Here at Integrated Wellbeing, we’re proud to be one of the main sponsors of both the men’s and women’s road racing cycling teams at Team WattCycle for the 2015 season.
We hope you’ll share our support for them as the season unfolds and we’ll be posting regular updates on the site and through social media throughout the year.
The team are still the new kids on the block, having formed in time for the 2014 season, initially to compete in the men’s North East regional series as Manilla Cycling. With a combination of single-mindedness and enthusiasm, music PR guru Tony McDonagh got a small group of fellow cyclists together to practice on dark, wet November nights and persuaded them to form a team. There was nothing to lose. 12 months later, as North East Regional Champions and with a brand new women’s team joining the group under the watchful eye of experienced international rider Karen Poole, the group has both a national and a regional team and expectations are considerably higher.
“It’s fair to say plenty of people in the region couldn’t wait to see us fail and our debut at the Croft Race Circuit only served to fuel other teams’ laughter aimed at the team. Riders who knew nothing of us quickly dismissed us.” Tony McDonagh, Team Manager
After a bleak opening day with just a single 34th place finish in the All Category race and an 8th place in the lower-level Category 4 group, the team had registered a mere 2 points. On the Monday after the race Tony arrived in the office to an email from the head of a rival team mocking them. His words became the best possible team talk!
Out of adversity, the team spirit grew in leaps and bounds. Minds were focused. Training increased. From hearing Tony’s account of that first season and following their progress as a supporter, I sense that they were helped, perhaps without knowing it, by one of the cornerstones of mindfulness: being present in the moment. Earlier race results didn’t matter. What might happen in future races (and at the season end) didn’t matter. Nothing was expected of them save for being fully focused on the race, moment by moment.
I’m looking forward to joining up with the team soon to underpin the idea of mindfulness helping athletes to focus on the job in hand; and now that former Tour de France winner, Bradley Wiggins, has stressed the importance of yoga to his training, I’m hoping to persuade a few of them to roll out a mat too!
I’ll be posting more about yoga for those of you who participate in sport at all levels over coming months, starting with “Yoga For Sport: Bend It Like Wiggins” here in the Integrated Wellbeing Body Matters resources.
And hear me chatting with Team Manager, Tony McDonagh, and Head Coach, Adam Brooks, on the “On Yer Bike” radio show podcast Volume 4 at http://southsidebroadcasting.podbean.com/e/on-yer-bike-vol-4/
Now … time to oil that chain and dust off that saddle!