real disappointed or, or real lost. Or I think miss out on a lot of the beauty of the experience that’s along the way.

(00:39:46):

And I mean, I think that life is all about storytelling <laugh>. Yeah. And I think it’s about like story collecting, actually life is about story collecting, collecting all, all these stories along the way. And I think that’s for me, what makes my whole experience, I have the big goal, but I’m, and I’m able to keep that in check with noticing the things of a, the daily life that you’re collecting these wonderful, beautiful moments, interesting moments, opportunities for good opportunities to be stretched or challenged all, all along the way that I, I think I just value so much yeah. On the way to getting to that big thing. But then also once you get to that big thing, so for me, you know, Olympics yeah, you, it helps manage I guess the expectation of what you’re gonna do in that, in, you know, because then in the end the Olympics becomes one moment, you know, it becomes that three and a half hours that can be so fleeting that if yeah, you’re not kind of putting these other things around it or really like yeah, taking the time every day to just like think wow, <laugh> then sometimes that Olympic moment doesn’t become as much of a, of a, wow, I guess.

Adam Pulford (00:41:04):

Yeah, yeah. No, exactly. Perspective and, and balance as you said is super important. And, you know, the, you you may answer this kind of in that same way of kind of collecting experiences, but I guess the kind of the, one of the main questions I have is how do you, how do you find balance? How do you seek balance when you have this pressure to perform from your national governing body, from, you know, your team, from yourself? How, how do you find balance as a professional athlete?

Alison Jackson (00:41:38):

Yeah, I mean, I also came into the sport, you know, a little bit later. So I, I had a lot of life experience doing other sports, interacting with a bunch of different kind of hobbies and things. And so I’ve kept a lot of those, like ongoing or you know, are, are in my life parallel to what I do as a professional cyclist. And, and I, I think that’s what, you know, I also say that like a happy heart is, makes a big difference in, in how you perform and in how you perform in life or how you interact with the things that happen on a daily basis. And so I really keep a good balance of, you know, it’s like my community is super important. So the, the friends and the family and the influences I have around me yeah, really just like fill up my heart and, you know, if it, and and they’re not just friends and people that are in the bike world, but involved in different worlds as well, so that, you know, if, if you need a break from that cycling or you know, maybe cycling is just giving you negative feedback.

(00:42:45):

You need to have places and people that are gonna give you positive feedback. And so yeah, that’s like doing other hobbies or like, for me that’s really, when I do all my silly videos and TikTok tos and things like that is a whole nother, it is so separate <laugh> it’s so different from, you know, performing as a, as a bike racer and just, you know, this like creativity outlet and that for me and just all the laughter and joy that I get from that is really just like feeds and fills up, up my heart in a way that helps balance out when, you know, the hard parts of, of cycling when you have to have so much focus and discipline. You know, the making silly videos really has its own just creative outlet in a very different parameters are, you know, checks a lot of different boxes that aren’t in, in cycling.

Adam Pulford (00:43:40):

Yeah, yeah. And I, and I hoped you were gonna bring up TikTok. I hope that was gonna be your key answer to how you find balance <laugh>,

Alison Jackson (00:43:47):

Because my life balance is TikTok where other people are like, I need to get some life balance away from social media, but <laugh>

Adam Pulford (00:43:56):

Well, exactly. And in fact, I was at a USA cycling conference and Scott Chispa was talking about how he, he, he’s leading this big group of high schoolers and it’s like on the Colorado League, I mean this group grew from like five to 115 or something like this on, on the front range of Colorado. Talked about social media and how, you know, the, the Gen Z or the Zoomers are super into riding bikes. Like there’s a ton of people on mountain bikes in a row, but it’s different. They’re not always necessarily competing, but they’re a lot on social media, on devices and all this kinda stuff. And talked about how that is not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, it’s a creative outlet, it’s a social outlet to connect with all these different people. And oftentimes it’s not the cycling community, but it’s people to kind of hang out with.

(00:44:47):

And I oftentimes kind of find that in myself to like, there’s a creative space where you can use these devices to just as an outlet, right. And I, and I would also say like being this, in this industry for over 16 years now, you, you work, you go to all the bike races, you’re on the road 150, 200 days a year. Last thing you want to do is come back to your bike friends and talk more about bikes. No offense, bike friends out there. Super cool. Yeah. But you just need some time in space.

Alison Jackson (00:45:19):

Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Adam Pulford (00:45:21):

And your ticks rocket, by the way. They’re hilarious. I wish I had that. I wish I had that bravery. Like, like you had in the gym. I I need that for, that’s right for TikTok. I don’t know what I’m doing. <Laugh>. alright, so we, we talked about some of the injuries. We talked about illness, we’re in off season right now. How do you stay motivated when you get some bumpy roads or when it’s cold, the maple syrup is frozen and you got five hours on your schedule?

Alison Jackson (00:45:55):

<Laugh>. That’s right.

Adam Pulford (00:45:58):

Does maple syrup freeze by the way? It has to.

Alison Jackson (00:46:02):

Well, so you know how, so let me tell you how, how you get maple syrup out of a tree, but

Adam Pulford (00:46:07):

Okay, let’s hear.

Alison Jackson (00:46:08):

So basically in season, you, you can tap trees only in the spring and that’s basically all the sap in the tree is frozen and, and right when the season is changing then all of it, it thaws and then that’s when it drips and that’s when you can tap a tree and for the, the, the syrup to come, come out. Otherwise, then it just gets thick and it doesn’t move. So that’s in the springtime when you can tap the tree for all the sap, it runs down lines they boil, boil it a to anyway, that’s how, how you get maple syrup. So you could say <laugh> that, yeah, I guess in the earliest of the process, the maple syrup is frozen in the tree, it’s frozen gold until the springtime it drips out and then you get the liquid gold

Adam Pulford (00:46:54):

<Laugh>. Quick, quick fun fact. Side note being from northern Minnesota and we had land where there’s still an old broken down sugar shack where they used to harvest maple syrup out of. Nice. I remember, yeah, I remember deer hunting with my dad and there would be these like remnants of the sacks and so it was like people, people that would forget to you know, a random tree over there with a sugar sack is what we called it. Yeah. but so I did somewhat know that that was a very good explanation of how to get the liquid gold out for sure. But maple syrup does freeze folks. It gets real cold up there,

Alison Jackson (00:47:31):

<Laugh>.

Alison Jackson (00:47:32):

But I, I guess you could also just, it would be, you know, like maple rock candy, so That’s true. You can still ingest it in any form

Adam Pulford (00:47:39):

<Laugh>. So are you out there like in your five hours and we’ll get to the five hour question. How do you stay motivated? But are you out there like liping licking maple trees for that hard rock candy for quick glucose

Alison Jackson (00:47:50):

Course rock candy, yeah.

Adam Pulford (00:47:52):

Glucose

Alison Jackson (00:47:53):

Or how does that work? We’re, we’re just like pockets full

Alison Jackson (00:47:57):

<Laugh> <laugh>.

Adam Pulford (00:48:02):

My, my editor’s gonna cut this out, I swear.

Alison Jackson (00:48:04):

I like soak the gloves in maple syrup. They just like frozen know. And then it’s like, instead of the snot wipe, I’m just doing the like, you know, chew, chew a little bit on the, the

Adam Pulford (00:48:14):

Glove. That makes sense. Maple syrup, gloves for energy

Alison Jackson (00:48:17):

<Laugh>.

Adam Pulford (00:48:20):

Anyway alright, so the maple syrup is, is frozen, you got five hours on the training, it’s off season. How do, how do you stay motivated to get after it right now?

Alison Jackson (00:48:32):

Yeah. I mean I have, I’ve collected a lot of different, you know, tricks along the way and some of them is like, sometimes I just gotta set, set an intention and maybe, you know, and maybe sometimes the motivation is like, Hey, what is the one race? You know, I really wanna do well at, you know, Perry, I’m just gonna think about Perry. And also, I mean, Perry is such a good <laugh> hard race. It’s gonna it all, what that race needs is, is a, is a fighter. So then I just think, all right, this day I’m gonna, you know, practice that fight or spirit. And every time when things get hard, I just think, well, peri bay would be rougher. Your hands would be bleeding at this point and you probably would’ve already crashed twice. And you know, so sometimes those little, you know, stories I tell myself will, will keep me going. Or it’s like what I’m so obsessed with right now is this wanderer app <laugh> where basically I’m trying to, trying to ride every road in my city in my town. And this thing connects with Strava and every time you, you know, put your ride, upload your ride, it makes a heat map where you’ve ridden. But, but it’ll give you a percentage of how many roads you’ve ridden in that community or that neighborhood. And I, some days I’m just riding in and out of cul-de-sac <laugh>, I can collect these,

(00:49:58):

It’ll be on easy rides. Someone will look back on my map and be like, you know, you try to like take someone’s ride and you’re gonna recreate it. That would not be possible with some of the rides that I’m doing. It just looks like these hairy, scary rides. But anyway, sometimes now I’ll pick basically like I’ve run in all the roads really locally, so I’m gonna pick like, it’s gonna be a hundred K before I get to ride this one new kilometer of road. Yeah. But because you know that for me, having that goal, I gotta do it. I have to, I can’t just turn around. I have to go cause I’ve gotta complete this segment and that’s gonna give me just that little bit of like success and joy just a little bit so that whatever happens in that day, that five hours I’m still gonna be able to check something off.

(00:50:43):

I’m gonna be able to see that I’ve accomplished something. And yeah, for me that feeling is, is super motivating of course. Or yeah, another, you know, trying to find a pal <laugh>, not too many of my cyclist buddy pals are gonna wanna arrive in you know, the rainy cold weather days. But a lot of times people will meet me for lunch. And that might be, you know, like that mid ride stop or like, okay, I have four hours in, I’m gonna meet them. That’s like the goal for me, get there. You know, you have a bit of time, a bit of social time, you get a little jazzed up and then, you know, you can finish the last little bit. So yeah, I mean, so yeah, just a few few of my tricks and tips.

Adam Pulford (00:51:31):

Yeah, little, little triggery abstract, random goals. Yeah, yeah. I, i, once I once took on on a random, I wanted to ride with my wife Kristen, and I wanted to check out this sandwich spot. So like we, we rode the miles and went down, got lunch, did the thing, kind of forgot about it’s, it’s down in a valley, so it’s another like 2000 feet of climbing or so to get back home. I was, I was totally fine with it. She was not as, not as stoked about it. So I’d say just you gotta watch your riding partners <laugh> and their preference of, of routes after giant sandwiches. But I, I think too, like setting, setting your intention can be whatever could be the most random thing of a, you know, collecting all your Yeah. Wanderer points, whatever. It could be, you know, finding that that new route could be exploring something, whatever.

(00:52:27):

For me personally, I’ll, I’ll just speak to myself. It’s like the motivation for once I’m out the door, like cross the threshold clip into the pedal, I’m good to go. But like this time of season, it’s like I, I find all of the excuses. I’ll do the next training schedule, I’ll do the next thing just so like, oh, it’s 30 degrees out. Oh, it’s 40 kind of drizzly. I’ll just do whatever to avoid the ride. But I think like <laugh>, just put it in your count. Just, just get it in. Just, just don’t even think, almost be like a robot. Get out the door because then I think it all kind of takes care of itself, at least for myself and some of the athletes I work with.

Alison Jackson (00:53:09):

Well it’s also I think a lot of times in this season, you know, we’re doing indoor training rides and that’s also hard cuz you know, it’s your bike’s set up there. You, you could get on it at any time, but just getting on it is, is the hard part. And we’ve talked about how you know, first 20 minutes you call someone Yes. And that just like gets you through. That’s a trick. It gets you like warmed up where you’re like cuz now I can keep going once I’m already, you know, going, once I’m in that zone, then I can, I can keep going. And yeah, I’ve had that too, where I’m just like rolling from one call to the next or I see another friend that pops up on the lift and then, and then you know, we’re basically doing a training ride chat, chit chat together.

(00:53:51):

We’re, we’re both following each other around utopia or I mean the other day, right? I had a double day. So, you know, I’m doing the, did the, the gym workout in the morning and oh man, it was a hard workout and I’m feeling so tired. Well, I take a nap. Well, that nap though, I’m waking up and I’m kind of groggy now. It’s like 5:00 PM I don’t get riding until like six. And you know, my coach here has me doing three and a half hours or whatever it was. And I was like, this, this is gonna be long. The whole time I’m almost just thinking, ah, I won’t be able to do it. I won’t be able to do it. Well you know what, I’m just gonna, I’m just gonna start, just start. And then all my legs feel terrible. Well, I’m just gonna do the first one, see how it goes.

(00:54:33):

Or even, you know, sometimes it is just about consistency. Even if I couldn’t meet the, you know, the, the zone that I wanted to, I’m just gonna, I’m just gonna do what I can. And then oh, surprise, surprise. I was able to, to do, you know, do the zone that I needed to do. Oh, well the next one probably not. Well, we’ll try anyway. And then, you know, by the end I was three and a half hours finished it. And I, and then moments like that too, where I, like Allison, you did that whole thing, like, this is how I, I pump myself up like, you are such a great athlete, or like, wow, like I’m telling myself, like, and also, how did you, like, I feel like such a boss being able to finish that. I finished it at 9:30 PM but I did it, you know, I did it. So it’s also things like that, that I take the time to basically celebrate self or like really feel like the good feelings of like completing that hard thing. So then when I get to that situation again, I think, oh, you know, like, oh, I don’t wanna do this or whatever, but remember that feeling I had totally when I did finish. And so let me think. And because I really took the time to soak that in, then yeah, it helps me like remember, you know, embody that again and then and go for it.

Adam Pulford (00:55:50):

Yeah. Yeah. The sense of accomplishment that kind of comes through when you just don’t wanna do stuff. You just don’t want to, you know, do the work. It’s cold. It’s, there’s no reward. It’s, it’s not a bike race. There’s no podium, there’s not all the people. It’s just you sweating it out. Right. but yeah, so when you can kind of flip that mentally and kind of give yourself that own reward, pump yourself up, I think, I think that’s, it’s amazing. And, and I think it’s, it’s not glamorous. I think all of us kind of come at it in a little different way and, you know, if it’s, if it’s the advice from coach ap, like just start and get going. Or if it’s pump yourself up and, and cheer lead away like, like aj, I mean, like whatever it takes, you know, get her done.

(00:56:36):

And, and, and really, I, I, I throw in one more angle and say, you know, if your coach is, is you know, just an arduous cold lack of empathetic person giving you three and a half hours up in Canada you know, the, the thing is, is like most people think that they have to come to the table and they have to perform at a 10, outta 10 for the day. The reality is, is humans are not perfect. Shocker. Human physiology is not precise. Human psychology is messy and coach understands that. And when you, when you don’t feel super into it, whatever, and whoever that coaches is, or maybe it’s a self coach, athlete, whatever, and there is that three hours on there, I’d say just start. And if all you can do is an hour and it’s late at night and you’re just like, I don’t got it. Pick it up the next day. Like, it’s, it’s not so precise. It’s not. So you don’t have to bring a 10 today. However, keep in that momentum going with a little bit of sweat, a little bit of exercise. I think you’ll rally and then you can find your legs for the next day or maybe two days after. But either way it helps to kind of carry that momentum through.

Alison Jackson (00:57:53):

Yeah. Yeah.

Alison Jackson (00:57:54):

Well, and also, I mean, yeah, up here in Canada, when it is so cold and we, we’ve had a pretty good winter here, like Vancouver area, it’s been dry cold but dry for this mm-hmm. <Affirmative> for this month. And so, you know, on the days that you do feel good, then I’m just collecting, you know, some extra Ks. So yeah. It might be a three and a half hour. Well, if it’s nice out and I’m feeling good, I’m gonna, I’m gonna go for four. Yeah. Because now you’re just putting a little bit in the bank. So then it’s like, Ooh, when this becomes like a terrible, nasty day or I have to do something inside, I’m like it, because when you have to do something that’s really hard, and I would say, you know, sometimes train or days or, you know, when it’s rainy and cold and you’re, you’re outside for so long, like that adds this whole extra mental stress, emotional stress, stress, trying to, you know, make yourself feel like you can do it. And if you can already know that, hey, I’ve got some, you know, extra Ks in the bank, I’m just gonna lay off the stress a little bit, it’s also gonna help, you know, the next training, training day and and so on. So yeah, you gotta be willing to be adaptive and a bit creative.

Adam Pulford (00:58:59):

Yeah. That, that’s it. And I think, you know, I remember having that conversation with you too, is I, I think you either ask the question or we talk about, it’s like, Hey, can I go a little bit more this week? Weather’s good. Like, absolutely. And, and, and so our strategy was in this kind of off season shoulder season. We’re into our kind of base building right now. Was I’ll build the minimum of what we need to do within a week. Doesn’t matter how that gets done, whether Tuesday happens on Tuesday or Tuesday, happens on Thursday, whatever. Get it done in the week. Add on more volume if you can. Don’t add on more intensity, add on more volume for, you know, hanging the barn or extra Ks in the legs. Cause weather’s gonna happen. And, and then it takes the stress off when we do have to either go inside or, you know, our 25 hour weeks get reduced down to 17 cuz we’re more inside. So that’s a very good strategy this time of year. And I would say for people too, you know, you’re not, people listening to this may not be doing that volume right now, but the same concept can apply. Nice. It’s a nice beautiful day. Don’t waste it if you got time. Go get some Ks.

Alison Jackson (01:00:09):

Yep. And also, yeah, for sure for me, if I know the reason why we’re doing something and, and I really believe in the program then and with the long term goal. So cuz sometimes right in the moment it’s like, oh, I don’t feel like doing this doesn’t feel good. Mm-Hmm. <affirmative>. But I know that it’s a, a piece in the puzzle for the, the big aim that we have. And so sometimes it comes to kind of that a little bit more meta, but like, you know, you’re deep why of why of why you’re doing something. Yeah. And when I can define that too, that also helps me kinda get through some of the, those harder hard times.

Adam Pulford (01:00:46):

Yeah. Yeah. For sure. Well, you kind of mentioned kind of the future forward some of the goals. What, what are you looking forward to most in 2023?

Alison Jackson (01:00:59):

Yeah, if we got a new team that we’re going to which EF

Adam Pulford (01:01:05):

Tco, right?

Alison Jackson (01:01:06):

<Laugh> EF Education first. TCO Silicon Valley Bank, <laugh>, that is a mouthful, but that is the team name. <Laugh>.

Adam Pulford (01:01:17):

Got you. And I, I’ve, I’ve butchered that on other pod. Yes. That is the team name. Is it okay if I just call it EF Tipco for now and forever

Alison Jackson (01:01:27):

Until sponsor? I would say no, but you will do what you do. Okay.

Adam Pulford (01:01:32):

Okay. So looking forward to the new congrats first of all on, on the new team. So you’re looking forward to that in 2023. What are you looking forward to about that?

Alison Jackson (01:01:44):

Yeah, you know, I’m, I’m really looking forward to basically the ambition of the team really is to to be a top five world tour team. And I’m excited about the partners that we get to work with, with the other athletes and, and staff. I’ve worked with some of them before and just really this like pursuit of, of excellence and that, I mean, they, they really believe in me and that just, that gives me power. And so I’m really excited to just perform in this environment and yeah, I, I think we have, you know, some, they’re a very creative team, so we also see that on, on kind of their media side. And I’m just really excited to just add a bunch of personality to that. And, and you know, I’ve said before, it just a happy heart really just helps me perform well or, you know, tackle some of the hard parts about bike gracing and training.

(01:02:41):

Yeah. And then I’m just, I love racing, so I’m really excited to, to see what we can do together in, in the spring in the classics. And also, I mean, there’s girls on the team that are definitely a style of rider. I am not. And that gets me so excited because I believe that they can win and I, they, they can do things that I cannot do. And that is also really exciting. Cuz in the end, I actually just, I want us to win everything <laugh>. I, I love winning. It’s a special type of fun. And to be able to be a teammate that helps someone take a win and be a difference maker, that that’s really what I, what I want to be in life and what I want to be in, in my team is a difference maker. And so I, you know, moments if that can be me making, making the, the win happen or the goal happen, that’s super exciting. But if I can also be the difference maker that makes it for a teammate, that gets the win for us as a team that just gets me jazzed up.

Adam Pulford (01:03:42):

Yeah. Yeah. No, I, I think it’s it’s a marvelous fit for you. I, I know and work with other riders on the team and, and I’ve, I’ve worked with other athletes on that team, I think Linda Jackson she’s been in it forever and runs a good show. So I’m, I’m super stoked for 2023 as well. And right now we got all the trends and all the momentum going. We’ll keep our keep on with that as well. But I’m, I’m stoked for 2023 for sure. Yep. For you. This is good. I mean, I, we’re, we’re kind of going long here, which is awesome. But I think it’s, I think it’s about time to wrap this puppy up so you can, you know, it’s, it’s getting late there. It’s probably time for you to do your four hours for today on, on the trainer or something like that.

(01:04:31):

So <laugh> it’s getting. But yeah, I think, you know, in summary, you know, if you’re an athlete, if you’re a human, you’ll, you’ll have setbacks, you’ll have injuries, you’ll have adversity. It’s all part of life. And it’s, it’s not to say that you should compartmentalize that or kind of cut yourself off from that. Let yourself feel it. That’s super important for kind of the growth and the long term and the empathy as a person, even as an athlete, because you gotta, you gotta be able to be real with yourself in those situations. And I think it also helps you grow as an athlete to learn. But, you know, being a, being adaptable in those situations and the highs and lows is one thing that we talked about today of being able to kind of punch through that adversity, seeking out balance, whether you’re, you know in season or off, you know, off season in kind of just chugging through the miles or just completely off the bike. Is is something that we talked about today too. But is there, is there another thing or two more things or a thousand more things that you would like to add to that? Ms. Jackson?

Alison Jackson (01:05:40):

Oh man. Yeah, no, so much. No, I think, you know, biggest takeaway is having that life balance, you know, having the few areas that, that, you know, if one area in life isn’t going so well, you have a couple other, to you some positive feedback and, and then yeah. You know, be able to have areas where you can build yourself back up to handle some of, to handle the hard moments when it happens. And, and then also, yeah, you know, our bodies can’t differentiate between different stresses. So, you know, physical stress, mental stress you know, workplace stress, whatever, to our bodies it only means stress. And so sometimes for me, you know, and I’ve had some real life moment, you know, mental, emotional, relational stress I ha what can I control? Well, maybe not some of that, or maybe not some of the workplace stress, but I can control, you know, maybe I have to back off on the training a little bit and when you can kind of see basically this is, you know, protecting yourself from, you know, getting way too in a hole. But this understanding where stress is coming from and, and giving yourself the break to, to stay on top of, you know, in, in a healthy way. So yeah, that would be my other I guess tip that I’ve also had to utilize. Yeah. in, in my life in racing.

Adam Pulford (01:07:11):

Yeah. No, it’s, you know, that’s super vital, super important. We’ve talked about that too. I mean, how life stress or, you know, <laugh> LSS versus tss your life stress score. Yeah. the first thing, you know, when LSS is up, I mean the, yeah. The number one thing that you can bring down is that tss, right? And it’s super hard to quantify. We don’t have that I know of anyway, right? Like, we don’t have some sort of like, you know, brain capturing device to monitor this stress that we talk about, but we know it’s there. And an athlete, a person cannot perform when that LSS is high. And so knowing how to adjust knowing when to adjust I think is the art of living. Whether you are you know, an athlete or human but tuning in and just becoming aware and, and trying to get the best outta yourself.

(01:08:05):

And that’s what I love about athletics is it’s you know, it’s a, it’s a good excuse to get the best outta yourself cause it provides that platform, the community to do it. So totally. Yeah. Well this has been, this has been super awesome. I mean, I personally love talking to you, whether it’s on the phone, on microphones like we are today, WhatsApp voice messages back and forth to each other, smoke signals coming from Canada down to DC or whatever we’re doing. But this has been a real treat. So thank you for taking time today to talk to us on the train Right. Podcast, Allison.

Alison Jackson (01:08:39):

Appreciate it. I’m always following along on, on these conversations and you got great people and experts in, in yeah. Their fields on here, chitchatting and yeah. So it’s fun. Thanks for having me.

 


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