Ambitions 3: Environment and PeopleWords by Molly Hurford
In the third episode of Ambitions this season, Emily Batty and Laurie Arsenault are sharing some behind-the-scenes looks at the importance of the environment you're in and the people you surround yourself with. Racing on the World Cup circuit may only look like several weekends of racing each year, but it takes months of careful preparation to be ready for each race.
"We spend 300 days of the year preparing for nine 90 minute races," Batty says. "The chances of having opportunities for World Cup podiums and World Championship titles are so small... At the end of the day. You can prepare as much as you physically, can but your energy and the group environment is ultimately what is going to reflect in your mental state.
It's been a season of change for the Canyon MTB Team. For Batty, it's meant running an entirely new program with all new gear, and also helping a young teammate navigate her first elite World Cup season. "I truly believe that if you want to make change, you have to make hard changes in your life," she says.
That doesn't just mean narrowly focusing on training: It means prioritizing rest and recovery (in the form of a terrifyingly cold ice bath!). It also means taking time out from training to be part of the MTB community. In this episode, the team is helping with trailbuilding in Victoria, but of course, Batty also helps with youth programs in Ontario and even puts on Batty Cross, a local cyclocross race.
"Cycling is lifestyle. It doesn't have to just be training and racing," she says. "It's so much bigger than that, and it's always been bigger than that for us."