Ep. 4 – Pro Cyclist Sarah Sturm on Suffering for Performance, Racing Your Own Race, and Taking Care of Your Mental Health

Sarah Sturm (Instagram: @sariebear_ie) is a professional cyclist for Team Specialized, a graphic designer, and women’s leadership advocate. Sarah is a former NCAA national champion at Fort Lewis College after winning the 2011 Short Track National Championship. Said Team Specialized teammate, Ruby West, of Sarah: “From the moment I met her, I was struck by her friendly, enthusiastic, totally badass personality, and her eagerness to take on new challenges.” In this episode, we discuss many of Sarah’s views on sport and life while also touching on her unique ability to suffer more than the competition. “I can suffer until I can’t see straight, and then suffer some more.” Sarah talks about her thoughts on the current state of social media and how it affects us personally and as a society, especially the downsides of comparing ourselves to others. Sarah explains the importance of taking care of your mental health and the strategies that she uses to overcome her stresses, worries, and the hard days. Enjoy!

Show Notes: 3:55 – On growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico 7:04 – How Sarah got into mountain sports 10:38 – Sarah’s thoughts on comparing herself to others 13:12 – On the impact of social media 16:29 – Sarah’s advice on the use of social media 19:32 – On tactics Sarah uses to disconnect from technology 23:36 – On her decision to attend Fort Lewis College in Colorado 26:47 – On Sarah’s ability to suffer to gain peak performance 30:02 – How Sarah pushes through to overcome the difficult times 36:15 – On her decision to become a pro cyclist 39:45 – On racing cyclocross 41:45 – On Sarah’s unhappiness and her decision to briefly step away from cycling 45:48 – How Sarah’s attitude changed when she came back to cycling 49:15 – On the importance of failing 50:45 – The moment Sarah wanted to quit cycling 52:42 – The tactics Sarah developed to overcome the tough times 55:40 – Sarah’s disastrous story of training for a 100-mile race 1:03:03 – On Ten Speed Hero clothing partnership 1:05:53 – Sarah’s experience designing cycling kits 1:07:30 – Sarah’s new project regarding mental health in athletics 1:10:56 – Her thoughts on how to get the stigma of mental health changed 1:13:10 – The one thing Sarah is too timid to try publicly 1:16:35 – On how to deal with negativity 1:17:45 – What Sarah wishes she had more time to do 1:19:55 – The most important daily habit that she’s adopted 1:20:52 – Sarah’s mentors and the best advice they’ve given her 1:23:55 – On the worst advice she hears given 1:26:20 – The thing Sarah learned that she wishes she would’ve known when she was younger 1:28:07 – On the things Sarah does that other people think is odd 1:30:30 – Sarah’s thoughts on success 1:32:55 – Sarah’s message that she would broadcast to the world Show Links: Mountain Messiah by Sarah Sturm on Eskapee Scrappy Rambler Blog Team Specialized x Ten Speed Hero Ten Speed Hero Idle Theory Bus: A Life of the Road Theme music: DREAM by SackJo22 ft. Jeris Haskel

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