7months ago I set out on a journey. I was seriously unfit and really wanted to get fitter than I had ever been. I was tired of feeling tired and tired of just being. I wanted to have reasons to celebrate and I think the success of my April trip really sparked something in me and I wanted to expand on it.
Looking at it, I could have had 101 excuses not to accept my challenge but the problem is that excuses were too easy. Excuses are like giving up.
So, In June, I kind of started the journey by adjusting my eating habits to more healthier habits and and shifted my mindset.
The next step was training. This started in August with the start of the cycling season. I started training with a friend but soon I realized that my training methods were different to hers and more importantly, my attitude was different. I wanted to push, she wanted to chat. In fact, this friend got rather upset with me on a ride for pushing on the hills! But, I knew that the only way I was going to succeed at my goals was to push. My friend wanted to chat and get fit. This friend also hadn’t adjusted their mindset and sadly found a million excuses why she could not push. I could have used the exact same excuses but I chose to live instead.
So I kept pushing. Harder and harder, adding distance, pretending I liked climbing until I started loving climbs! Then I went even harder. It was insanely hard and there were days I could hardly pedal but I kept going.
94.7 came and I kept saying I wasn't going to make my goal. I made it. I succeeded and got a sub 3:30. Goal achieved. But I kept pushing. 24 -31 Dec there was a Strava 500km challenge and I pushed and did the 500km. Was so hard!! But, I succeeded.
Then came a slightly different challenge that I set myself. I wanted to see how hard I could push myself. I put the main thrust of this in the previous blog post but my goal was to push just that bit harder. So, on Sunday I set out to attain an insane time. I didn’t tell anyone my actual goal and kept telling myself I was going to fail. For 102km I kept telling myself I was going too slow, I told myself I needed to get forward in the bunch. Then I lost the bunch and kept hammering the pedals. I pushed and pushed. I have never been so much pain!! My legs hurt and everything inside of me said stop. I kept going. Slowly but surely I caught the only other lady in front of me from my group and I kept pushing. The final turn came and I told her we need to sprint for the 1st place in our group. She said she was too tired so I took advantage (sorry fellow rider) and upped the pace despite my own death-like feelings and I succeeded in taking 1st place ladies in my group again. I then turned to my cellphone (my Bryton had died) and nearly cried. I had done it. I had actually gotten my sub 3!! I turned to my fellow lady rider and the guy with us and showed them we had done it. The 3 of us hugged and got quite emotional as for 3 of us, this was a 1st. If I look at it now days later, I think that was the most emotional I have ever been after a race and I had other cyclists to share it with. I honestly and truly did not believe I would get that time and I did. Why? Am I insanely fit? No. I am just hard headed and stubborn with a hint of being a pessimist so could push myself harder than ever before.
So, how does one get success? Well, although my successes are small in the greater scheme of things, they have taught me some lessons: firstly you need to have the right mindset and then put things in place to help you get there (in my case eating healthier and hanging around positive people), and then you have to push yourself. Once you think you are at your limits, push again and again. There are no limits.
Whatever your goal, keep pushing and you will be successful!
Just want to thank Hammond Pole Attorneys and Cycle Nation for the beers and cold drinks after my recent races and to Lovemore from CycleLab for also always being there with an ice cold coke, water and a smile. You guys really make those last 10km of a race easier knowing that when I cross the line, I will be looked after.