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Becoming a Professional Mountain Biker with 3-Time Cyclocross World Championship Team Member Crystal Anthony

Talk Bravely

Release Date: 07/13/2020

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Professional mountain bike & cyclocross racer for Liv Racing, endurance sport coach, and foodie, Crystal Anthony joins Talk Bravely to share her journey in competitive athletics and competing at the World Championships. We talk all things racing, training, making the decision to leave a steady (and impactful job) and how she finds fulfillment in both racing and coaching others towards their goals.

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On this episode of Talk Bravely, I chat with professional mountain biker and Liv Racing team member Crystal Anthony. Crystal has an AMAZING story of growing up the oldest of 7 siblings in Massachusetts, heading to college for an undergraduate degree in kinesiology and a Masters in Education in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard, and then pursuing mountain bike and cyclocross racing and running her own coaching business.

Crystal currently lives in Northwest Arkansas rides for Liv Racing. She has raced in 12 countries and represented the US 3x at the World Championships

 

What we’re talking about:

  • The honor she had “wearing the colors of the US and representing our country” in the Cyclocross World Championships
  • She didn’t start organized athletics until joining the cross country team in COLLEGE and found her passion running long distances.
  • How missing the Olympic Trials marathon qualification time by 16 seconds was a moment to reflect and consider training for something else.
  • Crystal shares that she was never motivated by becoming a pro racer or making money racing bikes; she was driven to get better and to win!
  • What does it really mean to be a pro racer. Make a complete living through racing; gets paid something to race; your only job, regardless of making money, is racing. For Crystal, she gets compensated for racing, but also makes a living through coaching others to their best performance.
  • How Crystal made the decision to leave her full time job to pursue racing and coaching full time.
    • It was motivating to have 2 passions of teaching middle school and racing on the weekends
    • Identity was tied up in both
    • Security of a steady job kept her in the job as well as the impact she knew she was having on her students
    • Eventually the logistics of managing both became too difficult and it was hard to leave teaching.
  • Before leaving her position to pursue biking full time, Crystal made sure she had enough in savings to sustain her for a year and also reached out to mentors. Her community supported her and lifted her up and gave her the courage and knowledge to be self sufficient.
  • Liv Racing and how awesome it is to race for them. They support getting more women on bikes and also provide a ton of resources for free on their website.
  • How Crystal actually learned to be part of the racing community, developed herself as a racer and nutrition expert, developed her coaching skills, and learned to run a business and market herself to potential sponsors. (Hint: she built a community around her willing to support her)
  • She’s a total saver and still has training clothes from 17 years ago.
  • How Covid-19 has impacted the racing industry, and how it impacted her recent move to Northwest Arkansas.
  • She introduced me to ‘Everesting’ - the idea that you choose a hill and ride your bike up and down over and over again until you reach the elevation gain of Everest at about 29,000 feet. And having completed that athletic feat has put in perspective the "longer" races she had on her schedule for the first time.

 

Connect with Crystal:

Crystal Anthony Coaching offers everything from 1 on 1 skill lessons to coaching plans to clinics. She loves to work with anyone who wants to get better on the mountain bike! Coaching options are up on her site.

Crystal also posts her recipes on her website: www.crystaljanthony.com 

Instagram: @crystaljanthony @crystalanthonycoaching

 

Links and Tips:

  1. Liv Racing
  2. Hook It
  3. Everesting