Sunday, September 30, 2012
I went for a ride after work on Friday. In a word, simply epic. The path to get to such a place was tough though. I went home knowing that such beautiful days with perfect temps and conditions are going to be few and far between, especially when you lose alot of them working on the off shifts. In spite of my desire to go, i was coming up with every excuse in the world why i couldnt go.
It isnt as simple as just hopping on and going, i have to drive to an area where the road conditions are suitable for a racing bike...ie pot holes, debris, wide shoulder to safely ride etc...
As the number of things i had to do to make this happen mounted, so did the internal resistance, mental bargaining, and exercise promissory notes (ever write yourself any of those?) I finally dragged myself out there....reluctantly.
With my gear and fuel on board, i clipped in and went.
Awkward, unfamiliar, estranged. No woo hoo, just dutifully cranking. My internal environment, uncooperative. Some things you do because you want to, others because if you dont, the opportunity to do so will be lost. I went because I knew I needed to, not because I felt like it. After all, the good weather days up here will be few and far between and will become unpredictable.
Then after a few miles I came face to face with the REAL reason why I do what I do.
It's because of the other guy.
The other guy is who I become when I am engaged in endurance sports. Something happens to me while I'm out there. In ''real life'' I'm a procrastinator, sometimes hairbrained, awkward at times and totally without confidence when it comes to home improvement. Heck, I can't even commit to mowing the lawn until I have to don a safari hat....well it sure seems like it anyway.
But when I'm out there.....
I'm focused, confident, strong and willing to take it to the next level. I produce results whereby I manage to earn my own self respect with a determination that is admirable, even by my own standards.
Almost like Clark Kent finding a phone booth.
Nothing is more empowering that walking away from a swim, a bike, or a run having given it my all, even after a tough day. To be able to do distances with the grace and strength that whispers hope to my heart, that my dream of a Half Ironman is slowly coming true, mile by mile, step by step.
To find the focus that puts me into the zone. Hard to describe this state but if you're even remotely serious about endurance sports, no explanation is necessary. I cannot even begin to tell you the number of times i have mentally run up the finishers chute. The cheers, the clanging of cowbells, the joy that only triumph can bring.
Someday dreams will be reality. To prove that obesity can not only be overcome but it can be dominated, owned, and brought into submission. To do something that fat people aren't expected to do...win.
Things in life will come and go but some things can never be taken from you. One of those is the knowledge that one day you found your inner superhero and overcame the impossible against long odds.
This is who I want to be...I want to be that other guy. When I'm out there, I am him, but I'm only visiting.
I feel the euphoria of a job well done and will talk the ear off anyone who can stand to listen because it is such a big deal to me. It tells the world ''I'm strong'' and reinforces my worth to myself.
Then, in the morning, i get dressed, grab my lunch, and before i boogie out the door i look in the mirror. I am looking at my own reflection through Clark Kent glasses.
Someday, i will outgrow the perscription but for now, i am looking forward to my next visit..with him.
Btw, my ride results... 42 miles in 2hrs 29 minutes. Average speed 16.9 mph, max speed 38.6mph (yes, that was quite a hill!)
Superman would be proud.