"When anxiety is not under control, when you've tried accepting it and then tried relaxation techniques, if it's still there, you can use controlled rage."
My psychologist had worked extensively as a forensic psych. This often meant she would be put on the stand and cross examined. To handle what she described as strong anxiety she would use controlled rage. This is an attitude of "I know what I'm talking about, you can't belittle me. I'm here to do my job and I'll do it well." Because it's controlled, you can't actually say this, you are polite, friendly, but underneath you have a composition that built on appropriate rage.
I've not had much luck with it. I struggle to get the rage. But today, due to an incident before the start, I was angry, really angry. As it turns out this may have saved my stage. It was pouring rain and the start was on twisting roads and climbs. I wanted to be angry, I wanted to blow up. But instead tried to use that rage to channel some focus and to not be caught in doubt and panic. A few times I had to check myself and make sure it was used for focus and not on just getting so pissed of you want to throw your bike.
The first 50km of the race was full gas. We got a short respite then before the final two climbs. My legs were seriously battling at this stage but I'd gotten deep enough into the race to get some belief that I might actually finish the stage.
Coming onto the second last climb I did a full gas 30 sec effort to shut a gap. I could not recover from it on the climb. And I got dropped with 1km to go. Fortunately I was able to stay in the convoy of cars. Over the next 20km I was fighting to move from car to car and make it back to the peloton. I just made it as the final climb started. In fact I caught the back as groupeto formed. Giving me a bunch to get to the finish with. I was safe for another day.
I think I'm going to need some more controlled rage to get myself through the final stage tomorrow. Petrol prices could be a good one but I don't drive in Europe. Maybe the state of Orange roads will do it for me...
Again teammate Ben Hill found himself in the breakaway and moved into second place in the KOM. He won the first 3 climbs, and became the virtual leader. But, in order to take the jersey at the end of the stage, the current leader had to miss out on any points on the final cat 1 climb. He unfortunately won it, slipping in front of Ben. None the less - what a ride by Ben. Super classy!