Verita Stewart – The Lifestyle of Cycling
Last week SYSSM was excited to welcome cyclist, columnist and blogger, VeritaStewart, into our clinic. Verita is an enthusiastic, energetic person with a passion for cycling and an admirable drive that is shown through her many achievements in cycling.
How did you get into cycling?
I wasn’t one of those people that started as a junior and continued my whole life. In fact, I really didn’t do anything before I started cycling. I would go to the gym for fitness but never pursued a team sport competitively. I fell into cycling when I moved to Melbourne from Wangaratta. I owned a bike but would never go riding with anyone; I didn’t even know clubs existed. When I moved to Melbourne, one of my new colleagues told me about the Hawthorn cycling club and encouraged me to join. After I joined Hawthorn, I met some amazing people and found that I really love it.
With working full time, how often do you get to cycle?
I fit all my training in the morning before work. I usually have a 5am alarm to be out the door by 5:30am. Early mornings are really the only way you can fit in training with fulltime work. I am lucky that I work a nine-day fortnight, so I have every second Friday to train or recover.
What are some of the hardest things you have endured?
There are so many different layers to endure. There is the competitive side of cycling and there is the training and recreational side. At times getting all your training done can be hard due to time constraints or you are tired because of a hard week. On the other hand you have racing, there will be bad days and there will also be good days. It is hard to pick when you are going to have a good race or a bad race. For me I have had a bit of bad luck with injuries, so it can be hard when you have to deal with an injury when you have your own expectation that you should be finishing a race or you should be doing well. You need to manage everything in your life to lead up to a good race.
I was training at Mt Pleasant when I got hit by a car that failed to give way and knocked me off my bike. I landed on my sacrum and have had lower back issues for about a month. I am okay now but I still have to manage the injury.
What advice would you give to people who are interested in cycling?
The main piece of advice would be that anybody can ride a bike and that everyone starts out slowly. It is always hard at first and everyone who starts cycling knows what it’s like but, you have to keep going and it becomes easier. You meet amazing people who will ride with you, support you and will push you to your limits. My piece of advice is just to start cycling and join a club. That way you can meet people, go to free skill sessions and be surrounded by people who can encourage and teach you.