Saturday, April 23, 2011

Humbled + Dropped = Motivated

I was dropped. I was humbled.

The hill ahead was steep. Steeper than I thought it would be. I knew this hill, but from the opposite direction. And after almost 60 miles I was ready for the ride to end. My cyclometer promised that the ride was almost over but I began to second guess this lying, annoying little electronic gadget.

After encouraging friends to participate, several of us took off last weekend for 62 miles (100 k) of hilly Powhatan Historic Ride fun. Most of it was indeed fun. I encountered friends upon arrival at the start, we had a few early morning falls (couldn't get out of those clips), and then moved on down the road. Weather was perfect, friends were laughing, sunshine warmed our shoulders, and rest stops were nicely stocked.

Notice from self: You should have put in some time on that trainer in the garage because as the miles wore on, your legs wore out.

And after 40 miles of beautiful rolling hills... the fun waned to be replaced by pain. The legs were complaining and in fact screaming for my brain to stop this barrage of climbing any ol' hill that happened to rise ahead.

So perhaps 62 miles was a bit much for this early time of the year. Well not perhaps, it definitely was. Here I had convinced friends to ride alongside. Now I saw them climb that last hill and bike out of view.

Lesson learned. Months ago I was that dude. Riding ahead up the hill. I probably scampered ahead to wait for my friends on the other side of the climb. It was time to experience what they've experienced and I can't say I enjoyed it. It's never nice to be dropped behind the pack. It conjures up memories of being the last guy picked to play on the team. Or the memory of repeatedly being dribbled around on the soccer field. But the experience was valuable.

I think it's good to be humbled. Good to be pushed to do a little better next time. Good to realize that true happiness comes by excelling within the boundaries you set for yourself. Others' goals are certainly impressive to watch from afar, but perhaps true joy comes from knowing that one has excelled from the last point of reference we set for ourselves.

So I've set some goals. 1) Additional weight = more effort necessary on my heart and body, 2) lose weight so as not to see stars when trying to keep up with others, 3) know that with effort comes reward and focus on that effort.

First step...lose the first 10 pounds. I'll report in to mark progress.

My buddy Will said it best in his blog. And I tried to respond as best I could. Take a look...

Last summer I had a friendly Powhatan Sheriff's Deputy pull over and ask if I was ok as I tried to catch my breath at the top of a hill. I expect it might actually happen again.

Until next time... I'll be the one red-faced and breathing irratically.


sekondliph said...


Bad time of year for a 62 miler. Especially this year. Lesson learned. Another lesson learned was to continue conditioning better through the cold months and go easy on the chow. We'll get all back and then some. No problem. Let's plan our week days rides tomorrow. Mi amigo y freund.

Mr. Hughes said...

YEA!!! you posted! It is nice to know that you are still alive and kicking! :) You are very dedicated to your biking and that is great. ALMOST makes me want to buy a bike and start getting in to better shape!
I look forward to hearing more about your adventures!

Mr. Hughes said...

Okay my friend!
It is time for another posting! :)
I miss hearing about what is going down in your corner of the world. Mine has been quite the trial... My wife spent 27 days in the hospital (24 of which were in the ICU). You can check out the long of it on my blog. Hope you are well!