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John has been my coach for over 6 years now, and I see this relationship carrying on for many years, even though I’m now pushing 61.
When I first called round to see John, I was still recovering from a serious motorcycle accident and just trying to get some level of fitness back and wanted to use cycling as, due to a knee problem, was unable to use running as a fitness activity. John came across as a committed coach, who listened well, was excited at the prospect of what we could achieve. Throughout our time working together, John has always been adaptable to my ever changing work routine, whilst ensuring he keeps me motivated, committed and hungry. Although not competing, it really built my health and fitness back up at a rate that was ideal for my age and situation.
Even when I have worked for three years overseas on a 4 week away, 4 weeks home rotation, John completely rebuild my programme to make sure my fitness never skipped a beat. Then when I came over here to Texas 3 years ago, a total change of programme and focus again with a view to trying my hand at road racing, again, no drop-off, rather ramping up to try and get me as competitive as my age and ability will allow.
At that point, I was late 50’s, never been in a road race before (just tried a few local TT’s in the UK) and never really ridden with groups. My first race, starting at the bottom as a Cat 5 here in the USA (Texas), I finished last and the enduring memory is getting dropped and then passed by the Pro/Cat 1 guys and feeling the suction as they swept past me, and thinking I’m not going to be any good at this.
Fast forward to the present and in the 2016 season I had my first podium, coming 3rd out of 70+ racers in a Cat 4 open race, in which I was the oldest by over 15 years. I also got a 3rd place in the Texas State Team Time Trial Championship in the 40yrs + open category, which is Pro to Cat 4. Our 4-man team finished the 25 mile course in a time of 53 minutes 28 seconds.
I’m pretty excited about the 2017 season and can’t thank John enough for all the support, cajoling, and even pushing me when I was feeling low. I can’t thank him enough, and look forward to many more years and also more positive outcomes in my racing.