But along the way, I think Kareem had motivations of his own.....he had his own carrot he was chasing. And now, he's got it. This dude is no longer the rider I remembered from the last couple of years......his riding has been taken up a few notches this past winter and early spring. After reading his latest race report on the Madera Stage Race from this past weekend, I swore I was reading a race report from some Cat. 2 stud. Seeing him......briefly(I get dropped quickly!)......out on the Fast 50 rides confirms my analysis......the dude is having one helluva cycling year! He's improved.....big time.
And that, in itself, motivates me. That carrot I was chasing has improved - and it wasn't EPO or drugs or blood boosting or any of that stupid stuff we seem to read about on a daily basis in the cycling news. Nope......it was good old-fashioned hard work, along with a strong belief in oneself. I remember just a few months ago when K was telling me about how hard he was training, but felt like he wasn't getting anywhere. I knew in the back of my head that all the work he was doing was going to take effect soon.......there was just a lag to it. And finally, it did......and the payoff is showing big rewards now.
So, yeah, although my carrot is gone........or at least a bit further away.......I'm proud of my friend. And it motivates me to know that it wasn't a short-cut that got him there - it was those 5am morning rides.....the blistering motorpacing sessions with Mike.......the jams up Humboldt Road.......and on and on. It was the work......and the belief......that eventually, it would pay off. Motivating.
Keep it going Kareem!!!! (But look out......I'm ridin'.......and I see that carrot off in the distance! Yeah, you better keep ridin'!!!)