Spring classics coming up and I know that feeling so well.
Nervous, excitement, stress, happiness…
Will I be good enough and how strong will the others be?!
What will the weather be like? Rain, wind, snow, sun?!
In reality the season have already started in Australia, but that´s different.
In my mind the real start and the big test is Het Nieuwsblad. Weather conditions in Belgium in the end of February are hard and already there you know who has done their job right this winter and who hasn´t. Of course, you have riders that don´t like this type of races and choose to start in the stage race Setmana Ciclista Valenciana (22-25 Feb.) this weekend instead or later.
But that was not me, I loved them!
Even though I retired after the 2016 season I still get the same feeling in my body around this period and it´s like I´m getting prepared even though I´m not.
Or maybe I am?
In fact, maybe I am preparing for the biggest season ever?!
All my experiences I have in finding balance between training, resting, knowledge and guts feeling comes back to me.
A normal February for me is to make the last preparations and to recognize the different courses that we will bring on once the season starts.
Last week that was exactly what we did when we went to the hospital for a visit. Knowing where to go, how it looks, the smell, the people (opponent) and when to attack…
All these aspects are important to me and to be well prepared was something I was really good at. Preparations like how to pack my bag before a race was what made me calm and gave me confidence.
So while following these first races “to prepare well” is what I´m going to bring with me in my different kind of spring.
I have won Het Nieuwsblad two times before and I know it will never happen again. But that’s ok, this year I´m aiming for something even bigger!
Cooking is something I enjoy doing. But it´s not always I have the energy to be creative. With my man out of the house at the moment means that I´m alone at dinner, and to cook for one I find boring.
Then I cook because I have to, and it need to go fast. My absolute favorite healthy fast food is porridge. It works for breakfast, lunch as well as dinner and all you need is less than 10 minutes to have it ready.
A favorite of mine is the one with sliced banana and homemade almond butter.
To make Almond butter is very easy. Here is the recepie from the cookbook “Velochef”:
500g of almonds
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 pinch of salt
1. Put the oven on 150 degrees.
2. Toast the almonds for 20min.
3. Pour the almonds into a blender while still warm.
4. Add oil and salt and blend it all together on high speed for 5-6 minutes.
5. When creamy pour it into a jar. Lasts 3-4 weeks in the fridge.
In the female peloton #pimpmyporridge is well-known and if you want inspiration for other porridge dishes, give #pimpmyporridge a search on Instagram. I´m sure you will come across many tasty mixes from my fellow cyclists.
My idea for this blog was to take you through my journey “From fit, to fat and back again”. And it sorts of speak for itself.
To use the word fat might not be ethical correct but that is what it feels like.
I can´t even remember the last time I was above 60kg and boobs were normal…
Those days when my body was a tool to perform are gone and gosh I miss them. I miss having control and to know exactually what the next day will look like. Eat, train, sleep, repeat!
Top sport is extreme and my last 10 years have been extreme in every single way. I have trained hard, raced hard, slept hard and travelled hard!
The frustration I feel when my body is telling me to rest is the worst. I used to be filled with energy and all I want to do these days is sleep. I go early to bed, wake up late, take a nap after lunch and fall asleep in the sofa in the evening.
I know this amazing little person growing inside me is going to be the most wonderful thing but right now it´s hard to imagen.
I see all my old teammates laughing and suffering together at camp and that is one of the things I miss the most.
I have friends and family that I love and that loves me back, but there is something special about surviving a rough training together. The satisfaction, the pain you feel when lying on the massage table afterwards, the taste of dinner and then when the evening comes. The simple mind of knowing that tomorrow will be just same.
These last months I have been working hard with finding good routines and to accept this new situation of mine. I miss the “easy” life as a top athlete. But to miss it and to be ready to go back and do the hard work all over again, is a totally different thing. Just to be clear; A comeback from me on the highest level will never happen!
My new goal is to find the right balance in life. The balance between what I have been, what I am and what I will be.
“Emma Johansson – professional cyclist” has turned into “Emma Johansson – Olympian in transformation”.
Here I will keep you updated with what I´m going through on my journey from being one of the best cyclists in the world adjusting to a normal life.
What it´s like to leave the only thing you have done really good behind, to lose form, finding out what to do, becoming a mum and being one.
Maybe you have a question or a specific wish for a blogpost? Please share it with me if you do!