Why the Hell am I doing this?
I went for a bike ride today. I am determined to get in fifty miles this weekend and the only way to do that is to get out there and ride.
It was chilly when I started out but it was tolerable. I was bundled up for it and I am learning to deal better with sub-fifty degree riding weather.
What was difficult though was fighting with my inner-self. The legs felt very heavy and slow today as I started out. As I rode I was calculating short cuts to save miles. Not what I wanted to do… I was looking to bail on the ride… The legs hurt, my stomach felt odd and I was cold….
I had to remind myself why I was out there.
If my plan really was to do close to 30 miles, if I was really there to ride… Why? Why was I there to ride on a chilly day. Why was I out there instead of sitting on the sofa in the warm living room watching TV? Why? I needed the reminder because I was sore and tired and not feeling great and my mind was playing games and I was fighting all the excuses my mind was creating for me to quit the ride and head home. I was out there alone. I had no riding companion to spur me on. It was all on me and my resolve was wavering as I felt the burn in the legs and the slight ache in my stomach and my shoulders hurt and….
I Had to remind myself why I was out there. Why I had set the goal of a 50-mile weekend.
The was more involved than simply getting in shape for all the rides I have committed to this summer.
My brain could easily overcome those reasons.
I had to remind myself of the real reason. The brass tacks. The root of everything I have worked on for the last 16 months…
I don’t want to die yet.
Of yeah, damned good reason.
It is why I started this. It is why I lost the weight. It is why I have walked the track. It is why I have climbed the stairs, hiked the trails, cycled the roads. It is why I have given up so many of the foods I love. It is the reason. It is why I was on the bike, not feeling particularly well, not feeling UP.
I don’t want to be the next one to die from being fat.
I felt stronger and stronger as the ride progressed. My legs loosened up. My stomach settled down. My shoulders got used to the position. I got in to a rhythm. I climbed a few hills while reflecting on the difficulty I once had with some of those same hills. I enjoyed a few fast downhill runs, peaking at 34.5 miles per hour. I finished the ride averaging 15.4 miles per hour. I felt strong at the end. Cold but strong.
I remembered why I was out there.
I enjoyed the ride. Tomorrow I will be out there again, riding with a group, drawing inspiration from the other riders. I will get in my 50 mile weekend.
When I ride alone again, if I hit the point where I ask why the hell I am out there, I will remind myself that I am out there because I love riding. I am out there because I am never so much ME as I am when I am riding. I will remind myself that there is a freedom and peace that I find after I get past the leg pains and the shoulder aches and the lies my mind tells me. I will also remind myself that I am doing this for ME because I don’t want to die yet and this is the best thing I can do to stay healthy and fit.