Loren Rowney: Spirit Animals

All the girls get spirit creatures.

Naming of the spirit animal:

The first thing you need to know about spirit animals is you don’t chose your spirit animal, it choses you…or rather, your teammates choose your spirit animal. Another point of consideration, don’t name someones spirit animal based purely upon appearances (It’s really easy to do). I don’t want to name names, but I was hoping that a certain someone on our team could be the “beaver” (can you guess who?). This individual has name beaver like qualities…appearance being one. However, my teammates thought said individual would in fact take great offence. Secondly, you have to accept what your given spirit animal is, don’t fight it, just embrace it. Like the personality test we had to sit on training camp in November, you might be challenged by the outcome, but once you understand the explanation, it makes sense in the end. I for one think I am giraffe. They tend to really stand out in the savannah when standing next to say…well any animal really. That is pretty much me in the peloton, there aint no hiding. On life, the same thing, there aint no hiding. when you are 6ft tall, blond-ish and living in Spain where the average height is about 5’5. So since the spring classics, where teams generally spend weeks upon weeks on the road with one another, conversation starts to either A- head into the gutter B- gets really weird and end up on stage tangents C-those deep and meaningful convos about life at some late hour on the highway driving back from a race. In one of our odd conversations the topic of how everyone has a spirit animal came up. It was, oh, about day 12 in Belgium at this point. “Belgium madness” was starting to take over, so along the canal for the umpteenth time that week, riding 4 abreast we argued/ discussed who would be what. So here I give you the OGEfrocks spirit animals. Side note* If I had my way, there would be spirit fingers, chanting, and rafiki from the lion king (cue music from the lion king) naming each individuals spirit animal name smearing red fruit juice from the baobab tree on our foreheads.

 

Loren Rowney- the lioness. Her roar is often bigger than her bite. She’s very protective of her pride as well as her territory, not relying, nor needing no Lion.lorenlion the lioness is actually a softy at heart, particularly when it comes to the young ones…although is not afraid to lay down the smack with her paw when needed.

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Annemik Van Vleuten- the dolphin.  Enthusiastic, exciting to watch, friendly, full of life… and a little bit mischievous. The dolphin is a spectacular sight to watch in its natural environment. annemiekdolphinDolphins are most spectacular in a pod, however, aren’t afraid to go on their end and do their “own thing”.

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Tayler Wiles- the golden retriever. Loyal, loveable, great with people, sometimes reserved, with a glistening golden coat that other animals envy.taylerwiles Protective of the their family/territory, intelligent, friendly and smart, the golden retriever is one of the most rounded of the canine breeds.

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Lizzie Williams- The spider monkey. Erratic, funny, mischievous, intelligent and unpredictable, you never know when the monkey is going to lobby a banana at your head. lizziemonkeyThe spider monkey is often the larikan of the jungle. Fast, agile and witty, you never know what this spirit animal is going to pull out of it’s hat.

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Gracie Elvin- the brown bear. The ultimate hibernator, with it’s super power being sleep. Can appear to be all cute, cuddly and sweet, but you do not want to piss off a brown bear. graciebrownbearThey’re good hunters, and when they go in for the kill, they make it count (Leo was just lucky). Never ever underestimate the brown bear, and don’t mess with their food.

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Sarah Roy- the thoroughbred horse. A hard worker, born to race under the guidance and reassurance of a great jockey. sarahroyThe thoroughbred horse is strong, well-trained and always well-groomed and prepared before a race. You know what you are going to get on the day on the race track. Good luck keeping up!

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Amanda Spratt- The Koala. The koala is an Aussie icon, a well-respected animal among the Australian natural fauna. The koalas life revolves around it’s next meal. amandakoalaThe chilled out nature of the koala means that all the other spirit animals feel at ease when around the koala. Though the koala doesn’t say too much at times, she is always perched up high in the tree, with a watchful eye over the other spirit animals.

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Chloe McConville- The orangutan. The carefree, positive animal of the jungle. Always good for a feed, a laugh and a good time. chloeorangutanThe orangutan takes great pride in it’s family, and will always work hard to make sure there is enough food for everyone.

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Alex Manly- the mouse. Quiet and often underrated, the mouse has ways of popping up in unexpected places, that asks you the question of “where did you come from?” alexmouseA constant nibbler on food, the mouse is always hungry…but somehow remains still so tiny. Don’t underestimate the mouse, they’re tough, and can handle big things on their own.

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Rachel Neylan- the flamingo. Flamingos are well preened, elegant, gracious, and calm animals . They appear to be a bunch of individuals hanging out as a “flock” by the same waterhole. rachaelflamingoWhen a predator approaches, the “pink feathers” disappear and you have another bird entirely. Fight or flight? Our flamingo is a fighter when you take away all the feathers.

 

Together our spirit animals form an unusual, unique dynamic that is rare to see in the jungle. Somehow, we all manage to get along quite well without wanting to eat or maim one another. Sure, there have certainly been moments when the lioness wanted to eat the mouse, or the horse wanted to kick the monkey firmly in the butt. Thankfully we have a brown bear.

Words: Loren Rowney @lorenrowney

Special Thanks to Kirsty Baxter for supplying images to help with this post check her out @kirstybaxter79