Hard Work Beats Talent- Father's Day Edition

On this Father’s Day, instead the typical “I love my Dad!” Facebook post.. I decided to dedicate a whole blog post! This week, my Dad re-taught me a lesson that he’s been teaching me my whole life. But, I witnessed him teaching it to a ton of other people, too, & it really made me stop, take a look around, & see those lessons a little differently. 

My dad is a cyclist- a cycling ENTHUSIAST. He runs a team of cyclists, he races 1-4 times  week, he has as many leotards as I do (& he takes way better care of his, they’re always hanging on hangers and such, haha!), he shaves his legs, his head, & this past week he waxed his back for cycling sake. Oh, and he bought a giant van he can fit all his cycling buddies in and he has a trailer that they tow their bikes to and from far away races… because my dad believes in team culture.

Let me start off by saying, the majority of these guys he hangs out and rides bikes with are my age. 20- late 30’s- MAYBE EARLY 40's- would be the typical age span of guys on his own team, but on Tuesday & Wednesday nights, he races against some 17 year-old kids also. 

He’s, by far, the oldest on the track.

When I got to the track on Tuesday, he said “You know I’m going to get crushed?” to which I replied, “Dad, you ride around in circles, I have no clue who is the leader and in last”.

Which, looking back on that statement now… do we ever know in life? Who is in first and who is in last? I’d say no. 

So, I grabbed my headphones and headed for the bleachers. Nobody knew who I was, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to listen to some calls I’ve been meaning to catch up on and do some work. The races started & I was playing on my phone, but as the guys would ride by, I would peek up to see if any of the riders on my Dad’s team were winning or losing or try to figure out what the heck was going on… But, a few laps in, something weird started happening…

Every time my Dad would ride by, I would know, because I would hear someone in the stands or walking around or other riders getting ready for the next race yell, “GO JOHNNY MAC!” After about the third cheer for him, I took my headphones out & I started paying attention. 

The people to the left of me cheering for him had young kids racing. By young, I mean in High School. One kid had a bike issue before the race & I heard him say something about going to see if there were any tools in the back of my Dad’s van & everyone around him said “I’m sure he won’t mind”. This kid is NOT one of my Dad’s riders. & no, my Dad would not mind. 

Some guys behind me cheering for him were riders getting ready for the next race- which was the “A” race- meaning those guys are FAST. They were joking around with him and cheering him on, but had no clue who I was and continued to talk about him. They were saying how he was a minute behind the lead racer, at least, but he didn’t care. They were impressed with his determination and couldn’t remember a time that he didn’t finish a race, unless he wrecked out. These guys were definitely in their 20’s. 

When the race was over, another A racer, NOT on my Dad’s team, came up to him and said he forgot the pedals to his bike. My Dad gave him his. & his wheels to someone else…. 

In the middle of the A-race, my dad got a phone call from work. He was not on call that night, but they needed someone to go out & I’m not sure if they couldn’t get a hold of anyone else, or what. My Dad explained he was about an hour and a half away from Butler, but he would leave so he could go if nobody else answered… he could have very easily said NO, but he didn’t. As soon as the race was over, he packed up quick, just in case work needed him, and headed out. I’m not sure if they ended up needing him that night or not, but regardless, he wanted to be there if they did.
& that is pretty much my Dad in a nutshell. 

He doesn’t limit himself for any task due to age or talents. He’s reminded me my whole life that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard. 

He never quits. Never. Even when he’s dead last. 

He would give you the shirt off his back if you asked him. (or the pedals and tires off his bike)

He treats other people with kindness, always. Kindness always first. If you cross him, that’s another story, but he always leads with kindess. 

He’s a leader. 

He’s always there, just in case. 

If you ever want to know your strengths, get to know my Dad and then have him introduce you to someone else. He introduced me to a bunch of people that day & he would say, “This is my oldest daughter, Taylor. She’s independent, doesn’t need anyone, she’s a dancer & a Beachbody coach, & don’t let her size fool you”. (I know he’s my dad & he’s biased, but he made me sound extremely bad ass & I definitely held my head a little higher when shaking their hands!) 

I’m so glad that not only is my Dad a stellar role model for my siblings & I, but he’s inspiring his little cycling community along the way. I believe in the Compound Effect & I’m sure that those people are then going to treat other people the way my Dad has treated them- with kindness and respect. 

Sometimes, it's so easy to get caught up in "Is this what I should be doing?" & typically we ask ourselves this question when times get hard. But, this week, I was reminded that the only way to make a difference & to show the world what you're capable of... is with a LOT of hard work. I owe this little lesson to a bike race I only initially attended because my Dad had brought some stuff to it with him that I needed from my Mom... (Margie Bars, haha). 

He’s making the world a better place, daily. 

I am so lucky to be his daughter & anyone who knows him at all is lucky to have been graced by his spirit. 

I love you, Dad! 


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