Loyalty, Character and Motivation

By Tim Crytser
What Ever Happened to Loyalty?
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This Mountaineer stands for loyalty and character!

Something happened this week that has motivated me to take a stand and speak my mind.  Some of you may know that I am from West Virginia, home to the Mother ship, Racer X and I bleed blue and gold for my beloved West Virginia Mountaineers.  I grew up there, went to Engineering school there and still proudly call Morgantown my home.  If you follow college football you may also know that WVU choked big time in their last game of the season and lost to our arch enemy forfeiting a chance to play Ohio State for the National Championship.  That happened a few weeks ago and I am over the loss….sort of.  Well, ok, I’m not over it, but I have moved on and was optimistically looking forward to next season, which leads me to the first part of this week’s article; loyalty.  The head coach at WVU took the entire state of West Virginia and any one else who cheers for the Mountaineers and royally screwed them.  Is it because he took another job and is now the head football coach at Michigan?  No; not in my opinion.  It’s the way in which he left and the motivation behind this article.  Completely lacking any character or loyalty to the people who support the state and our only true source of pride, he lied, made people feel bad about asking if he was leaving and for me the worst thing, he brought his family into the picture.  He went on the radio and was adamant about how he was loyal to WVU and he was not leaving and he wanted to retire at WVU.  He drug his family into the picture by saying it was upsetting his wife and kids and asked if people would please stop talking about him leaving. He emphatically stated that he planned on being at WVU for a long, long time.  I guess in his eyes, a year is a long, long time.  Last year, as soon as the last game was over, ole’ Jellyfish Rich was in Alabama interviewing for that job.  WVU bent over backwards to convince him to stay and ended up paying him a lot more money along with some nice incentives for the future.  Basically, Coach Rod held the University and the State hostage.  Fast forward one year and the Coach with no integrity did it again. On the radio and during press conferences he chastised the media for asking about the Michigan job and asked for people to again, please stop asking because it was upsetting his family.  Wow, what an ass, because he just took the job at Michigan. What makes it even worse is West Virginia is his Alma Matter!
I know it’s a free Country and it’s his right and obligation to make as much money for his family, but sometimes the way you do things is more important than what you do.  If Coach Rod would have had enough respect, loyalty, and character for the fans and his players to simply say, this is business and I have to look out for what is best for my family. I would have hated to see him leave, but at least I could have respected that.  In my book he is a liar and a spineless weasel who doesn’t know the first thing about integrity.  I guess I’m just finally sick and tired of people in power doing whatever is necessary to get ahead.  I mean, does anybody remember these statements?  “Read my lips, no new taxes”, or “I did not have sex with that woman,” or the most recent lie, “We have to invade; Iraq has weapons of mass destruction!” To me, none of these people exhibit one ounce of character, and that is a bad lesson for the youth of our country (the future of our country) to learn.
Enough about Turn-Coat Rod and the other scum-bags that pollute our minds; my point is not as much about what each one of these people did as much pointing out that what they did was wrong. Character, loyalty and motivation are all very important when it comes to training and racing motocross.  Exhibiting these characteristics is extremely important no matter if you are up for a factory ride, living off of someone else’s dollar (i.e. Mom and Dad), or have a family waiting for you once you get back home after a day of riding.
How do you Build Strong Character?
Your character is the sum of all the qualities that make you who you are. It’s your values,
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All three of these men showed a lack of character to some degree

your thoughts, your words, your actions.  If you search the internet on the word character, you will find many different meanings.  To me the definition is simple. It’s a characteristic that you just know when someone else has it; kind-of like morals. David Bailey is a good example in our sport.  You can just tell when the guy speaks; he is a man of high character.  It is also about following through with what you say and doing what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it.  Character is a tough thing to come by, and in my opinion not many people have it.  Strong Character is following through with something even when it is difficult or the results aren’t going to go in your favor.  When I train my clients, character is always one of the most important factors I try to develop.  You can bet your ass that character is one of the first things team managers like Mitch Payton and others look for in riders. Off-season training is a great time to see if you have the character to follow through on the promises you made to yourself, your parents or your team.  Do you have what it takes to get to the gym Christmas Eve and train?  How about the day after Christmas when everyone else is at the mall fighting to return gifts or watching football?  Will you follow through with your plan and train that day?
Character is also built while you are training.  If you have been following Virtual Trainer the past couple of months, you know that you should be getting ready to or already transitioned to the next phase of your off-season strength training plan which is the Power Endurance phase.  This type of exercise will let you know what type of athlete you really are.  As the intensity ramps up, so too does the amount of pain and discomfort you will have to sustain during your workouts.  To me this is the time when I see if the person I am training is going to have what it takes to dig down deep this summer when it’s 100 degree out, after a poor start, went down on the third lap and are fighting with slower riders to get back to the front.  That is when character development pays off by being able to maintain a positive mindset about the race and digging down deep and racing like you are fighting for the championship of the World.  That’s character.
What Motivates Me
Motivation is a funny thing.  Some people get motivated by the smallest things and for others it takes an act of God to motivate them.  I’ve had a few life experiences that have motivated me lately.  Maybe you can relate.  The first thing that happened was one of my best friends wife died of breast cancer.  She was 37; they have two small kids and were basically living a parallel life to me and my family.  Her death motivates me.  My brother-in-law on my wife’s side was just diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer.  He is 47 and the Doctors have given him a few months to live.  He wasn’t the type person you would expect this from.  Extremely fit, played tennis all the time and had a pretty impressive set of six-pack abs, yet cancer decided he was next.  Bet your ass that motivates me; I’m 40.  Another thing that motivates me is getting older.  I have two kids and a great wife that I would like to be around for, so training and riding keep me fit and sane for them.
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I think this quote rings true for a lot of people!

Not everything that motivates me comes form a despairing source.  Peers of mine that are successful motivate me.  Davey Coombs, the creator of Racer X Illustrated has been one of my best friends since high school and he motivates the crap out of me.  Not sure if many of you know this, but DC started Racer X in high school.  At the time he took every picture, wrote every word, and published the newspaper version of Racer X all throughout high school, college, and beyond.  I remember thinking that what he was doing was cool and all, but never could have imagined that he would be able to take his little magazine and turn it into one of the most respected and read magazine in motocross.  I remember asking him, ‘How are you going to compete with Motocross Action, or Dirt Rider?  Those guys are so big!’  He just laughed and said, ‘Those mags are ok, but I can do better!’  And it’s not just Racer X.  There is Racer X Canada, Road Racer X, several websites, the Motocross Show, most of the event programs for the Supercross and Motocross series, his work with the AMA, and so much more.  He has dedicated himself to the sport and sacrificed more than I could ever imagine, being the best at what he does.  That’s motivating stuff when your friends step up to the plate and knock it out of the park.
Another friend of mine is a successful broker at Merrill Lynch.  Same guy who lost his wife, I can’t imagine how he moves forward each day without his wife.  If you have kids, just imagine the pain you would feel each day to watch your kids miss their mom.  Tough stuff and it motivates me.
Another thing that motivates me is my wife and kids.  There may be things in my life that I would change, but never my family.  I have an incredible wife and two perfect little girls.  They motivate me each day to be a better person.  This woman who takes my kickboxing class every Monday and Wednesday night motivates me.  She is 70!  Stupid people motivate me because I never want to be considered stupid.  Same goes with lazy. A friend is building a 14,000 square foot house on a lake in Florida.  Am I jealous?  Hell no, I proud to be his friend, but it motivates me to strive for more.  The emails I answer each week on training motivate me.  My clients motivate me and making this website the best it can be motivates me!
What Motivates You?
So what motivates you?  I asked one of my clients today and she said being told that she can’t do something motivates her. So I quickly told her she couldn’t do the next set without a spot and watched as she struggled through without any help. Maybe moving up a class motivates you.  How about qualifying for Loretta Lynn’s?  Making your parents proud or impressing the girl along the fence line can be motivating.  I was never a sponsored rider, but I can imagine impressing your sponsors would be motivating.  I have advertisers on this site that I continually try to impress so that when the time comes to renew, they are eager to do so. How about your arch rival, your best friend, girlfriend, parents, teacher, coach, or guy down the street?  Things that motivate us are as unique and individual as each one of us.  It takes different strokes for different folks.  Bottom line is find something that inspires you and become the best person you can be through good character and loyalty and let motivation be the driving force behind your success  That's it - I'm done!  Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
That's it for now. Until next time, good luck with your training and, as always, VT can be reached anytime at crytset@comcast.net .  In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section , your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness.

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I think this time next year; my Mountaineers will be saying, "Coach Who?"