The 5 must-do’s to get the best out of yourself and your bike

Written by Shannon Malseed Ex professional road cyclist | Transformation Coach | Spiritual Teacher

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1. Be adaptable

As athletes, we all love a training program.

There is nothing better than when someone with expertise, knowledge, experience, and confidence that comes along to sweep the stress away. They provide you with a detailed step-by-step schedule to get the most out of your 24 hrs each day. They listen to your goals, and showing you exactly how to get there.

I always found training to be the easiest part of being a professional cyclist because it felt like all the pressure was off me. If I just did what I was told to do in training each day, I couldn’t go wrong in that specific arena. So it was a large chunk of the unknown taken away from me, and I could just focus on the task at hand.

BUT: What happens when sh*t happens? Because as we know all too well… sh*t does happen. You get sick. You crash. Races get cancelled. Schedules change. Off the bike, in real life, stuff happens that is out of your control… and suddenly the perfectly curated dream plan doesn’t look so perfect.

I used to lose my marbles when things went wrong. I thought it meant I would fail at the task at hand. What I didn’t know was — the less you stress about the uncontrollable factors, the more energy you will have, and the better your performance will actually be.

I watched many pro athletes ride around cool as a cucumber when things were absolutely NOT going to plan and yet I felt like the whole world was collapsing around me as I tried to make sure every minute of my training session was accounted for, and guess who were the ones winning races? I’ll give you a hint — it wasn’t me.

So what I learnt to do was apply the rule of thirds:

One third of the time, I was training pretty perfectly, hitting power targets, feeling fast and ready to race.

The next third of the time, I was getting it done, but it could be better.

And the last third of the time, I felt pretty crappy and maybe missed a training session altogether because of some unforeseen circumstances.

The key here is to NOT self-berate when things don’t flow exactly the way you like them to.

Instead, recognise this as an off day, do what you can to make it count, and let go of control.

TASK: If you’re feeling wound up about some unexpected turn of events. You can release the stress by lying down on the earth (outside is best) . Begin consciously breathing deeply into your belly for 5 minutes. Each time you exhale, try to imagine the stress falling away and the tension leaving your body. Feel your muscles relaxing as you bring your awareness to each part of your body. Before you get back up, give yourself permission to have fun by going to do something you love doing, whatever that may be. Give it your full attention.

2. Show up like a pro before you become a pro

Something I learned when I was climbing toward the pro ranks. I had to show up like a professional cyclist BEFORE any team would hand me a professional contract.

Regardless of whether you desire to become a professional cyclist, this rule still applies to you. You just adapt it to suit whatever your goals are…

For example, if you want to win A grade races in your region, show up as THAT version of you BEFORE you win. Meaning, train the way a winning A-grader would train, eat, rest, think, believe, BE the grade winner version of you before you actually win.

When you do this, you rearrange your subconscious mind to truly believe you mean business. You no longer just saying you want it, you’re actually showing your body, mind and soul that you are ready to BE it.

This is a HUGE step toward unlocking your true potential, because the subconscious is running the show for 95% of your life. So, if you change that, you change your life pretty rapidly compared to any kind of conscious positive thinking.

The catch is, in order to show up as the greatest version of you, you must clear out your limitations, wounding and blocks. This is what I call doing the real work.

3. Do the real work

In this part, I could write an entire book about on its own because doing the real work is the greatest catalyst of your personal, professional and physical growth there is. You can train the house down as much as you like, but if you’re not doing the real work, say goodbye to your true potential.

What is the real work?

Emotional, energetic work. It looks like clearing out any limitations, blocks, and past traumas that are still lodged in your subconscious. Before you label yourself as un-traumatised. We all have trauma (big or little). We all have skeletons in the closet. These unprocessed emotions are causing the flow of your real self to be diminished.

I like to look at these blocks in the same way that we can see ‘roadblocks’ on a multi-lane freeway. If everything is going well, and there are no roadblocks, you can get from A to B with ease and flow. When there is a subconscious limitation standing in the way. Life and cycling become slow, complicated, and often you reach that gut-sinking point of questioning. Will I ever be able to live the life of my dreams? Of course, that’s if you haven’t already settled for less, which is what most people do.

So how does it work?

Like any journey worth travelling, it’s not simple, it’s not one-size-fits-all, it’s not easy, it’s not for the fainthearted… but it is the best gift you can ever give yourself because when you embark on a journey of personal growth, self-discovery, healing, whatever you want to call it, you give yourself permission to unravel your real self layer by layer. You become liberated, alive, joyful, fulfilled; you find meaning and purpose that hits your soul like never before; you discover levels of love you haven’t felt before, and the best part is — you realise your limitless nature, and anything is possible.

Okay, sorry I got sidetracked by the magic of this work.

But the ‘how’ is really something you only know once you start the process. I will, however, do my best to explain.

To clear out your subconscious limitations, you need to:

– Have willingness and desire to do the real work. No one is going to do it for you, no one is going to drag you across the line. You have to want it.

– Gain awareness (find out what your limitations are) which usually occurs when you get hit with a ‘sign’ from the universe that shows up as an emotional trigger. OR you get a coach who can see your blind spots and illuminate them for you.

The emotional trigger you feel in your day-to-day life will point to an emotional wound you experienced in the past. The key to healing your limitations is to address the causal wound / root cause (often from childhood).

– Process your emotions. Otherwise, they remain stored in the subconscious and create limitations.

Feeling your feelings looks different for everyone. You might yell into a pillow or punching a boxing bag to release anger, journalling to release fear, crying to

release grief, moving the body freely to release any remnants of emotions being stored in the body, etc.

– Reprogramming. Once the causal wound has been

addressed, you can then relearn the truth of who you are

– limitless.

This is a conscious-awareness piece, by that I mean, every time you catch yourself reverting to the default patterning of your conditioned past, you gently reorient back toward the present version of you (your greatest self). Some useful tips to help this process along are: going for a walk in nature, doing something you love to do (guilt free), affirmations.

4. Follow your passions and desires

I’ve mentioned this a few times already, but doing what you love deserves its own placeholder in this blog.

Hear me when I say this — you will never, ever, ever reach a place of true fulfilment (which we all want) if you aren’t following your genuine passions and desires.

I get it.

The world tells us to settle… go to school, get a job, study, get a better job, earn more money, buy a house, make more money to pay off the house, have kids before it’s too late, make more money to afford to have kids, make more money to retire early so you can spend time with the family, make more money to go on holidays in the meantime, work more so you feel worthy of the holidays and early retirement, buy more stuff to compensate for the overwhelming feeling of never having enough and never being enough… and for a lot of you reading this — get a bike to escape it all.

You ride bikes because you love it, right?

Because it makes you feel free?

It helps release the stress and overwhelm of everyday life, and for a moment in time, you feel you’re doing something just for you and not for anyone else. You feel in flow… it’s one of the greatest moments of your entire week.

But… when did cycling become an extra thing you put pressure on yourself to do? When did you stop loving it and feel not enough in this space, too?

I hope these questions are enough to allow you to reflect on the reason you started riding bikes. How riding made you feel, and what joy it gave you in your week…

I invite you to bring THAT intention back into your time on the bike. Even if you are working toward a big goal, bring back the love and the fun you had in the beginning.

The key with following your passions and desires is that you do it NOW, in the present moment.

Rather than waiting for retirement to begin enjoying life, you start now.

Here’s some incentive just in case.

There’s an influential book by Bronnie Ware called “The 5 Regrets of the Dying.” As the title suggests, the book is about the biggest regrets of people who are on their deathbed. Bronnie Ware wrote the book based on the stories she heard from residents she cared for in her time as a palliative care nurse.

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish I had let myself be happier.

As you reflect on each of these points above, ask yourself — “how often am I allowing time for myself to follow my true passions and desires? How often am I in

love with life? How often am I doing what I truly adore to do?”

This is usually the point where people come up with a hundred excuses for why they can’t do what they love. And simply, I call BS. You can do whatever you want to do. The only barrier is yourself. So go back and read the previous section on “do the real work” to clear out the limitations that are currently blocking you from living the life you truly desire, AKA following your passions and desires.

Once you have cleared out the limitations, you can finally lead with joy. Even if this is as small as putting your bare feet on the ground at the end of a hard day, or starting your day with a 5 minute dance party in the lounge room… the small things are the big things and the tiny moments add up to create our whole life. Make it count.

This leads me into the final ‘must-do’ of this series.

5. Put Yourself First.



I don’t care how many kids you have…

I don’t care what your role is at work and how many people you are in charge of…

That’s a lie. I actually do care about these things. I care about them so much that I go as far as saying that this is the most important piece to the puzzle of getting the best out of yourself.

Because if you aren’t taking care of yourself, you cannot possibly take care of anybody else.

You are the cause of the effect of your own reality. And no matter what, no matter how fast or slow you want to go, life is always moving. And what’s happening in your inner world is the key influencer of the direction you are heading.

“As within, so without.”

Now that you know your external reality is a mirror of your internal state of being, how do you choose to treat yourself?

If you want to get the best out of yourself (a fun fact that sentence tells you — what you want is already within you), first things first, stop looking outside yourself. It starts with you.

I believe this is the hardest pill to swallow when we choose to embark on a personal development journey. We do such a great job of blaming the world around us for all our trauma, shortcomings, and reasons we are the way we are. But the truth is, you hold the key to creating everything you have ever desired, and the only reason that door hasn’t yet been unlocked is because you haven’t taken responsibility to number one — do the real work; number two — follow your true soul’s passions and desires; and number three — put yourself first.

If you want to make anything great happen in your life, you cannot skip any of these steps.

But I want to give you some more incentive. Because sometimes ‘putting ourselves first’ just isn’t enticing enough to really get the wheels in motion.

Sometimes we need to understand the deeper implications of what version of ourselves we are choosing to be. Similar to the way we are the creators of our own life and everything in it… we are also having an impact on everyone else in our lives whether we like it or not. The ripple effect that you are creating just with your energy alone has the potential to extend across the entire globe. And for the people in your close proximity, this means they are receiving a much higher dose of your impact. In short, you are setting the example in ways you are yet to know.

Think on this… why do you ride the bike? Apart from because you love it and it’s fun — like we mentioned above… why else?

There’s some other reason I know there is — so what is it?

It’s something greater than you, right? Something outside of yourself… You want to make an impact on the world around you in some way…

Whether it’s for your kids, for work, for you partner, for family, for the world at large, or for some other reason… but you will not create the impact you are capable of creating if you continue to people please, settle for less, not ask for what you want, put your own needs second (or last), devalue yourself by not doing what you say you’re going to do for YOU.

Constantly pushing yourself down to the bottom of the list of to-do’s is a form of self betrayal. Essentially, you are telling yourself “you don’t matter and you don’t deserve it”. As you can imagine, like any other relationship in life, if you show up this way you’re not going to form a great foundation of self-love. Often we see this surface as limitations such as a low self-trust, self-confidence, self-worth, etc.

On the opposite end of the scale, when you devote yourself to YOU, you foster a bond with yourself that is built of true, unconditional self-love. And from this place, your capacity to create impact on the world around you is limitless. You don’t have to do more, be more, have more, or prove yourself in any other way. Just by being you, you create a ripple effect that has the power to change lives in magical ways.

Putting yourself first comes in many different shapes and sizes, no matter how big or small the desire is, learning to listen to the whispers from your soul and honouring them is the greatest gift you can give yourself, AND it also makes you go faster (that part is not scientifically proven, yet.)

The final point I want to make before I sign off is to reframe the way you look at your goals. Often we believe if I reach a certain goal “then I’ll be happy” and that is absolutely not true. Success on the outside does not change what is happening on the inside. It’s not the external success that you truly desire, it’s the feeling you believe the success will bring you. Which you can only create from within.

Having a coach speeds up the process of removing your limitations and guiding you on the path to the life you dream of having. If you have questions about how to apply these steps specifically to your own life and really get the best out of your limitless self — you can send me an email at

or find me on Instagram @shannonmalseed.

Until then, keep shining brightly.



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