HUMAN FAULTS ARE LIKE GARDEN WEEDS. THEY GROW WITHOUT CULTIVATION AND SOON TAKE OVER THE PLACE IF THEY AREN’T THINNED OUT

Habits are formed so slowly that most of us don’t realize what is happening until the habits are too strongly entrenched to be broken. Seldom can one pattern of behavior be eliminated without replacing it with another. It has been said that nature abhors a vacuum and will always find something to fill a void. The best way to thin out the “weeds,” or faults in your character, is to identify those traits with which you are dissatisfied and replace them with their positive counterparts. If you have a tendency to lose your temper, for example, find a replacement for your anger. Neutralize it with a positive expression or affirmation such as, No one can make me angry unless I let them. I will not let anyone else control my emotions.

IF YOU HAVE NO MAJOR PURPOSE, YOU ARE DRIFTING TOWARD CERTAIN FAILURE

Not having a major purpose for your life is like trying to navigate without a chart. You may eventually get somewhere you like, or you may drift aimlessly, always hoping-but never finding-the place where you would like to be. As you grow as a person, so will your major purpose. It is the natural order of things that, when you reach the top of one mountain, you will look around for higher peaks to climb. In life, either you are moving forward or you are going backward. When you plot your course carefully and thoughtfully, you can ensure that you are going in the right direction.

Non avere un obiettivo importante per la tua vita è come cercare di navigare senza un grafico. Si può finalmente arrivare da qualche parte che ti piace, oppure si può deriva senza meta, sempre con la speranza-ma-non trovare mai il luogo in cui si vorrebbe essere. Come crescere come persona, così il tuo obiettivo principale. È l’ordine naturale delle cose che, quando si raggiunge la cima di una montagna, si guardano intorno per cercare di scalare vette più elevate. Nella vita, o ci si sposta in avanti o si sta andando indietro. Quando si stampa il tuo corso di attenzione e pensieroso, è possibile garantire che si sta andando nella giusta direzione.

THERE ALWAYS REMAINS AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A NEW START

Though it may not seem so when you first encounter a serious blow, you can never lose two of the most important assets you have. These are the power of your mind and your freedom to use it. Once you have turned them to understanding what laid you low, you can begin forming new plans. You may not have the money you once had; you may lack the allies you had cultivated. But you still have the benefit of a universe that eventually rewards honest effort, as well as gaining the experience of mistakes you will never make again. Remember, no matter where you are now, whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve. Protect the most important thing you have.

ARE YOU WAITING FOR SUCCESS TO ARRIVE, OR ARE YOU GOING OUT TO FIND WHERE IT IS HIDING?

If you are waiting for success to seek you out, you are headed for a big disappointment. Success is rarely forced upon anyone, and it will never overtake you unexpectedly. You must prepare for it and actively seek it out if you ever plan to achieve any measure of success in your life. Constantly be alert to changes in your business or profession. Subscribe to trade magazines and professional journals, join industry associations or professional societies, and get to know the experts in the field in order to keep abreast of new developments.

Desire (to Return to Cycling)

Says Napoleon Hill (& not Paolo Bettini): “EVERYTHING YOU CREATE OR ACQUIRE BEGINS IN THE FORM OF DESIRE. In order to act, you must have a purpose. If you want to act successfully in all but the most mundane affairs, you must embrace that purpose with a burning desire. Many people think they want to be successful, but since they do not back that thought with an intense drive, they never achieve success. Cultivate your desire. Feed it with thoughts of yourself enjoying whatever it is you seek. It’s like stoking the furnace of a steam engine. You need to build up enough pressure to carry yourself over hills; if your desire doesn’t burn hotly enough, you’ll find yourself stalled and rolling backwards. The secret to action is a red-hot desire.”

Despite self-sabotage via 6α-OH-androstenedione and/or 6β-OH-androsterone, I have a desire to return to cycling, to be an active participant in the sport that became part of my DNA (undetectable pre-Gene Doping mutation? lol) in 1989, if not sooner. When your desire is red-hot, yet you are stymied at every turn by officials, those with intent, circumstance and coincidence, where do you go? I’m open for suggestions on this, people, since I’m not irredeemable.

I was born to work (and play) in and for this sport. I cannot be more definite or clear in stating that cycling was to be my life’s work – still is, no matter what mistakes I’ve made and what penalties remain to be paid. I think few people are lucky (or cursed) enough to find something about which they are so passionate that it, in a way, becomes part of their being, but that’s what cycling is for me. The transformation didn’t take long – my dad was dead in May of ’89; I received a road bike shortly thereafter; I rode my first club race that summer and finished dead last. I fumbled around through 1990, starting regular club racing in the “C’s” with my local club, the ACA; by 1991 I was State Champion and had ridden well in the criterium at junior nationals. I wrote my first sponsorship proposal in 1991 and PowerBar was one of the first companies to back me.

I also reached out to the USCF in ’91, asking – as a 16 year-old – how to develop a career in cycling. Their response is below. Amy L. Johnson, then of USCF, if you’re out there, drop me a line.

By 1993, my last year as a Junior, I was already Cat. 1, had raced against Hincapie, Barry, McRae, Julich, etc. (while they were Seniors) and the following year I turned pro in the NCL. I thought that if I wasn’t a rider, I’d certainly want Todd K’s job as the team’s manager, and thanks to Franco Harris I raced in Europe twice that summer. But it was in the Vuelta a Venezuela later that year that I had a predestination-like moment that confirmed for me that cycling was to be my life’s work.

I don’t remember the stage, the details aren’t that important but for the fact that the team from la Lotería del Táchira (supposedly the oldest team in the world, according to this article in Spanish, with Google Translated version here) was on the front riding tempo. I sat directly behind their last rider, and at one point, their team director drove up alongside the squad (in a white car, with custom euro-style roof racks that I remember to this day) and delivered rapid-fire orders in Spanish, along with a water bottle or two. I wish a had a photo of that moment, because it was then that I could feel in my soul that cycling would be my life, one part of which I would spend as a team director on the road, just like that old Venezuelan from Táchira. I felt this in my soul.

Laugh all you want. Comments are moderated so you can’t drop hate here, but I knew that I wanted to spend my life in cycling, racing, developing the sponsorships that would support teams, directing the teams, managing athletes, serving cycling in an administrative capacity, promoting races…that one, brief exchange of info between a team director and his riders that I witnessed burned this feeling so deeply into my soul that even a period of three years in which I forced myself NOT to touch a bike couldn’t purge it.

Some children grow-up knowing from an early age that they want to be doctors. Others are destined to be lawyers because that’s what their parent did. There are even those who are born to be soldiers, following the proud family tradition and serving in their country’s armed forces – just like father, grandfather and great-grandfather did before them… And somehow I pop out of the womb in Parma, Ohio and grow up in a family about as far removed from European pro cycling as possible, yet the desire to earn a living in this sport and to dedicate my professional career to it was manifest so early, with such force and tenacity, and has survived through the hell of the past three years that it might as well be programmed into my DNA.

But how do I get there from here?

A FRIEND IS ONE WHO KNOWS ALL ABOUT YOU AND STILL RESPECTS YOU

“A true friend is a priceless gift. When we reveal our hopes, our dreams, and our deepest secrets to others, and they still like and respect us, such people are to be cherished.


All too often, the only reason others wish to spend time with us-to be our friends-is because of what they perceive we can do for them, not the other way around. A real friendship is reciprocal, one in which each friend benefits equally. You can earn the friendship of others by being the kind of person who deserves respect from friends. When others look up to you, it should make you even more conscious of the responsibility you have to treat them with the same respect you would like them to afford you.”

This positive message is brought to you by the Napoleon Hill Foundation. Visit them at http://www.naphill.org.

There Always Remains an Opportunity to Make a New Start

Though it may not seem so when you first encounter a serious blow, you can never lose two of the most important assets you have. These are the power of your mind and your freedom to use it. Once you have turned them to understanding what laid you low, you can begin forming new plans. You may not have the money you once had; you may lack the allies you had cultivated. But you still have the benefit of a universe that eventually rewards honest effort, as well as gaining the experience of mistakes you will never make again. Remember, no matter where you are now, whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve. Protect the most important thing you have.

–This positive message is brought to you by the Napoleon Hill Foundation.