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Follow all the Matt Hoffmann RAAM training, logistics, and general prepartion for RAAM 2015.

WEIGHT: Physical vs. Mental

Matt Hoffmann

1) The measure of the heaviness of an object
2) The ability of something to influence a decision or action

Blog #2 and the musings of a guy riding his bike preparing for Race Across America (RAAM)

As many of you know, I have made significant changes in my life over the past few years. With that process, I am forced to learn, listen, hear, and grow. This is the recipe to improve my life, make it more fulfilling and allow me to undertake challenges I previously thought too difficult or overwhelming.

As I prepare for racing my bike solo across the United States in RAAM, I find myself pedaling and thinking. The pedaling part is easy; the thinking is not always my strong suit. However, the long rides and hours alone allow my mind the freedom to explore thoughts. Some are random; some relate to recent conversations or books read. Recently the idea of weight popped into my head. “Weight” - what a small word with big and diverse meanings. For me, physical weight and mental weight are the two I battle the most.

Physically, my weight has gone up and down my entire life. As a high school wrestler, weight was on my mind every minute of every day, all season long. Don’t eat, don’t drink so I can reach a number on a scale so I can do what I want—wrestle. Physical weight sounds easy: calories in, calories out, moderation, eat clean, live mean, and DIET. These are all things I have done. I have been athletic and active my entire life, but thin or lean only in parts. The reason for this is the burden of the mental weight I carried.

Mentally, my weight was heavy for much of my life. I made many poor choices, resulting in acts and actions that have shaped my life in unhealthy ways. This is the weight that needs to be acknowledged the most. Until I took action and worked through the parts of my past that pulled me down, I could never feel light. I’m not saying to ignore the past or run away from it. I have done both; all that does is add to the weight. I hid in the good things and ran from the not so good. This kept me stuck in the mud, weighted down physically and mentally. When I was able to look at myself with truth, own the choices I made, and let go of the past, then I found self-worth and lightness and could move forward.

My life will always be a work in progress. I have the tools to continue moving forward. I will make my wrongs right where possible and do what I can to work through them. Every good or bad day has made me who I am today and for that I am grateful. I found myself and my passion. I found what we teach with San Diego VeloYouth—S.T.A.R.S (Self-respect, Teamwork, Achievement, Responsibility) to help me in my own life as much as the kids we work with, allowing me to coach from the heart.

Weight holds me down, keeps me stuck and adds to a negative self-image. Letting go of this weight allows me to soar. With all the great people in my life, I reach high. San Diego VeloYouth lifts me up and gives me the opportunity to do the same with the kids. Equal Earth gives me wings to fly with my words and bike across the country. That said I took the first steps on my own by letting go of the strong grip I had on my weight.

Let go and fly!

Matt Hoffmann RAAM: Partnerships Attained

Robert Panzera

Here at Matt Hoffmann RAAM headquarters we are busy with our initial preparations. Matt himself is out there riding and spreading the word about his amazing journey as he builds for Race Across America (RAAM) solo. His goal is 10 days for the 3,000+ mile transcontinental journey from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis MD. When we see him these days, whether for a social ride or coaching a local clinic (i.e., he was recently spotted coaching Category 5 racers at the USA Cycling Beginner Racing Program), he's in full Equal Earth cycling kit putting in the time and miles to ensure his body is ready for competition in June 2015.

Although Matt Hoffmann RAAM is fully sponsored by Equal Earth, our team has recently firmed-up partnerships with two companies, Book A Bike Mechanic and Eliel Cycling, who we know are "changing how we power the world." is your source for top-notch service. Ther network of bicycle mechanics is made of the best available. They have years of experience and have been trusted at the World Championship and World Cup level. A cyclist can locate, learn about, and book a top notch mechanic right through their site. Their goal is to set themselves apart with top customer service, dependability, and integrity.

Eliel Cycling are makers of authentic California cycling gear. For Eliel, team based innovation is key. Innovative is not an individual process; it is decidedly social. At the inception of each product Eliel includes every discipline of the internal team, in effort to get closer to the answer. Every perspective informs the solution and deepens their understanding of the final product. Eliel has assembled a fantastic team, each an expert in their field, with a singular goal. Their greatest desire is to provide our clients with a highly customized experience and our expertise affords us the confidence to makes the clients desires come to life. Eliel is trusted veterans in the custom cycling market. We cut no corners, makes friends easily, and want to support every person’s cycling dreams.

The Matt Hoffmann RAAM logistics planning team continues to rent equipment, secure lodging, review travel, and most importantly assemble the right crew to take make safely and quickly across the US. Stayed tuned for a crew review in next month's blog, and keep an eye out for another Matt Hoffmann RAAM party in San Diego in February!

Inspiration and Love

Matt Hoffmann

For everyone reading this... this is my first time writing a blog. I have kept journals and diaries for years; this is different, yet the same.

You already know that I am racing RAAM this year. Race Across America is not something I could do alone. In the past few years, I made many positive changes in my life. I am fortunate to have been surrounded by positive, loving, caring people throughout my life, yet for many years I was unable to accept the gifts of their friendship. NOW I am!

What's different now? I found a love for myself and with that have been able to take in all the love and friendship around me. I am truly blessed to have so much support, kindness, and partnership to help me become the best possible "Matt Hoffmann." Seeing myself through the eyes of others, and believing in myself the way others believe in me, is tremendously powerful. 

Recently, I have been coaching a young friend who has lost his way. Like me, things are not easy for him, and he has to work hard to live the way most take for granted. As I reach out daily to talk with him, help him set goals and move toward them, I am simply looking in the mirror and talking with myself. As I help him stay focused on what's important, it reminds me to do the same. As he grows and learns, moving forward step-by-step and goal-by-goal, he can be proud of himself, as I am proud of him. I am inspired by his young man and others around me, by their courage and commitment to embrace positive change and growth.

The inspiration and love we receive moves us forward. I am committed to sharing with others with the same tools and kindness given to me.

I have many people to thank for working with me. Special thanks to Equal Earth and CCSD for believing in me, pushing me to "go big" setting goals, and providing the tools to achieve them.  

The inspiration and love are all around us; we just have to be open and willing to accept them.