Dedication is key to Mitchell’s success
Pursuing excellence in her chosen sport and profession has not come without a cost for cycling sensation Nicole Mitchell.
The 30-year old Smith's parish resident has sacrificed a lot of her social life to tend to her heavy workload as a software developer and maintaining a competitive edge over the competition as an elite women's cyclists.
And she seems to take it all in stride.
“My life is really structured and I am also running a reinsurance course so every day I get up at 5am and either ride or study and then go to work for a full day and the get home and either do the reverse,” Ms Mitchell explained. “That's pretty much my life right now. It's tough and I gave up a lot of the social side of life.
“I had a deadline the Wednesday before we flew out (to Curacao for Elite Caribbean Cycling Championships) so I was sitting there testing until 6pm still having a bag to pack. It was stressful.”
Asked what does she enjoy most about cycling, Ms Mitchell replied: “I think the team aspect is actually really nice; having other people around you and suffering just as hard for the same goal.
“Being able to work together in team dynamics for someone for the win is just a dynamic to the sport which you do not see in other sports like running which is individual.”
Ms Mitchell is one of Bermuda's most decorated cyclists at the Caribbean Cycling Championships.
She won bronze medals in the time trial and road race in Guadeloupe in 2010 and followed that success up by claiming the silver medal in the time trial and another bronze in the road race at last year's championships in Antigua.
For added measure, she scooped a gold medal at the NatWest Island Games held on local soil in July.
So what has been the key to her success?
“I think a lot of dedication and consistency is really key,” she explained. “Doing the workouts on a regular basis week in and week out and eating the proper nutrition seems very monotonous and boring to most, but that's ultimately what makes the difference.”
Having already achieved much at the Caribbean Cycling Championships, expectations are high for Ms Mitchell heading into this year's event in Curacao which commences today with the time trial.
And she admits the pressure is on to maintain such a high standard at this level of competition.
“It's hard because there are a lot of expectations to perform to the same standard, if not higher, each successive Caribbean Cycling Championships and the field is getting stronger every year,” she added.
Ms Mitchell always seems to be at her very best for the annual regional championships.
“It's always a focus,” she said. “We know this is the main event for the season and is an event that is on the calendar that I know about in advance that I always aim to keep my fitness for.”