I was watching Behind the Barriers the other day and at the end of the episode Jeremy Powers (AKA J-Pow) was being worked on by a physical therapist/chiropractor. The two guys got to talking about what it takes to win at cyclocross and the PT mentioned something that really hit home with me. He referred to “one more dig,’ that the guy/gal who won was the typically the person who had “one more dig” than the competition.
Cyclocross is different than your typical American ball sports in that in order to have any success at all you have to operate at beyond what you might have previously thought was possible. Cyclocross races typically last from between thirty to sixty minutes and during that entire time you have to be operating at maximum possible output, and at several times during the race you’ll have go past what you thought was possible – you have to dig. It’s the guy/gal who can dig just that one more time, the person who can accelerate out of that last turn just a few seconds faster, generate just a few more watts than the competition, who wins.
I think it’s safe to say that the vast majority of Americans have never experienced what cyclocross racers consider routine. Perhaps that’s why I love this sport so much: it makes the seemingly impossible possible, and when that happens you come out the other side a stronger (read better) person.