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Chris Benchetler getting it good. photo - Peter Morning
Team Clif Bar Blog
Sep 24, 2013
The Kids are Alright

By the time Friday rolls around, hard-workin’ folks all over this world deserve a pizza for doing the grind. The same goes for athletes, it’s like working a second job sometimes. And the yearning for pizza is probably doubled, too.

Last Friday, we couldn’t wait until quittin’ time to bring on the proverbial ‘za, so we invited some likely suspects to help us break the workday mold. Turns out, the Team CLIF Bar BMX Athletes were way ahead of us! At their ages (13 – 25 yrs), most of them are balancing their athlete responsibilities with school, not work. More impressive yet, they pretty much went next level on us and turned their bike racing dreams into full-time jobs.

Suffice to say, we could all stand to learn a thing or two from these hard-working youngsters. Instead of working from home, it’s home-schooling. Instead of racing locally, it’s a calendar filled with cross-country and international travel. Instead of training every day; sometimes track practice, the gym and a cardio ride mean hittin’ the bricks 2 or 3 times in one day. And unlike most Clif Bar Cycling athletes, they compete in BMX.

Don’t let the age or the size of the wheels fool you, or the raucous laughs and their carefree ways. When the gate drops, and even weeks and months before that important race starts, they mean business with the determination of a CEO. With over 30 World and National Titles among themselves already, their market share is looking pretty good these days.

L to R: Michael “Bubba” Gonzales, Ryan Pettigrew, Ricky Castro, Alex Fowler, Carlie Ferree

But just like us nine-to-fivers, these youngsters have good days and bad days. Some of them have already persevered through more injuries than any one of us might see in a lifetime. Maybe that’s part of what makes these kids so special, learning the art of perseverance at such a young age. All of the places it takes them and all of the lessons it teaches them along the way. Maybe that’s how they learned to chase their dreams so successfully. And maybe, that’s how they learned that it’s ok to cut out of work at lunchtime for a special occasion every once and a while.

Speaking of special occasions… special thanks to Clif Bar’s very own Kali’s Café for serving up some delicious, organic wood-fired pizzas for all of us.  It was a real treat to have our BMX Athletes in the house for the afternoon. We learned a lot about each of them and were thrilled to take them around the office and bring them closer to the CLIF family!

Posted by: 
George Thoma
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