I just read a race report blog with 11, eleven, individual, full-stopped reasons, why a performance wasn’t at the optimum.
(11, not inclusive of the opening adjectives describing the wind as “strong” and the course as “rolley” as these can be considered pre-existing conditions)
We are reading as friends or comrades in competition. We are there to be entertained, informed, or pass five minutes. We are not a jury pointing the finger of guilt. Please limit the inclusion of excuses to one- two at the most. We will permit 3 only if it includes details of a hospital visit. It reads like the race was stolen from ye. If it wasn’t for the …. and the ….. and his …. and the …. the trophy was yours!
If you think that these words refer to you, and if you are now insecurely counting your last race report tally of ‘Why-I-didn’t-wins’ and count only four – it is you too. Be as strong in the mind as you have trained the body.
Entertain us – you have done a big event- trained for it- perhaps travelled to it- so it is good both for you and the man in his underpants in the Ukraine who is reading it – talk about it.
People, even those who you don’t know- want you to do well. We are generally a nice species and are cheering for you.
No one wants to read: “then I got on my bicycle and I did go very fast I took a corner and my numbers were big”
If every sentence starts: “Then I (insert reason the Olympic selectors are blind and inbred)” the Ukrainian is away to watch the dancing dogs on Ukraine’s Got Talent.
“Not going to plan” Of Course it didn’t! A plan is an imaginary set of events. Regardless of how educated the plan is, it should always include a tooth fairy visit, for perspective and balance. When you stand at the finish line and look under your pillow, you will be just delighted to have raced.
Entertain us – even a bit. If we are there- we want to know what happened- not leave sad and 11 times disbelieving.
Start with setting the scene. What sort of atmosphere is there? You can’t go wrong with Conan Doyle opening: ‘Dark, mysterious, blustery morning’ or perhaps a biblical theme ‘..a rabble of large crowds gathered at sign-on, straining to hear the voice of the commassaire.’ Mention any begetting that occurs.
The best man to follow example is Ernest Hemingway. Just facts and honesty- Say it as it is.
“He was a good man, he was a true bike rider. He was noble in racing to his fellow man- for-true nobility is being superior to your former results and riding with honour and courage; for only true courage is found on the final hill and weak men cry and make 11 excuses……”
If you are starting a sentence “Needless to say” examine why you feel the need.
Tell us who won – not why you didn’t. Adapt, move forward, faster.
Advise us on the event- tyre pressure, gear choice, local cake shop.
As a general rule, if a paragraph has more ‘I’s than a spider has eyes. Squash it. Egotistism is a difficult read.
Yes, you are tired. Yes, you have a niggling injury, but still raced. You raced because you are mighty. You are a strong, determined athlete. You have said no to the ‘easy’ path of TV and elastic waisted garments. You have got up before the sun to make your body stronger, faster and all that it can be. Don’t tarnish that wonder….11 times.