09 Jan Mihai Anitan – National Enduro Cup Champion
Greatness emerges from activities done with passion. You may recognise the lucky people who discovered their spark by the way their eyes flicker when talking about their hobbies.
Mihai Anitan is such an example – he discovered his passion and experiences it wholeheartedly. The moment he starts talking about mountain biking, his face lightens up.
His journey began two years ago, when he started hanging around a bike shop with his uncle. His main interest was in the mechanical details and his curiosity slowly led him to the Biker community. Later on, the same bike shop became Mihai’s sponsor.
As it is the case with many things in life, the road seems more clear and easy to cross when you have guidance. Mihai met his coach at the beginning of his career, when he was just getting a grip on how the mountain biking world spins around. He used to ride his bike on the Baisoara track, when Mihai Olar observed his potential and decided to help him develop his skills.
2017 was a busy year for Mihai, as he participated in 10 contests and competed for the Enduro Cup and for the Downhill Cup.
His greatest achievement is winning the 1st place at the National Enduro Cup. Mihai speaks of bike competitions as opportunities to fulfill his desire to simply ride his bike and spend time with the biking community, which has now become his extended family.
Mihai has shared with us what his thoughts are, before the start of every race. He is very rational and tries to leave behind any feelings that might get in the way of him finishing the race successfuly and safely. He stays focused on strategy – which track to follow, which is the fastest and, at the same time, less dangerous. He weighs in on the risks and rewards and chooses the fastest track that gets him to the bottom of the hill, safe and sound.
Winning competitions is not just a matter of skill. His favourite training track is at Baisoara, where his hobby commenced and where he met his coach. He also trains at the gym, practices crossfit and exercises balance. His diet is also very important in keeping fit and healthy.
Mihai believes that his strongest points are his thirst for knowledge and his willingness to escape from the comfort zone. By doing so, he continuously develops his skills, with a clear vision of what he wishes to achieve.
What keeps him going is his wish to travel and discover new places, new people, new possibilites to practice his hobby. He is aware that falling is part of the process, that ‘there’s no way around it’, as he puts it. However, the pure joy of accomplishing something that he’s been working on and struggling with for long outweighs any obstacle.
His relationship with those around him changed a lot since he started taking up mountain biking as a hobby. When Mihai started riding the bike, it all seemed dangerous to his parents. But as they met the mountain bike community and attended his races, they started to support him. His friends and colleagues are amazed by his performance, as well.
But his biggest fan is his young sister, who draws encouraging banners and attends his competitions whenever she can. ‘Just her being there makes it all better’, Mihai says. She is now part of the community as well.
‘It’s a whole other world’, as Mihai described his hobby. ‘I escaped my comfort zone, discovered new places and learned a lot about myself. I am much more discplined and responsible now. I have also learned the fact that there is no time to be indecisive. My whole perspective changed’.
Mihai is now Year 13 which means that a challenging time is coming, as he is getting ready for final exams and then for university. Mountain biking surely takes a lot of his time, but his teachers are willing to support him in any way they can.
When it comes to the future, Mihai is hopeful that he will be admitted at a university that allows him to continue his hobby and turn it into a career. His plan is to study Marketing by day and ride his bike for the rest of his free-time.
This year is expected to be full of challenges, from university applications to mountain bike competitions in Austria and Slovenia.
Thank you, Mihai, for sharing your inspiring story with us!