This coming weekend (Sunday) I will partake in a 72km Mountain Bike Race. I have been Mountain Biking on and off for about a year now but I have never ridden 72km in a single sitting (most has been 45km).
I have trained for the past
month two weeks (due to the flu) as well as I could and have tried my best to be as prepared as possible for this punishing task ahead of me. I used the word “punishing” because by completing the 72km race you will, in fact, get a Punisher T-shirt.
I have only ever entered into one other race before this (45km) and it broke me. Partly because I registered at literally the last minute, hadn’t trained at all for the race and worked very physically the day before to the point of bodily fatigue and stiffness resulting the day of the race. Not very smart approach.
At the end of that race, I was exhausted and broken but, I did it. I felt so amazing that I finished it and conquered this beast. Sure, it was dumb and FOMO is a real thing, but I did it. I pushed myself. This resulted in some major mental mountains and strongholds to come crashing down. Ultimately, I grew. I progressed. This was one of the best moments in my life.
Now the time has come to push myself once more to do something I have never done before. It helps to surround yourself with others who help push yourself (thanks Gareth), without them, you might never get up and do anything. Or anything that matters. Pushing myself and going beyond what I thought was possible for me has been one of the biggest aspects of progress in my life that helped me combat severe episodes of Panic and Anxiety (something which has been a huge deal to me for 2 decades).
I think it is good to throw yourself into things like this because you need to break down these mental thought castles that restrict and weigh you down. Maybe this is not a must, but it is healthy to do in my opinion. It also opens up new and exciting opportunities that would have never come up if you hadn’t said yes to life.
I believe that it is also good to not always seek out comfort and put yourself in things that make you feel downright uncomfortable. Call it Stoicism, being AntiFragile or just plain sucking it up and getting on with it.
I have seen with preparation for this race that you never feel quite ready for it. You want things of value to come to you and you want it to come easily. No struggle, no pain, no work and no discomfort (I am a millennial after all).
This is exactly why I registered for something that I cannot say with 100% certainty that I can achieve. What I can say is that I will give it my all, I will do my best. I will push myself.