A Letter to Myself for 2017


Dear self,

I wrote you a letter last year at this time — do you remember that? Are you wriggling uncomfortably in your seat now, because you are remembering and thinking that probably you did not do all the things?

Well, you’re right, you didn’t do all the things, but you did okay. You still can’t do that yoga chataranga thing, but you’ve gotten pretty good on the slackline and that’s awesome. And your bunny hops are definitely better. And you went to three EWS races and did not once cry during the pre ride because you were getting in someone’s way. Maybe you cried for other reasons, but not because you felt like you didn’t have a right to be there — and that’s progress.

Actually, you did better than okay. You didn’t know what 2016 was going to throw at you — if you did, maybe you would have written a different list. But that’s the beauty of not knowing, isn’t it? We make goals, and as life tears them down, we just try to stand through the storm.

So now, it’s a new year, and a new list. Here are your tasks for 2017 —

Remember that bike racing is a privilege. Remember that bike racing is a gift.

Remember that you don’t have to do any of this. You have a choice. You always have a choice.

Remember that even though this year was hard, it was fun, too.

Keep meditating. This will be easy since we all know you have a crush on Andy from Headspace. Yeah, it’s that obvious.

Find the flow. Not all the time, because that’s asking a lot, because sometimes there just is no flow to be found, and sometimes you’ll be racing and thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner or about how someone commented on your instagram in Indonesian and said your face was crooked and you really shouldn’t have bothered google translating it, because now you’re annoyed and really WHO CARES what random-indonesian-dude-on Instagram thinks about your face. But other days there will be flow and you will pluck it out of the air so easily you will wonder why it is you can’t find it all the time and you will feel as light as a handful of puffy cloud floating down the trail and it will be glorious.

Stop using your desktop as a dumping ground for everything you save on your computer. Seriously, stop it.

Say no to things/projects you don’t want to do.

Say yes to things/projects you actually do want to do.

Keep getting stronger. Lift heavier shit.

Listen to your body’s pain signals and don’t be an asshole to your knees.

Take more photos.

Actually do a handstand so you can be cool on Instagram.

Celebrate the things that go right, even on the days when a lot of other things don’t go right.

Give yourself time to rebuild your confidence after this past year. Rushing won’t help.

Cook things that aren’t burritos or pasta at least once a week.

Remember that you don’t deserve results, you work for them. Remember that you don’t deserve sponsorship, you work for it.

Show the fuck up, and everything else is bonus.

Remember that you’re tough enough, and you have nothing to prove.

Train your heart out, but remember that no matter how much you train, no matter how you try to set yourself up for success, you can’t control everything that happens. And that is okay.

Keep doing your thing.

And if all else fails, just say fuck it and have fun.



Syd Schulz

Pro mountain biker.

Average human.

I write about bikes and life and trying to get better at both.

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