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  1. #1
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    LISTEN UP Clydes and Athenas

    A few days ago, I was talking with another clyde from this forum (who will remain nameless but if "dead" possum rings a bell, you know who I am talking about! ) and he mentioned that we (people from this side of the forum) tend to have a harder time pushing ourselves and, to be frank, sometimes make excuses that can overshadow the ability to really achieve your goals.

    He has a point and I thought a lot about it on the ride yesterday. I mean you can only pray so much while going up the hills .

    Anyway, the point of this post is to give you some food for thought if you will. To be able to take the excuses and throw them away and uncover the greatness that you really can achieve.

    And this is highly personal. What I want to uncover might be something totally different then what you want to uncover.

    For example: I HATE anything with an incline..... hills! ugh! I am fat which makes it hard to climb, I am slow, and they have always been something I suck at even when I rode a lot when I was 15 years old. I hated them and would shy away from them. When I got into cycling again, I would stay in the flat area of Delaware because, well, it was flat. I did a couple of little climbs but that was it. But I knew I needed to figure it out because I wanted to ride in different areas so, along with the benefit of feeling good etc, I lost weight and it made climbing "easier". And through the last 3 weeks, I have been getting in rides with a little more climbing here and there and CONFRONTING what I suck out. As another BF remember said (and if red neck jerky comes to mind... you know who I am talking about....and I am eating it as I type this at 3:30 in the morning ) you have to practice what you suck out and it is so true. If you dont, it actually hurts you.

    See, being fat really takes it's toll on your confidence and it puts more shadows and darkness unto things that you think you cannot do. Heck, I am the same way and the last two weeks with the century in VA Beach and yesterdays climbing, it made me realize just how much my confidence has been hindered by my own negative thinking.

    For me it, the century and each ride with climbing the last few weeks have opened doors for me. Yesterday ride with 57 miles and 4980 feet of climbing made me realize really how much fun hills can be. Yes it SUCKED and it was HARD but it was worth every pedal stroke, every bead of sweat and every micro mile that went on the computer. It felt great and added bonus I got to see a different part of PA that I would have never been able to see if I didnt try and do this ride. Heck, being out there reminded me of being back in Washington State, a feeling I have never had since I moved here.

    So, at the end of the day, you CAN do it. Dont be like me and make excuses and hide from it.

    Another clyde from this forum (possum guy! ) told me this just on Friday night:

    "People dont want to get out of their comfort zone. But there is so much to do and see in cycling, but you have to push the limits to get there. Cycling is like a staircase, you start with only so many steps. Every once in a while you have to climb them and go into that dark room at the top. but when you do and turn on the light you get 1 more step. Next time it takes just that much further to get into that dark room. But every time you do, 1 more step. The trick is to make sure you have enough matches left to light the room when you get there."

    So in this case the steps for me was to learn and go out and do a route that has hills. And yesterday proved that with each hill, I gained another step. The last sentence is key and it can mean many things but for me it means that you have to set yourself up and not push yourself hard out of the gate, pace yourself, nibble and sip (hydrate) on the ride so you can fuel the ability to find the steps and get up them. Just like with many sports, you only get soo many matches and if you use your last one you are screwed (meaning keep the energy level fueled and pace yourself)

    So to EVERYONE: Just realize that you CAN do these things, stop making excuses and go out and try. Without trying, you have nothing to bench mark against.

  2. #2
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    Chef,

    I didn't realize you were on the ride with us yesterday:

    http://app.strava.com/rides/9342016

    I tried. They kicked my butt. But, elapsed rolling time was 0:07 less than last week, despite the fact that my legs felt like lead.
    Birth Certificate, Passport, Marriage License Driver's License and Residency Permit all say I'm a Fred. I guess there's no denying it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigfred View Post
    Chef,

    I didn't realize you were on the ride with us yesterday:

    http://app.strava.com/rides/9342016

    I tried. They kicked my butt. But, elapsed rolling time was 0:07 less than last week, despite the fact that my legs felt like lead.
    I am feeling it to bro!

  4. #4
    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Well said, Chef. I think it kind of ties in with that rambling missive I posted a week or so ago. All so very true.
    Craig in Indy

  5. #5
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    Craig and Big: here is the garmin data from yesterdays ride http://connect.garmin.com/dashboard

  6. #6
    Senior Member JonnyHK's Avatar
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    Here's my take.

    Every now and then it is good to push yourself and to get out of a comfort zone - just remember to not push it too hard (bonk, injury, illness) and don't make it too uncomfortable (chronic injury, blisters, chafing and so on).

    To me it is about tenacity. Call it 'will power' if you want. That sheer bloody-mindedness that make us continue to cycle and enjoy it despite not necessarily being the 'right' build for the sport.

    I finished an event in January when a bunch of others who were younger, lighter, stronger, fitter, and more experienced did not. I can still see some of the sorry sack faces I met at the rest stop at the 180km mark when I was thinking "yes, I've got this now".

    Why? I was stronger where it counted. Head, heart, whatever.

    - I can get to the top of that hill, even if I am the slowest
    - I can find my strengths and work them
    - I can find the small goals to focus on to break down the over all task
    - I can fail at this event one year (2011) but come back wiser and nail it.

    I want to be one of those annoying old guys who just never seems to quit.

  7. #7
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    I have more of a problem with pushing too hard and getting yet another bout of tendonitis somewhere (usually around the knees). I'll let you all know after Highwood Pass is over. Now that I live in the middle of the prairies, training for a 38k climb is challenging.

  8. #8
    Climbers Apprentice vesteroid's Avatar
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    Personally, I don't think fat is the issue. What I mean is that in my business and my outside life, I see people of all shapes and sizes who self impose limitations on themselves.

    I see it almost every day. People in general need to justify to themselves why they can't achieve a specific goal or complete a given task. They need to put a tangible reason in place so they don't feel as though they are failing, they have a very valid reason in their mind as to why they couldn't complete the task.

    I am too old.
    i am to young.
    i have an old injury.
    i have a medical condition.
    i don't have a degree.
    i have kids.
    it was raining.
    it was hot.
    my boss doesn't like me.
    I don't have time.

    You get the picture. Being fat is only one more to add to the list.

    The bottom line is that change is difficult. It forces you to look at yourself, and find the areas where YOU simply didn't measure up. It forces you to see you own failures, defects, or inadaquacy.

    But, if you do, if you take that introspective look, identify the real problem, admit it exist, then and only then can you start to work on the real issue.

    There is an old saying " you get what you settle for, not what you deserve". I have found this to be 100% true.

    I had a mentor who had another saying " the system you have is perfectly designed to give you the results you are achieving"

    Thats simply a fancy way of saying if you don't like the results, YOU need to do something different.

  9. #9
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    In every cry of every Man,
    In every Infant's cry of fear,
    In every voice, in every ban,
    The mind-forg'd manacles I hear.

    William Blake
    "London" 1794


    They're only there because we let them.

  10. #10
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    This is funny. I decided to hit a big hill across the valley from my house yesterday. Man, it kicked my ass! I had to stop twice and use the "granny" gear a couple times. Legs felt like jelly at the top, but I did it... and the views and the ride down were all worth it. (may do it again tomorrow)
    Pushing yourself hurts at times, well most of the time. But, like posted above, if you do not push yourself, you cannot improve.

  11. #11
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Zactly, nice post!

  12. #12
    Senior Member Black wallnut's Avatar
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    I don't know about the rest of y'all but I once was a skinny athlete. I'm not afraid of hard work or hard rides. On purpose I ride up a short very steep hill often. It hurts, I'm still painfully slow but I do it and I am getting better and a bit faster. It took me 28 years to get to where I was when I started this cycling journey to become fitter. I think it will take several to get close to that former weight. I'm doing it one goal at a time. Last Sunday I accomplished a stairstep goal of my first century, next is to finish the STP in July. After that not sure yet.

    Set a goal, go after it. That is what I do and you can too.

    Just for historical perspective, me in 1981:


    Mark

  13. #13
    Member savagemann's Avatar
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    You have to want it before you can take it.
    You have to be willing to deal with pain and misery to achieve it......but it feels so good once you grasp it in your hand.

  14. #14
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    Black Wallnut - I am doing STP this year for first time, see you there!

  15. #15
    LET'S RIDE!! IndianaRecRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vesteroid View Post
    Personally, I don't think fat is the issue. What I mean is that in my business and my outside life, I see people of all shapes and sizes who self impose limitations on themselves.

    I see it almost every day. People in general need to justify to themselves why they can't achieve a specific goal or complete a given task. They need to put a tangible reason in place so they don't feel as though they are failing, they have a very valid reason in their mind as to why they couldn't complete the task.

    I am too old.
    i am to young.
    i have an old injury.
    i have a medical condition.
    i don't have a degree.
    i have kids.
    it was raining.
    it was hot.
    my boss doesn't like me.
    I don't have time.

    You get the picture. Being fat is only one more to add to the list.

    The bottom line is that change is difficult. It forces you to look at yourself, and find the areas where YOU simply didn't measure up. It forces you to see you own failures, defects, or inadequacy.

    But, if you do, if you take that introspective look, identify the real problem, admit it exist, then and only then can you start to work on the real issue.

    There is an old saying " you get what you settle for, not what you deserve". I have found this to be 100% true.

    I had a mentor who had another saying " the system you have is perfectly designed to give you the results you are achieving"

    Thats simply a fancy way of saying if you don't like the results, YOU need to do something different.
    Well said.
    Never too soon to start training for the 2015 Chicagoland Tour de Cure... http://main.diabetes.org/site/TR/Tou...al&fr_id=10179


  16. #16
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Good post chef.

    There's a hill near my home that defeated me repeatedly when I attempted it, so I just found some routes that didn't involve going over it. It was a nice easy solution, it meant I could continue to rack up miles even if I never had to deal with hills (and outside of the area I live this hill barely counts as a bump in the road).

    Then I did a couple of tours and discovered that what I had considered a "hill" really wasn't anything to consider a challenge. Yes it was quite steep (10-12%) but it was short. Having seen some "proper" hills on my first tour I was left completely broken by the end of the first day.

    The following year I did much the same tour but this time I was fitter and stronger. I remember thinking "there's a big hill around here somewhere" only to realise I was at the top of the hill and had barely noticed it. For all I was stronger the primary difference was that I was mentally stronger - the previous year I was mentally defeated long before I was physically defeated by the hills.

    Even with a vastly improved strength on hills, on a tour I did this year the route involved a climb that was something over a mile with gradients up to 25%. As we set off that morning I really didn't feel like I had the legs for such a climb. I really wanted to test myself against it, I knew I wouldn't get another chance at a hill like that for some time, but really didn't feel up to it. I was all set to offer to drive the support vehicle up the hill (despite it not being my turn), and a friend of mine said that if I wanted to that was fine but he hadn't come all this way to not attempt it.

    That was the kick up the rear I needed, I decided I'd rather try and fail than not even try. So I drank a load of water, ate a load of jelly beans for carbs, and reminded myself to just keep the pedals turning even if I wasn't going any faster than I could on foot. And, crucially, I made it to the top, which felt goooooood.


    I agree entirely with the ideas of self-limiting beliefs people have mentioned. If we approach a hill with the mindset that we can't do it, it's just a question of time before we prove ourselves right. Being overweight does give us another handy excuse we can pull out of the bag if we need to, but at the same time I must admit I feel good when, as an overweight rider, I get up hills faster than people smaller and lighter than me. On my recent tour (the one with the "proper" hill) out of the three of us riding I was the heaviest by about 30 pounds and also the fastest climber.

    Needless to say the local "big" hill has been psychologically demoted to just a bump in the road. Now instead of wondering whether I'll make it up the hill I try and pace the roadies up the hill. So far I haven't managed to keep pace with them, but that's a future goal.
    "For a list of ways technology has failed to improve quality of life, press three"

  17. #17
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    I wasnt going to go for a MTB ride this morning but started reading and just finished filling the camelback with ice water and meeting a buddy at 0830.

  18. #18
    Senior Member BikinPotter's Avatar
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    WOW did I need to see this post today! Awesome, really. All of you. I am the QUEEN of excuses & procrastination. Her majesty is going out for a bike ride today. We will be amused.

  19. #19
    Senior Member IBOHUNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post

    clip>
    Yesterday ride with 57 miles and 4980 feet of climbing made me realize really how much fun hills can be.
    clip>
    Call the FBI!
    Somebody must have abducted the ChefIsaac I knew

    Was a good ride Chef and I enjoyed seeing you make it up those hills. Instilled a little more confidence in myself.

    Now, all ya'll that suck at something go out and conquer those demons.

  20. #20
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    I heartily concur with everything you guys wrote up there...

    I might add that sometimes it's beneficial to have a place like this so you can see what other people are up to. I probably never would have tried riding up the local mountain road if it weren't for people on THIS VERY FORUM saying encouraging things about it.

    I passed some skinny roadies up a hill yesterday. I was on a mission - had a narrow window of time to go enjoy a ride and boy did I.

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