The ZOM Half Year in Review for 2021

50,000 views, 160 posts, So What? The only number that means anything is the number one!

When The Zommunique’ concept came to mind, I asked myself one question. How could I combine my passion for writing and cycling and my physical therapy experience with raising awareness of virtual cycling without bias, influence, being seen as an ad for, or pandering to the major companies to effectively promote and assist the athletes of the community?
 
At first, I thought I would find the answer in what you could count, like views, posts, likes, and follows. As my little semi-retirement hobby progressed, the solution evolved and became much more profound. The numbers were just that, numbers.
 
It has occurred to me that the intangible consequences of the concept are most rewarding and will sustain the future of The ZOM. Primarily, all of the invaluable lessons I have learned since creating the blog six months ago.
 
The experience has emphasized the importance of relationships and the value of friendship. The task of building a website from scratch together without training or background brought my son and me closer together. In an attempt to give the avatars a face, I have gained friends in the virtual cycling and esports community. While researching topics, I have developed a network of supportive experts that have challenged my intellect. I am overwhelmed by the selfless pride and trust that the family of ZOM contributors has shown toward the concept.
 
I have learned that I have a lot to learn. I love to write, but I have no formal training or experience and strive to improve. Technology is not my strength, and managing a blog site takes me outside my comfort zone. Then there are social media, and I don’t think I will ever learn.
 
Unfortunately, social media is a necessary evil if there is the hope of spreading the message, but how evil has been a difficult lesson. I did not anticipate the profound effect negative feedback would have on me. Nor did I predict the critics’ vitriol in their personal attacks when confronted with contrasting opinions. Or the lengths the group gatekeepers would take to defend the forum to harbor their views. The more important lesson has been setting boundaries and a realistic perspective, and I am still learning.
 
The moments of affirmation have been lessons in themselves. Throughout my medical education and when building my practice, I believed that all of the hard work would be worth it if I could help or inspire one person. That hasn’t changed. When I see my articles cited in the Velonews or formats I have popularized, like the eracer interviews in mainstream media sources, it lets me know we are on the right track.
 
The journey has just begun, and I expect it to be long and fulfilling. I don’t ever expect to lose my passion for cycling, physical therapy, and helping my fellow community members. For that reason, I don’t ever expect to stop evolving or sharing what I have learned with you.
 
If you have enjoyed what The ZOM has shared and would like to take the learning journey with me, please subscribe to our community.
 
Thank you for the honor and opportunity.
 
Chris
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