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Athlete Spotlight - Melissa Geista

Questions for Melissa

How long have you been racing / riding?

I have been riding for about 5 years and I'm in my second season as a coached cyclist. 

What are your goals for this season? Long Term?

I love chasing challenges, and so long endurance events have been a focus for me this season (B2VT [NH], Rooted Vermont, SBT GRVL).  As for long term goals, I'm stoked to one day participate in more destination gravel events such as Unbound and Co2UT.  Another goal, both short term and long, is to continue to meet new people in the cycling community to ride with and learn from. 

What is your favorite workout?

TABATA Intervals are my absolute favorite workout.  I love the quick 30-40 sec bursts of high or near max intensity to get the heart pumping and the legs moving! 

What brought you to cycling?

Back in 2016, I sustained a running injury and was unable to return to that sport.  I needed to find another activity into which I could channel my energy.  My boyfriend was well into cycling at the time and he suggested I give cycling a try.  Fast forward a few years and I am totally addicted to the sport.  

What did you do in 2020 to keep yourself motivated?

My boyfriend and I did a lot of coach approved DIY events, local Strava segment hunting and Zwift races - whatever it took to keep my mind and body moving. My coach reminded me of my goals often and kept me in a positive frame of mind. 

When did you begin with The Cycling Formula?

I started working with a TCF coach in September of 2019. 

Why did you decide to train with The Cycling Formula?

The reason I decided to train with The Cycling Formula was because I really really struggled to complete an event (D2R2) in August of 2019. Interestingly, I rode that event with my coach-to-be! 

Who is your coach?

The one...The only.....Damon Telepak 

What do you like best about working with your coach?

Aside from being a kick ass coach and great friend, Damon is able to mentally and physically prepare me for any event. He has the ability to break me down and then build me back up. This exact process happens often during an event, so when event day arrives, I'm prepared for whatever lies ahead. I can't be broken, I can't be beaten, I'm prepared to face any challenge. I'm mentally tough and disciplined physically. 


Questions for Coach Damon 

What do you like most about coaching Melissa?

I love coaching Melissa because she's a really good cyclist... and it's fun to coach her!  

I often use the baseball analogy of describing Melissa as a "5-tool player" like MLB All-Star Mike Trout.  As a cyclist, Melissa's aerobic, she's anaerobic, she can climb, she can sprint, she can handle a bike well...  What's not to love about coaching a cyclist with all those tools available to her?!   I call her the Swiss Army Knife.  She is literally ready for any adventure on the bike.

And that's just fun to coach!

What is one thing which stands out most about Melissa?

Well I know I'm breaking the rules here,  but I can't say just ONE thing that stands out most about Mellissa.  First and foremost, I have to say she's just an absolute great person and a truly exception human being.  It's a pleasure to just hang out with her - and an absolute honor & privilege to also be her coach.  She totally makes me look like I'm good at what I do!!
Aside from that, what really stands out for me with Melissa is her ability to "eat adversity".  She just bites down and tears her teeth into it.  Sure, just like the rest of us she has her darker moments of doubt and uncertainty.  I mean I've certainly seen her scream and even cry at moments...  But here's the thing... she ALWAYS comes back stronger after that!  She takes all that negative energy and turns it inside out and backwards... and from it creates this absolute tsunami of positive energy & power she rides out of the darkness.  It's crazy to watch!  Because you know when you see her start to get mad or upset what's gonna happen next.... 

Melissa's absolutely throwing down!!!

Thanks a Lot!

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