So, there is one place I go for this - Cycle House in Greensborough. Jordy the owner is great at riding beside me, coaching me on gears, chatting away and guiding me through the world of road cycling. He is a man of many disciplines and has been riding for many years, so I really value his time. And he does a great job of slowing down the rest of the boys to accommodate me!
The ride always starts at 6:30am. It is dark and it is cold. And the first km is all uphill. And it hurts. It is always as we start the ride I say in my head "Why am I doing this?" ... and for the next 10kms I think "Why am I doing this?" And for the next 10kms I think "Why am I doing this?" .... and so on ...
Every time I do one of these ride, I want to quit. Every time I do these rides I feel like I am out of my league. But, I never have quit and by the end of it, I am proud of myself for pushing though the pain and pushing through the negative thoughts.These rides are always a personal battle and rarely do I get the chance to think about my angels or fighters on these rides.
But today I did.
I was at the 13km mark and facing some decent hills. The rules of these rides are that we all try to stay together, but hills are different. Everyone gets to find their comfortable tempo and get to the top. Once at the top, you get the choice to wait or roll back down and do it again. (Wonder if I will ever get to that stage?) So here was I, deep in the thought of "why am I doing this?" and all that came to mind was this.
BECAUSE I CAN!
I was in pain. I felt like I wanted to vomit (Note to self - never eat a banana again before a ride) I was cold. My glasses kept fogging up and I couldn't see. I couldn't feel my hands for the big gloves we must wear to stop us our fingers from freezing. I was tired. All I wanted to do was stop. I wanted to stop the pain. But that was my choice.
So I chose to not quit. Because my angels and fighters chose the same thing. They chose not to quit life. They chose to take the hard road. They chose to take the pain, the vomiting and all the other shit that goes along with fighting Cancer. So I would take all the hard times that go along with making me stronger to fight cancer.
And almost 12 hours later, I am still feeling the effects of today's effort. This is probably the most exhausted I have been after a ride. Although this is probably the biggest effort I have put in. Today, at least after the first 13kms - I made the choice that there were no excuses. I even got pissed off at my coach Jordy who wanted to push me up a hill. But he said "You are on my team. That means I help you out, then you have to learn to lean on your team members. You are not alone here"
Little does he know how important these words are or how much they will mean to me! And for what I have learnt from him today, I will get to teach tomorrow (well, not really tomorrow, but sometime in the future!)
And something that I thought of when I made the choice to keep going ....