John C. Maxwell, in his book Encouragement Changes Everything, shares some time ago an experiment was conducted to measure people’s capacity to endure pain. How long could a barefooted person stand in a bucket of ice water? It was discovered that when there was someone else present offering encouragement and support, the person standing in the ice water could tolerate pain twice as long as when no one else was present.
“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hope; but no plans.”
David Pell, since 12 has been an integral part of the Bendigo Cycling Community. David shared what has been his experience in remaining committed to the sport he loves as a semi-professional. David reminisced he started off enthusiastically, a little over weight, struggling week after week to finish a club race. What kept him committed in the sport was people and the chances in life that cycling was offering. With his parents and family as his support and encouragement David had set his sights to compete in the state team then nationals and at 16 fulfilled his goal as a sprinter.
“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.”
David changed his discipline to endurance cycling requiring an increase in time on the bike. In 1997 David attended the Oceania titles in New Zealand representing Australia making a substantial mark gaining many places. Struggling to balance year 12 studies, with setting cycling career goals to ride the Junior World Titles Cuba, with hard work and support from parents and coach Lozza paid dividends, attending the World Titles and an invitation to the VIS cycling squad. A young David found that commitment can mean sacrifice. Making the transition from junior to senior ranks meant a double the hours in the saddle. With this came the first of many commitments/sacrifices of leaving home and family which took its toll after a few months requiring a reassessment of goals. The call of youthfulness, partying and having a good time played havoc with the strict regime required to be an elite cyclist. After a 2 year induction into elite competition came some major wins at National level. This elevated David into the AIS under 23 cycling squad and then found himself living in Italy competing on the European circuit and World Circuit.
“There are only two options regarding commitment. You’re either in or out. There’s no such thing as a life in-between.”
2003 saw David living alone being part of a German pro cycling team making one of the bigger challenges of commitment/sacrifice yet experienced. In 2004 David was offered another contract but declined after weighing up the total cost and sacrifice required and resumed a less hectic program within Australia. In hindsight, 2004 had other challenges when a serious incident beset the family, placing a big question mark as to what were important cycling or family and friends. Commitment dropped off, David found full-time work and part-time cycling was a struggle. The new found freedoms of money and flexibility to catch up friends (what youth had passed by with cycling) and being less anxious about the consequences David enjoyed another side of life. With forced redundancy late 2004, David renewed his first love of cycling.
“The achievement of your goal is assured the moment you commit yourself to it.”
David rode as an independent until offered an incentive contract with an Australian based continental team. Around this time David was meeting his now wife Leila, trying to balance sacrifice and commitment was now not for one but two, both being cyclists. David reflected this was one of his best years of racing giving confidence for a future with both bike and soon to be wife. Renewed enthusiasm, support of the love of his life Leila and coach Lozza success came at national and international events. A contract with a new team has lifted the bar again with long term goals that seemed lost becoming more of a reality. David has covered 8,000 km since December has his sights set on Europe where the cycling kicks up a gear compared to anywhere else in the world. Part of the passion and motivation has come from training in his own back yard riding across to Daylesford through Shepherds Flat and the across to Malmsbury and back to Bendigo. In 15 years and 15 countries later the story yet has no ending but to remain committed.
“Commitment is proportional to the support and encouragement of those that you chose around you”
See you on the road soon God willing.