Cyclocross Racer Lisa Matlock Strong on being a pro mountain biker, elite state champ and an athlete who will never retire.
When do I become too slow or too old? Never.
I do have an ego but when it comes to bike racing but it comes and goes. When I was in tip top shape I really cared a lot, But as I’ve “aged” and become more weathered in this cycling community, I care less and less. Sure my heart still breaks a little when I think “She went faster than me!” but then I remember all of my life’s successes: a family, 2 beautiful girls, a successful business, being healthy. I’m here to tell you there’s more to it than winning!
My cycling career in Cyclocross goes all the way back to 1999 when I placed 2nd at Collegiate CYCLOCROSS Nationals. I had no idea what a national championship would have meant at the time, and I was pleased to become an All-American. Fast forward through several years of cow-bell ringing races called the Super Cups (who remembers those?), and through years of slogging along as a pro mountain bike racer, to 2008. My career bounced back after having my first daughter. I’m not sure if it was a blood boost or just pure motivation, but for a few years around that time I became a star in Colorado! In 2008 & 2010 I was Runner-up State Champion and in 2009 I pulled off the BIG WIN as Elite State Champion! What a couple of fun years.
There are so many women racers out there who come on the scene, win a lot, and make a big fuss about retiring. I’m not one of them. I’m here to say that you don’t have to WIN to race. I still show up and put on my game face even if I haven’t put in the hours or focus on training. I love every bit of it and I’m here to stay.
So next time you question if you are fit enough and trained enough, just remember your love for the sport. And remember me, I’ve gone from State Champion to pack fill, and with no plans of announcing a big retirement. Just show up, smile, and give it what you got!
Learn more about Naked Women’s Racing. We never retire.