Thursday, December 3, 2020

Our Awesome Interview with Professional Biker Todd Wells

July 23, 2014 by  
Filed under Featured, Guys, Role Models

Please tell us about yourself and what you do?
My name is Todd Wells and I am a professional Mountain Bike Racer. I was born in Kingston NY and moved to Durango, CO after High School to attend Fort Lewis College and race Mountain Bikes. I quit college after two years and focused solely on Mountain Bike racing for a few years before returning to school and finishing my degree in MIS at the University of Arizona. I worked for a IBM for a few months after graduating before returning to cycling full time in 2001 and have been doing it ever since.
I currently live in Durango, CO and Tucson, AZ with my wife Meg, son Cooper and dog Winston.
Can you tell us a bit about any upcoming projects/events that you are working on?
I generally travel about 75% of the year so I don’t have much time to work on anything outside of cycling. We just had a child five months ago so that has been consuming most of my time lately.
Do you find the pressures of being an athlete significant with regard to feeling the need to have a “perfect” body? If so, how do you navigate through that terrain?  How do you “not” judge yourself when others (critics, audience members, producers, etc.) “judge” you based on outward measures?
As an athlete people are constantly judging me. In my sport like most, you’re only as good as your last race in the eyes of others. Each sport has a different idea of what a “perfect” body looks like. Cycling is different then most sports because the normal “perfect” body would have big muscles but in cycling you want to be as light as possible. Cycling is all about power to weight ratio so you want to be able to put out as much power while weighing as little as possible. This means most of the top athletes look like little kids with hardly any muscles.
The thing which you quickly learn with most sports is that it doesn’t matter what someone looks like, it’s how they perform. Many times in cycling you will see someone that looks very lean and fit but can’t go that fast. I would much rather go fast then “look” like I can go fast. I am constantly trying to improve and if that means I “look” faster that’s fine but my goal is to Be faster. The nice thing about cycling is that it is not subjective at all, the person that gets to the finish line first is the fastest.
Who were the role models in your life?
I can’t think of a specific role model that I have in my life. My parents obviously had a huge impact on my life and shaped my views growing up. I believe the values they instilled in me I look up to in other people. I really respect people that give so much of their time and energy to help others. I see selfless acts everyday and it’s very inspiring.
What do you define as beautiful?
There are many different things I consider beautiful. Like I said a little earlier, I just had a child about five months ago and I think he is the most beautiful thing in the world. Beauty is such an individual thing, I think everyone defines beauty differently though there are some things like the perfect sunset or clear blue day that most people would consider beautiful.
How do you define inner beauty?
To me inner beauty is pretty simple, it just someone that is nice. They treat others with respect, the way they would want to be treated and like to see people they come in contact with leave happier then before they met. I meet so many inspiring people that give so much of themselves without wanting anything in return and I think that is beautiful. There are so many people out there that are very selfless and I think that is really what inner beauty is all about.
What is happiness?
Happiness is feeling good. Happiness is different things to different people but for me I find a lot of happiness in setting goals and trying to achieve them. I don’t always succeed but the process of doing everything I can to accomplish a goal makes me happy.
Spending time with my family makes me happy. In general happiness is a state where nothing seems to be a big problem. I know I’m happy when problems arise but they don’t seem like a big deal no matter how big they are because I know things will work out in the end. If I’m not happy every little problem seems to be a major roadblock.
Would you be willing to take the Real Deal pledge?  Thoughts about that?
Sure, I think thats a great pledge. When we’re happy with ourselves everything seems to work better. In sports a happy athlete is good athlete and that applies everywhere in life. If you’re happy with yourself you project a positive vibe and bring happiness to others. Everything just snowballs in a positive manner.
How do you manage your stress levels in daily life?  Do you use music / art / dance, etc. as a coping tool?  Are there other things that you do to live mindfully?
I’m lucky in that my job is my passion, cycling. For me exercise is my stress relief. When I can’t exercise I get fidgety and agitated. My wife and family also provide so much stability and support to me that I never really feel to stressed out. Things will always work out in the end so you want to try your best but getting stressed out is usually counter productive.
How do you find a work-life balance — as a man, relationships, a professional — what are keys to balance?
Like I said before, my work is my passion. I would be racing my bike for free if I had another job so I just feel so lucky that I’m able to get paid to do what I love. If you can find something you can make money at that you would do for free that is the real key to being happy. The hardest part of my job is the time I have to spend away from my family traveling. I just try to enjoy the time I have with as much possible when we’re together.
Other thoughts or reflections?
Also include a short 50 word bio, pictures (like headshots, action shots, inspiration pictures, etc. Just cannot be anything revealing, body/skin wise), and any links you want to include like websites and social media.

Todd Wells was born December 25, 1975 in Kingston, N.Y. He fell in love with the bicycle at an early age starting with BMX from the age of five through sixteen. After graduating high school he picked up his first mountain bike and has been on a tear ever since. He found his way out to Durango, CO where he attended Fort Lewis College and began a pursuit of his career in cycling. Wells won two Cross Country Mountain Bike Collegiate titles for Fort Lewis College and the inaugural Semi Pro NORBA National Series title in 1996 before taking a break from his studies to become a full time professional cyclist with the Specialized Mountain Dew team.

His initial professional career was short lived as he decided to hang up his wheels at the end of the 1998 season and finish his collegiate studies at the University of Arizona. In 2000 he graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.S. in Management Information Systems and immediately started working for I.B.M., a company he interned with during his time as a student. Wells quickly realized that being a bike racer was better then having a €œreal job and started training once again with his sights set on returning to the professional ranks. Some good results landed him a contract with the Mongoose Hyundai team and he was back on the circuit full time by the end of 2001. By 2008 he was back where he started with the Specialized team and his results seem to get better with age.

He has won nine National Championship titles across four disciplines. In 2011 he took on some endurance races and racked up wins in both the Leadville 100 and La Ruta de Los Conquistadors. 2012 might have been his best season yet with his third trip to the Olympic Games where he placed a career best 10th. He also managed to win his second PROXCT series title, second Pan American Championship title and stood on the podium at the Windham World Cup. When Todd isn’t racing all over the world you can find him in one of three places; hanging out with his wife Meg and dog Winston, grinding it out on the golf course or hitting the dirt jump trails around Durango or his winter home of Tucson, AZ

Todd Wells, role models, athlete, perfection, body image,

Links: Twitter @yotwells

Facebook: Todd Wells


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