"Today is the Powder Mountain Stage in the Tour of Utah. A special place and a special race for me for a number of reasons.
The photo on the left is from this same stage in 2014 where I reached a high point in my professional career, winning in a dominant fashion.
The photo on the left is from three weeks ago, about 5 years later.
In the five years between these two photos, my life changed dramatically.
I lost my career, I lost my identity, I lost my path, I lost everything you see in the photo on the left.
But look at the photo on the right. Five years later, not in a race, no professional team, and no finish line with banners in front of me. Look closely and you will see more strength, more intensity, and more purpose.
That is right, I did not break, I did not give up, I did not fall backwards in my life.
In fact, just the opposite. From all the hardship and adversity I became a better person, a better father, a better husband, and a better cyclist.
I learned how to own failure, whether it was my fault or not.
I discovered how to pivot and use my true abilities and skills to go in new directions.
I found my purpose, I became more self aware of my perspective, and I created a way to clearly see the outcome I wanted out of life.
I became confident in my actions because of my experiences in overcoming all my challenges.
I learned how to remove fear and pressure out of my performances by just giving instead of trying to take.
Most importantly, I developed a strong forward focus at all times.
Guys, it is simply personal progress that we are all after. Not how many finish lines you crossed first. Not the imagine of who you were yesterday. Not what careers you have or have not had. Your past does not define you. Who you truly are and becoming does.
It took me “losing” everything to discover that I actually had everything! That’s right, who you have become from your journey is what is important and what gives you the tools to keep making progress.
Keep being you, keep looking forward, keep fighting the battles, keep pivoting, and keep transforming.
You are good enough. There is nothing good back there."