What Are You Capable Of?

I was on my Peloton yesterday doing a 30-minute ride with Christine D’Ercole. She is a World and National Champion Track Cyclist. Rather impressive set of credentials, right? I really wasn’t feeling so great about this ride, physically, to begin with, and she starts out by mentioning some elite cycling race that she entered. In my head, I thought, ‘OK, I’m already feeling off, and now you’re going to tell me how you won this thing, right?’ But what came next was nothing I had anticipated.

D’ercole spent the next 30 minutes expounding on all of her mistakes and missteps within this pool of elites athletes, herself being one of them. At first, she shied away from the pack to play it safe, she miscalculated the bell lap, and she came in dead last in one of the heats. Then she told the tale of recovering and I am certain this is going to be where she announces that she won the race—only to find out, she came in 5th. 5th of the best track cyclists in the world is still amazing, but she didn’t win. Why did she share this story?

She could have said, “I’m too old (at 49).” She could have not entered the race. She could have quit. She stayed with it to prove something to herself—she can still compete with the best athletes in the world. She learned a lot about herself. This post is not about cylcing and it’s not about Christine, it’s about you and me. We will never know what we are capable of if we don’t try. What do you want that you have been afraid to “enter the race?” If you’re worried about “winning,” you missed the point. The win comes from entering the race, not crossing the finish line first.


Beth Fitzgerald

P.S. Thank you, Christine, for the inspiration!

This is clearly not Christine. Finding a picture of female cyclists proved challenging, sadly.

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