On Sunday, in the sweltering heat and the intense sun, I embarked on a ride that 2 months ago, seemed impossible. My journey to this point in my fitness has been a very bumpy ride, and I’m still working on getting my strength back after not having been to the gym for about a year and a half! I’m now a member of the Y, I try to weight train 2x/week, and I’m trying to do short rides 2-3x/week with a long training ride on the weekends. This jump back on the fitness bandwagon has been like jumping into a pond full of cold water. First I freeze up and think about giving up. Then I realize it’s not so bad. Then my body gets used to it and it’s not too painful anymore. My training has been like an exponential curve with first a few 10 mile rides that were absolutely miserable, then a 20 mile ride that wasn’t so bad, and now a 40 mile ride that sucked for the first 15 miles, but was actually tolerable afterwards. I never thought I could get through a 40 mile ride (at an 11.2 mph pace), but I did it, and it’s thanks in large part to all the encouragement I’ve received.
There’s something powerful about proving myself wrong. About silencing the nagging voice in my head that says “You can’t do this. You’re being absurd. You won’t be able to do this. 126 miles? Really? What the hell are you thinking?!?!” About fighting back and doing the ride regardless of what that voice is saying. Doing this 40 mile ride makes longer rides seem less terrifying. If I did 40 miles, 50 miles will be just a little longer. Same with 60 miles. If I could do this, I can do even longer rides.
After all, I did just ride 1/3 of the Harbor to the Bay distance (which is 126 miles). Slowly, but surely, I’m increasing my mileage, my endurance, my fitness, and my happiness. If I can quiet that voice telling me I won’t be able to finish the ride during my workout, where else can I quiet it?