November 23, 2011

Double Century & the Fear of Failure

The image this week pertains to Double Century, a 212km slog around the Route 62 area. Perhaps 3000m of vertical in there, but the key is that its a 12-man time trial. The road surface is rough, the winds have a habit of coming up and there is about 1200m of vertical in the last 50km. It’s a social race for most, but this year, somehow, I have assembled perhaps the most competitive group of human beings on the planet. We have put together a team for Pure Planet Racing as our final race for the year before we kick off 2012 with a bang.

So sure, there is a hint of fear in there for me as I have been training very very little in the last few weeks. It’s the time of the year for me to chill before the next big push through to Ironman SA in April.

The fear is a good thing. It`ll make me happy to hurt a bit more, as it’s the kind of hurt I like. That deep pain that isn’t sharp, but it’s draining, soul-destroying and you can keep moving well with it there. Sick, I know.

But we have a joint sense of purpose and the batch of guys I am riding with are some of the finest men I know. They love this stuff. One of them said to me the other day that he loved the last 50km, because it was quiet and everyone shared the same sense of being wrecked, but absolutely committed to the cause at the same time. Class bunch of hardmen.

Will the fear be enough? How deep will the rabbit hole go this weekend? Only time will tell. There is no avoiding it and the only option is to embrace the beauty in the discomfort, the knowing that somewhere, a lesser version of yourself would have taken the easy option. Would have avoided the what-ifs and the shy’d away from the fear.

But no, this is the better version of yourself. The one that makes commitments and stick to them, even if they hurt. As Chris McCormack says… “Embrace the Suck”.

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