Not a pro
The only way I can think of to become a better and faster cyclist is to take cycling more seriously. Maybe that means training more, training with specificity, buying new equipment, being more mindful about diet, racing more often or any number of other things.
The challenge is accepting an increased focus and commitment without necessarily seeing immediate results. I’ve finally accepted that bike season means no (or very very limited) running. This is even harder to explain to family and friends than trying to explain a criterium. They don’t understand that while yes, I am very fit, an hour-long run would just start to warm up my lungs, but would cause my muscles to go on strike. Two days after the run, I would barely be able to walk thanks to delayed onset muscle soreness. Delayed onset muscle soreness has no remedy (except for time) and it’s really painful!
I can sense that there’s some confusion about why I’m taking cycling so seriously since I’m not a pro. Well, If I don’t take it seriously, I’ll never have the opportunity to make it that far. Who knows where or when this cycling obsession will end. For now, I just want to ride my bike!