What can I say about the Cystic Fibrosis ride? It was a beautiful day, beautiful course, well organized and for a great cause. What I didn’t just mention was how grueling it was.
I’m sure there will be a lot of people out there who will read this post who did the Cystic Fibrosis ride as well and will be like this girl is crazy it was easy. Hills are my kryptonite, as they are for most people. This ride was super hilly and I conveniently had forgotten that from when I did the ride last year. The positive side I didn’t almost throw up going up the hill like I did last year and I shaved 25 minutes off my time (yes I was much slower).
As I discussed during a previous blog post, I got faster from not spending a lot time on my bike but a lot of strength training. One thing this ride made me realize is that I need to spend more time training on hills. Hills will inevitably make my legs burn and make me want to quit but by training them more I will be able to get them up them faster so it will hurt for less time!
Cycling is very mental, it’s long distances and physically tiring. My biggest struggle wasn’t the hills it was wanting to give up. As much as the hills physically hurt, I wanted to quit. It was such an overwhelming feeling, that to continue to ride was dreadful. I have to admit even last year I didn’t feel like that even though I was faster this year. As I reflect back on why I wanted to give up, I can’t really put a finger on it. I am not stressed, or have anything pressing going on in my life at the moment. The only really big change is that I started a new job within the last few weeks but that’s going really well. Then it hit me. As with any exercise some days you just don’t have it or don’t want to do it. No reason why we all have “just one of those days”.
I had to figure out a way to get my mind in a better place or this would be one miserable ride, as if it wasn’t physically tough already. When I finally crawled my way to a rest stop, running off my bike as quick as I could to grab food I met this girl who has CF. She was sitting with her mom and her mom was thanking all of us for riding. With all of the donations there has been more research and better treatments available to her and everyone with CF. This is why I ride. I ride because I am making a difference in someone’s life. That has always been my goal in life was to help people and I was doing that. Once I thought about that it made the ride much easier. I shouldn’t complain about how much it sucks, or how much I want to walk my bike up a hill. Some people can’t ride and don’t get the experience the joy that biking brings. I am very fortunate that I can do that so I should be more grateful for that.
I know this was a very philosophical post, but this was honestly the hardest mental experience I have ever had on a ride. Sometimes it’s important to have a tough experience to find your purpose.
I am not saying that I friggen love hills now and am so excited to ride them, but I have been through a tough experience and can get through it again.
Happy cycling everyone! We are getting into my favorite time of the year to ride! Love the fall!