Turning Setbacks into Triumphs during the Coronavirus and Becoming a NICA Coach
Written By: Leah Hiller, CPOMG Mountain Bike Team Coach / Endurance Athlete
Coaching my son’s CPOMG Mountain Bike Team POD this year has brought more joy and challenge to me I think than the chance to compete in the #LeadBoatChallenge (Leadville Race Series Leadville 100 MTB + SBTGRVL Gravel BLK). I looked forward to those grueling LeadBoat race miles in the mountains and earning that coveted belt buckle again at #LT100MTB. Though those races were canceled and I got injured… My son’s races were not… Having a National Interscholastic Cycling Association 2020 race season for the Minnesota High School Cycling League required a different strategy and more coaches of PODs (8-10 student-athletes per pod).
COVID canceled a lot but not my drive, not my passion to coach, and not my son’s team or their chance to race. It also gave me the opportunity to change priorities and take on a new challenge: get certified and coach my son’s POD.
Getting back up is part of mountain biking. Getting back on my mountain bike post-crash after a major injury and hand surgery required a ton of grit. It also shows me what it’s worth. Kenton and our POD athletes matter. I care. I want them to be better, seasoned safer riders who can race and compete long after this year. They have what it takes to get back up & not quit, place well at the races, finish strong and be great athletes! They have what is required to persevere, face fear, get up, get better, and progress in their skills on the bike.
Coaching has made all the difference to me this year. I’m so glad I took on a different kind of challenge post-pandemic and stepped up to become a Level 2 NICA coach and to coach our POD.