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Cycling has been a lifeline for Haley Smith. Haley, a top professional cyclist, competed in the cross-country event at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, winning the bronze medal, and was named to the 2020 Canadian Olympic team and competed in the delayed summer games in 2021. She recently signed with Maxxis Factory Racing after a decade with Norco.

But cycling has been more than competition to Haley; it’s been a tool to manage her mental health. 

In this week’s podcast, Sonya sat down with Haley to talk about her path to cycling, battling anxiety, mindfulness, expanding views of success and more. 

“I think as cyclists particularly, with so much data available to us through our power meters and our heart rate monitors and time segments, etc., we forget about the things that are not measurable. I believe those things are more important. I think my best results have been because of my brain and my heart and the x-factor that I had on the day that you just can’t put your finger on. I think in terms of physicality, I’ve always been pretty close to my best, so why would I waste all this energy and time comparing and analyzing and putting so much weight on just the power numbers because, like I said, there’s just so many different factors.”

-Haley Hunter Smith

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Key Takeaways

  • Getting started in cycling
  • Battling anxiety
  • Mindfulness work to manage mental health
  • Cycling as a meditative activity
  • Not avoiding difficult things
  • Finding mountain biking
  • Staying in the moment and daily improvements with cycling
  • Measuring improvement – expanding view of success
  • Working on outlook and attitude
  • Goal setting
  • The Olympic experience



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