How many of us have ourselves as our worst enemy. Way too often I find myself seeing better paths ahead and still manage to not take them. Completely aware that I am doing just that, not making the change for the better, not taking the initiative, not making myself a winner. Then I berate myself with belittlements over and over, “what a wuss, why can’t you just say no, why can’t you just go to bed earlier, why can’t I get up earlier and train more” on and on.
Then there is the inability to dispel doubt from my mind, instead failing to believe in what I can do, taking it all apart, chopping down thy own tree. What if, I wonder, what if I did make those little changes and began to push myself forth with confidence and courage? What could I then achieve? I wonder if I will ever know the answers as I am damnably human and keep locating the traps below my feet. Keep making the same mistakes that have been noted to be just that. mistakes.
Not to be monotonous but my challenges almost always come back to pushing myself, mentally, physically, spiritually to be a better athlete. Sure I do want to be a better person, and better employee, a genuine positive member of society. Simply I want to kick some more ass, really. Year after year I compete in events and see my potential to be so much more, if only I could….There is the hitch. If only I could what, wish upon a star? I do try, I take the knowledge and attempt to focus and train harder, smarter, longer, shorter. I lose my grip, I fall off the wagon, the focus gets fuzzy. I do this year’s event and realize I fell short on my desires again.
Yet over time you just can’t help but learn a few things. I have learned about eating, hydration, pacing all that stuff. But most of what I have learned and been able to put into regular practice, is simply, getting it done. Being able to suffer, suck it up realize that this is nothing and I Can Do IT. Sure I am always so acutely aware of how very human I am when it hurts so much, but that doesn’t mean jack shit if you try hard enough. We weak piddly little things can do some down right amazing things, not just with our bodies and minds, but with our souls.
So today I went out to ride the 2nd Lap of the Gunnison Growler, it has a bit harder start with more techy singletrack than the first lap of the 64 miler. I started tired, sore from yesterday’s lap 1. My back locked up right away, my legs screamed with complaints. It was hard, I didn’t quite go as fast as I wanted, but I also caught a glimpse of what I could do out there. It has nothing to do with listening to my pesky nagging doubts, to instead embrace the pain as my payment for having such the wonderful luxury of racing my bike. Not to back down when it hurts, to not pay mind to when aches rise up, but look forward to the experience. Never give up, don’t stop believing in yourself, never stop trying. And of course smile and smile through all those wonderful turns and rock hopping goodness.