Sprinter Tyler Farrar. Buddhist says goodbye.

All smiles, always

There are certain people in life that are simply happy people. They don’t dwell on the negative, they’re thoughtful and philosophical enough to see the big picture and have a sense of humor that has fun with life’s challenges.

I was reminded on that when I read Andy Hood’s Velonews story on Tyler Farrar’s retirement. The 33 year old from Wenatchee, Washington and Ghent, Belgium is one of those happy people. He reached a natural stopping point in didn’t step away with a bunch of what-ifs and thwarted aspirations.

“I think it was the right call to retire. I had a great run,” Farrar said. “I don’t have many regrets. The whole thing has been a dream come true. I just think how lucky I was to live that life for 15 years, and be part of that circus that it was.”

Farrar was never one of those angry, hot-head sprinters. There’s not a Nacer Bouhanni bone in his body. He never died a thousand deaths if he lost a race like Mark Cavendish. He sense of self-worth was never tied to how many victories he had during the season.

As a teenager, he travelled to Nepal and has a strong affinity for the teachings of Buddhism. In a sport driven by results and performance metrics, he was always able to practice a bit of healthy detachment from transitory highs and lows and obsessions.

Instead he’ll be remembered as a class guy, a loyal and selfless teammate and a terrific mentor. Who would every forget how emotional he was about the death of his close friend Wouter Weylandt, who died in a crash during the 2011 Giro d’Italia.

A few year back when he was with Garmin, his race director Matt White had this to say about Farrar: “He’s a sprinter, but he’s got no visible ego,” said White. “He doesn’t have the baggage other sprinters come with. He’s not a prima donna, like maybe some of the others we might know. He’s a real good kid.”

Farrar has a tattoo on the inside of his right wrist, words written in the Tibetan language: “Inner peace.” That’s why Tyler Farrar has no regrets about retiring from the sport of pro cycling. He’s at peace with the decision.

 

 

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