A look back at JMSR
Written by guest rider Rachel Jordan
It’s a couple weeks after the Joe Martin Stage Race, and I am still overwhelmed thinking back on it. My first-ever UCI race was filled to the brim with excitement, as were my emotions. Honestly, it felt like being thrown into the ocean when you’re first learning how to swim. But I never felt alone, and feeling this embrace helped me truck on even when the going got hard (which happened pretty quickly, I might add). I look back on JMSR as a success because of the positive experience I had and the lessons I learned.
My resounding takeaway is that I am filled with gratitude- for Femme Equipe letting me guest ride with them, to their sponsors for their support throughout the event and for creating an equal payout, for making new friends who made this experience happy and fun, for old friends who were loving and encouraging, for Johnny (for the support, friendship, and cookies), and for all the people who made the event possible.
The best thing was going back to the team van/camp-out after races and immediately being surrounded by my teammates. It’s the closest feeling resembling family, and the gravity of this emotion will never leave me. I’m used to racing by myself (traveling by myself, showing up at races by myself, and racing by myself). Yes, there are always friends at races, but it feels different to have a teammate, someone who is in your corner and will do whatever they can to help you.
This is one of the things that continues to surprise and fulfill me about this sport. Most of the time, training can be pretty selfish. It takes dedication, motivation, discipline, and lots and lots of time. But despite all of this, I have met some of the most self-less people from the opportunities I have had. At some point, everyone in this sport hits a roadblock. It’s the next part that is the most important. For me, it was when I was hit by a car while riding. It was a hard recovery, but I was so filled with love and support during that time that it only made me want to love people even harder, and I came back from that injury stronger than ever (Of course I can’t forget to mention my amazing coach who helped me in more ways than I can even say). There will surely be hard races and new challenges ahead, but that will bring more opportunities to help and support each other.
Now I am more excited and hungrier than ever to press on. To steadfastly pursue this path and remember the important things. This sport is truly one-of-a-kind, and I can’t wait to see what adventures and new people it leads me to.