Did a century last week on my 59th birthday - thought of the similiarity of 100 miles and 100 years of life.
Came up with this comparison during each decade of miles/years. Rode the KATY trail for the most part, did 100+ on my birthday, easy at first, but trail got soft and headwinds started last 30 miles (rain night before and I was going east to west). BTW- did trip SOLO but with a cell phone and the support of my lovely spouse.
It was odd in that I visited my Mother and aunt 78 and 76, visited my fathers grave, and my brother, whom is retired, now for 5 years, 2 years younger (in age) but I will never be as old as him (heavy smoker/drinker).
Reflections on a Century:
0-10 Knowledge base minimal, much to learn about the journey, but eager to face challenges which lie ahead with child-like enthusiasm.
10-20 Continued enthusiasm, but with better understanding of expectations for remaining journey.
20-30 Reality surfaces. First onset of aches/pains, Realize goal is to set a true pace. Acknowledge the realization that choice of road & effects of outside factors (weather, preparation, conditioning, etc) strongly affects progress.
30-40 First knowledge regarding 'enormity of challenge' surfaces, but wisdom gained. Receive understanding that conditioning and energy spent (or wasted) in previous & remaining miles play huge factor in remaining journey. Must acknowledge that self-maintenance is a key to success.
40-50 First thoughts of journeys end. Acknowledgement that road traveled can be hazardous and filled with peril which causes causalities.
50-60 First ‘True’ knowledge that journey is 50+% compete. First reflections of ‘missed opportunities’ and reflections upon various roads/attractions bypassed.
60-70 Energy remains abundant if spent wisely but cannot be wasted.Acknowledge that the best part of the journey is to ‘Savor’ every mile.
70-80 ‘Wellness’ becomes critical. Reserve energy is nonexistent. Understanding that several key factors allow completion of Journey: Also understand that you are among the select few as the ‘dropout rate’ significantly increases after this point in this journey.
80–90 Joy in understanding of anticipated accomplishment. Realization of the thought & preparation that went into it. Joy is in (just) celebrating every mile completed
90-100 Journey progresses via ‘Guts & Determination’. One exists in ‘one’s own world as strong possibility arises of neither interest nor cognizance of outside world. The end of journey is the only perceived objective.
Similarities of 100 Years/miles.
Choice's of road(s) traveled, preparation & vehicle (body) maintenance, critical. Also acknowledge that journey is significantly easier with good solid support. ( a good spouse and a good bike!!!!)
Difference’s in 100 Years/miles is that the end of the journey, completing a 100-mile bike ride allows one time for Pride and enjoyment of mission accomplished. Pray to a god above, the end of Life’s journey will allow the same.