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Smiles on Faces - Win Races :)


Kors's picture

By Kors - Posted on 23 April 2013

Having just landed in the USA for the 2013 racing season, it feels as though the next chapter of my 2013 journey has begun. Since my last post from Milan in January, a fantastic, joy filled time has been had, predominantly in Australia. Due to some delays with the processing of my US visa I was able to stay put at home for an extended period of time. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, spending quality time with friends and family before an extended trip overseas was treasured. Also, been able to clock up some quality training on the dirt roads of Sydney & beyond was critical for my year ahead, especially after an abysmal performance from myself in the Vuelta Mallorca in February.

I took a few golden opportunities back home to keep the passion for my sport ignited. A good key for my soul, I find is variation. Hours upon hours and kilometres upon kilometres staring at bitumen gets tiresome at times! I have always varied my cycling life between the road and the dirt to keep that smile dial boosting! I took the great chance to travel once again with team Subaru/marathonMTB.com to the Otway odyssey on the Great Ocean road. This race is in a magical place and capitalises on some of the best MTB trail networks in Australia. After a somewhat morale crushing experience in Europe only a week prior this was great fun, although my race was plagued with bad luck. However, the joy from our sport rarely comes from results, it comes from those surrounding us in the experience. Mountain biking always attracts a good bunch of down to earth characters always up for a chat and a laugh! I followed this race up with another great MTB event, the James Williamson enduro in Wingello is now in its 3rd year and remembers a true Aussie MTB hero who tragically passed away whilst racing the Cape Epic in South Africa in 2010. 'Willo' was a champ of the MTB scene when I was growing up in the sport, always up for a chat and to share his fountain of knowledge with younger juniors like myself. Remembering him through 75km of super fun, flowy single track is a pleasure for everyone involved! Ride on Willo!

This time back in Australia was also consumed by of course socialising at brew shops. The daily park up after training with good mates like fellow dream liver Tom Powerhouse Patton became a crucial part of the daily routine. I also had the great opportunity to attend the weddings of Zoe & Jake as-well as Kim & Brett. This was fantastic, and I was so grateful to still be in the country to be present for these love festivals! That has to be one of the hardest things about this job, not being around when important things happen to your family and friends! Congratulations Kim, Brett, Zoe and Jake!

I think it is of no surprise to those that know me well, that I often struggle with the motivation and fire required to race bikes at the professional level. I always look for ways to keep a competitive spirit strong in my persona. I think this is a deeply individual element that is different for every athlete. I find my performance is always correlated with good balance in life. I would and will always say to team mates that “smiles on faces, win races!”. Constant, obsessive monitoring of diet, heart rate, power zones and body weight works well for some athletes. For myself, I find it eats away at my soul & passion for cycling. Hence, I was able to take a few days in Australia sans bike and do some abseiling, rock climbing and sightseeing with good mates in the mountains. Smiles on faces win races!, this worked with a victory at one of my final races in Australia before heading back to the good ol US of A.
Another element of my life and my team that helps maintain balance and purpose in this career is helping to spread the empowering message that Team NovoNordisk carries in its heart. I had the great opportunity to speak at a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation family function at a Sydney Kings basketball match. Speaking to this awesome group of down to earth & inspiring folk definitely keeps the 'smile dial' cranking!
One query I often receive as a member of this team, is what happened to 'Team Type1'? In my opinion, this team should still carry that name, however due to the nature of business & sport sadly the team name has changed. Although money may take hold of naming rights, money can never take hostage of values, ethics and messages! That's why I am still here, the message of hope & inspiration; that you can achieve anything in this world despite the challenges we may encounter along the way, is just as strong, if not stronger with our new partner. We prove this message with a professional cycling team comprised entirely of inspirational mates that have conquered and keep conquering the challenges of T1 diabetes in their lives.
Being associated with this message brings light and reason into my life. One of the most magical benefits of living this life however is being exposed to the inspirational stories of others. I was lucky enough recently to listen to an interview with fellow Type1 diabetic, the late Barbara Holborow. Barbara was diagnosed with T1 diabetes in the 1950's when treatments were very primitive & restricting. However with an attitude that I adore Barbara would say “I never let diabetes get between me and where I wanted to go”. Mrs. Holborow went on to receive an Order of Australia medal for her endearing work as a magistrate for the Australian children's court. Barbara was renowned for standing up for the rights of the downtrodden and forgotten children in our society. A real pioneer & advocate, she lived this extraordinary existence to the age of 86 with the challenges every day of constant glucose monitoring and insulin injections! RIP Barbara Holborow.

These stories are also great fuel for my role as an athlete with this team. I wear the bright white kit with pride every day and use a truckload of napisan to try and keep it in tip top condition, in the knowledge that this team plays a role in inspiring people around the world. I am now zipping up this kit in my new apartment in Alpharetta, GA. From here I am based with Aussie team mate Chris Williams and Kiwi Aaron Perry. Apart from spreading 'Aussie speak' all over south east USA, we are now racing week in, week out. Next stop is New Mexico for the Tour of the Gila a difficult 5 day stage race at altitude. Will need some good fuel to get over the mountains there, but I look forward to the challenges ahead!
Thanks for reading, Cheers, Hooroo, Thank you Ma'am/Sir.
Justin/ Mad Dog Twitter:@JustinMorrisTT1

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mgarnon's picture

Good Luck, now win some races and remember no Girls unless they are on holidays from Australia.

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