Aaaaah, it’s become that time again, when I focus my attention into the never-ending black hole that is the training block before some stupid endurance event that will undoubtedly not fulfill this big demanding hole I have for self appreciation and trying to find a line in the road that is big enough to get me back to eating like a pig and living like a slob. The joys….
I am sure you all understand just how thick the sarcasm is in that statement. I love training for big events. Putting yourself in the zone for weeks on end, humming on and building endurance, aerobic capacity and power through the debilitating fatigue and personal doubt to come out the other end with 1 shot at making the day count. BAZINGA!
Saying that, however, I know a few truths that will again surface and will again teach me lessons about myself and add value to everyone around me, at work, at home, and to my family.
1. I know I will get so tired that nothing else will matter except food and shelter. From that place, I can determine what is most important in my life. I let things in selectively at this point and it’s always interesting to see what I really need and who I really want to spend time with.
2. I will break down somewhere out in the middle of nowhere on my bike, alone, in the rain. The process of getting home from being a shivering, hungry, blown, possibly crying mess is what makes me stronger in all situations. I consider it a positive experience if I have not pawned my Garmin for a loaf of bread.
3. I will swim until I am laughing myself to tears in the car because I have no idea how I am going to drive home. I will have a silly smile and undoubtedly call my go-to-man in these situations and he will possibly crash his car laughing at me. These things happen and the limits are fun.
4. I will wake up from a 2 hour nap after a 5 hour steady state ride feeling like I got hit by Bakkies Botha at a loose ruck. I will suck it up, have another coffee and head out the door for a 40min run. About 15 minutes in, my body will come alive and I will be light as a feather underfoot, floating along the Atlantic Seaboard and will have confirmed that when I am weak, I am f*ing strong. A true life lesson.
5. I will experience no chain days, days where I check the brakes continuously to make SURE they are not locked, days where I cannot run any faster without falling over and days where I have to walk on the flats because I am so blown. I know they are all a part of the process. The bad days get less, the good days become normal and I accept the best version of my aerobic self as my norm.
6. I will be so tired that I neglect something, disappoint someone and have to explain why this is important to me. Breaking point is something you don’t quite know the continuous position of. When the balls start dropping, you are at the limit. Until then, how do you know your real potential?
7. When I`m cruising at 60km/h on my own power on Bottelelary Road and rolling over the top of the rollers at 45km/h, nothing else will matter.
Going to keep it to 7 lessons for the day. We only remember in 7’s… Some simple things that will happen in the next while. Limits will be pushed, broken. I will fall and rise again, I will find the reasons that keep me moving and the motivation for my assault against the competition. Silly, perhaps.
But it makes me content in a way very little else does.