by Tommy Musca
Throughout most of my life I’ve been a sedentary person. During all of elementary and middle school I loathed participating in any physical activities because I’m extremely uncoordinated – I can’t throw, catch, shoot, or hit a ball to save my life.
As a result of this prolonged inactivity I found that my weight was increasing by almost 30 pounds a year. By the age of 14 I was 190 pounds with a resting heart rate of 65 bpm and even though I was acing all my classes, I felt physically like crap.
As high school quickly approached I knew that I had to find a sport that I could thrive and get school credit in. I had always loved cycling as an occasional activity and after seeing La Grangers on San Vicente I decided at the start of summer 2010 that I would become a cyclist.
I went to LaGrange.org and looked at the Wednesday ride (it was a Tuesday night) and decided to wake up at dawn to do it. I ventured off in a tye-dye t-shirt and basketball shorts on a Trek hybrid bike panting just to keep up on the golf course lap. By the time the group got a few hundred yards up Mandeville I had to pull over to cough from sheer fatigue.
I had to change this.
By January of 2011 I started my 1st racing season which included a pack finish and getting dropped in a Cat5 race. The race I got dropped from lowered my motivation and kept me off the bike for 3 months. It wasn’t until Nick Brandeau and Drew Kogon sent me a few emails that I was inspired to start up again.
I made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t race again until I was fit enough to finish at the front. I began setting goals I had given up on before I quit. I tried 32 times before I was able to make the Nichols regroup, but I did it. I rode every single day of the summer, no longer getting dropped on the daily La Grange rides and lowered my weight to 155 and resting heart rate to 45bpm.
I wish I could’ve thanked Nick, Drew, and Marco for helping me get through the first few months of pain. With new confidence in my training and racing gained in the Malibu canyons and the LG Cup series I was ready to race. With the help of Cat1 racer Matias I felt that I had the confidence to race again. Put all of this La Grange support and inspiration together and I got a podium on my second race of the season.
As I’m writing this a week before the biggest race of my season, SDSR, I’ve truly gone through a transformation from an overweight student to a nationally ranked Cat5 junior.
A transformation only possible with the help and support of La Grange.
Thanks to everyone,