I started writing this to try and encapsulate some of the meandering thoughts I have when I should be focused on work, the family or on whatever Romcom my wife has me watching… if only because she may ask me who this guy or that girl is while she simultaneously Instagrams puppy pages… the ladies do multi-tasking so well… and there we have it – the tone is set!
I have decided that I am going to ride 820kms across two days in March – 40 days away. That’s enough time to train yeah? Of course that is if I have the balls to go through with it. I have planned out a few 250+ km rides between now and then just to see how the body holds up. I have done long rides in the past but never across multiple days. I know that the approach I am taking is not ideal, however if I was being sensible about this, would I really be riding home in the first place?
It’s a funny little exercise doing something like this. Not so much the actual doing, but more the telling people about it. You get strange looks and people asking why? This is the question that I have the easiest time responding to, I simply ask – Why not? And then I follow it up with, “Oh and have you heard about the Indian Pacific wheel race?” My ride is a Sunday afternoon esplanade cruise for coffee compared to that!
Why not test yourself? Why not put yourself out there and make a bold statement and then try and see it through? Why not do something that most people wouldn’t? I have made many bold statements and usually don’t see them through. I do this because at my core I truly believe that anyone (within reason) can do anything. It was always the true gut burning desire that stopped me from delivering on my proclamations – I didn’t have it. I know it’s in there though. It’s gotten me through moments harder than riding for 2 days.
Preparing for a ride like this, well you need inspiration. I am inspired by many stories and feats. One of my favourites is the story of a father and son team, Dick and Rick Hoyt who have competed in numerous ironman races and marathons. Seeing the footage of them crossing the line in Hawaii still brings a tear to my eye after watching it many, many times. Seriously stop reading the dribble that is spewing out from my fingers and google it. No seriously…
So you’re back now I hope well… my thoughts are really this simple – if the will of Dick Hoyt to pull and push his son across 140 miles of Hawaiian landscape is something that is within one person, why can’t that same determination and will be within me?
It can be. It is within all of us. We just need to find the destination we desire. The journey will follow.
Don’t get caught up on a challenge as being too hard to accomplish. Think of the next step you need to make to achieve it, because quite simply whether you look at the destination, or the next step… you will never achieve one without the other. Wow… I guess those motivational clips on YouTube do pay off after a while!
My next few steps are the intervening weeks until I go on holiday in March. Each pedal stroke between now and then will be precursors of what is to come. Will I make it to the point where I am confident in achieving the outcome, maybe? Do I care? Not really. Doing a ride that is that long and that exposed, there is always a chance that something will cause me to abandon the ride. The key is to get to the point where I don’t abandon because of the mushy stuff between my ears, but to rather move forward despite the doubt, the tiredness, the risks and more than all that the delicate area where my legs and body meets! You know that spot guys. Yup… enough said, taint no need to go on.
Am I nervous? No not yet. I am more nervous about the ride planned for the weekend. Nervous about waking up at 2am to get moving. Actually more nervous about telling my wife I will be waking her up at 2am on Saturday morning… and then more than likely 6 am Sunday too… lucky for me she is married to an awesome bloke otherwise I might find myself alone! I will keep jotting down my little tales of how I go and who knows where I end up? Hopefully I’ll be riding into the driveway on the evening of the 26th March. Knackered, sore, searching for a bag of ice to plant right between the legs! Shrinkage… hell if there’s anything left after that much time in the saddle… it deserves the ice cold refreshing feeling! Leave it be and let it savour the moment. Til next time.