"Hey, what are you doing next year?", everyone keeps asking. I thought I'd finally answer.
Hi Joe - another very well written piece, which brings back a lot of memories for me personally.
I lost count of the times when I thought I'd gotten that elusive contract, only for a sponsor to pull out (or turn out to be entirely fictional), or a promise to be broken, sometimes in January. It was always disheartening, and often financially crippling. Were it not for some very kind personal sponsors and a wife who believed in me, I'd have had to have stopped before I was ready to give up.
By the time that elusive contract came my way, I was 6 years your senior. Whilst I wouldn't recommend persevering QUITE that long, it's clear that you still believe, that you still want to work hard, and that you can still get to where you want to be. It's also clear that you're talented on and off the bike, and it's as much due to the latter as the former that you shouldn't be afraid to continue pursuing your dream. Should things not work out for you over the next two or three years, you're only going to be in your mid twenties. With the work ethic you've learnt through cycling, combined with a switched on mentality, you have nothing to fear if you end up in the 'real' world. Further to that, the experiences you'll have over the next few years through the pursuit of your dream will be something you'll treasure forever, no matter the end outcome.
Good luck with your contract search, and I look forward to commentating on a pro race in which you're competing in the not too distant future.
Another well-constructed article that often doesn't get published in the 'gloss-n-shine and all things fine' of the cycling mags and publications. Give it your best shot! Look what James Shaw achieved when all look dead in the water. The positive thing being you always have a path to fall back on, so at this early stage i would fight tooth and nail to achieve it. Yes, elite sport is all about results that's true, but teams are a brand and have sponsors too and if they have a team member who not only fits their roster but can also further position their brand and sponsors in the media that's for sure a bonus and your USP too. Best of luck and I'll follow how it goes via Li.
Joe, there are plenty of wise words in the comments above. I just simply want to say thank you for writing such open and articulate pieces and good luck, please keep on sharing your journey,. Wishing you happiness and every success in 2023.
Wow, what an excellent read. Open, honest, humorous, heart-felt. Thanks for sharing, Joe. Your future is bright, even if you can't see it clearly.
I enjoy following your highs and lows across the various print, web and podcast output. It can be a tough story when you can feel your own low points and self doubt creeping in.
I’ve never been in the same position as you in a sporting sense but have in my career, although a lot later in life!
You sound a positive guy who still has the passion and drive to pursue your dream. My advice would be carry on chasing the dream whilst you can if other income can support this. As a bright guy you will know when it might be time to pivot or divert that journey but stick with the planned journey whilst you can.
I have and touching wood it keeps falling in to place as time goes by and I’m keeping the wolves from the door with a far better quality of life than before.