Saturday, March 17, 2007

Pushing Time

There is so little that compares to pushing your limits and trying something that seems completely outlandish, just to see how hard it will really be.

At least, that's how I'm looking at my ride last night.

I remember about two months ago I read a post by TriShannon (who has been really rocking her training -- you should definitely stop by and see her progress) about her 3 hour trainer ride. And it blew me away that she would have the fitness, gumption and patience to finish a THREE HOUR ride on a stationary bike. Seriously, that's what I call tedious. And, frankly, hard. (If you do it right, of course.)

But that was on the schedule for last night and all day I was both eagerly awaiting the challenge and equally dreading it. And it was hard, and surprising. There were points where I absolutely wanted off that damnable bike and straight into a hot shower. And there were other points where it felt like second nature, like muscle memory took over and I could let my mind wander to other thoughts.

And that last half hour was hard for me. To keep pushing hard, even being tired and feeling the backs of my knees aching. But I kept thinking about what my Friday nights used to look like and that pushed me further. And I thought about how proud my Mom would be to see me doing this instead, and that helped keep me going. And I thought about how incredibly lucky I am to have the choice -- the ability -- to actually do something like this. So, I kept on pedaling and watched the slooooow minutes tick away. Which, of course, they did.

And, you know, I made it through fine. Just fine. And I was happy about it in the end, regardless of all the anxiety and anticipation. And 42 miles were deposited into the Bank of Me.

In there is one of the most important lessons I've learned through triathlon -- the quality of perserverence. If you just push a little farther than you thought you could, you will go much farther than you thought you were able to. We spend so much of our time mired in doubt and thinking about the "what if's" and how to avoid and minimize effort. And so much of that time is really lost -- absolutely wasted. If we simply accept the fact that at one point we determined that this is valuable, so you just keep going. Trust that it will pay off in the end. Trust your own instincts about the world. And it will work out. The miles will drip away while you're watching scenery pass. The hours will pass by if you concentrate on the hum of your tires and beat of your heart. And in the end you will wonder why it seemed so very important to minimize that effort -- that was well within you reach -- or opt out of something that feels so good.

If you choose to live life in a way that only seeks to find level ground, to find the least resistance possible and the reduce effort and risk to the barest -- there is little point. I used to need that solice, as a salve. A sticky protectant from the abrasive world. But I was coccooned in my own avoidance. Allowing my life to tick away, second by second.

And each moment does tick away regardless. Each hour will pass without your consent or direction. It is what you choose to do in that time that matters. Pay attention to your choices. Pay attention to how you spend your time. Make it as valuable as you can.


TriShannon said...

Way to rock the 3 hours!! Quite frankly I din't think I could do it either. Definitely some major high and low swings, but before you know it you are half way done and the count down begins. Then eventually you reach a point where there is no way you are not going to finish after putting in so much time and effort.

In all 3 disciplines it is always those hard last miles, or last minutes, or even hours that teach me the most aout myself and why I do this.

Great work. HUGE deposit in the Bank of You!!!

LBTEPA said...

I love this post!
I know I am coming across like some creepy sychophant lately, but what you've been writing has helped me through some patches of low motivation in many parts of my life. Thanks mate :)

Spokane Al said...

Wow, what a great ride and a magnificant post.

Well done!

Bolder said...

well done!

Donald said...

Way to tough it out, girl. You'll need that kind of determination many more times in the future.

Mallie said...

Those long trainer rides are hard, but you stuck it out and stuck it out strong. Congrats!

Jason said...

Great work. Love (hate) those long trainer sets. They make race day feel just so much easier.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

I say, better a long boring trainer ride than no ride at all.

Plus, you get to put butt-marks all over your fancy new saddle. No down-side to that.

Trevor Oseen said...

Glad I am not the only one who feels like on the trainer. I will remember this at 4am this Saturday as I start my 5 hour bout and 40 minute run!

Good luck with your event this weekend.

Duane said...

A most excellent post!

momo said...

awesome and great job. you never know what you're capable of until you try.

ironteacher said...

You will remember that ride when you are out in the middle of a corn field, just pass Mt. Horeb at IMOO...just wait. It will definitely be worth it then!! BTW, nice writing technique!

ShirleyPerly said...

Great post! I love your writing style and I love that Bank of Me concept too. Good luck on your upcoming ride!!!