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.