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Pirates of the Burley Griffin
A schedule bears the same relationship to reality as Astrology.
On growth and change 
26th-Apr-2008 02:22 pm
Open Road!
As I announced recently, I'll be riding to Sydney and back in early May as an unsupported tour. I did this fairly casually and as far as the trip to Sydney goes I am still quite relaxed.

After all I'm only talking about 90-100Ks a day and I'll have a net descent of about 500M over the course of the trip. Well within my abilities, especially as I've recently done the ride to Goulburn and back. The return legs as far as Goulburn might be nastier in terms of hills but once I get back to Goulburn I'm set.

But today it occurred to me that this casual attitude is evidence of deeper changes, of a confidence born of going beyond my comfort zone until the zone itself expanded to fit, of changes to my self-image that I would never have believed until I found myself here today.

I am a cyclist. Today, now, that is how I see myself. I see myself as a person who would ride 300Ks to Sydney just because I can.

Those of you in my friends list who have known me in real life for many years probably saw this in me a year or two ago but I really only integrated it today.  

Part of it has been that becoming friends with ultra cyclists who are way beyond me who have both inspired me but at the same time stopped me seeing my own progress. In a way the latter goes all the way back to primary school where I was always the clumsiest, slowest kid at, well, everything. I think my deep aversion to team sports ("stupid ball games") comes from never being picked, and then always "failing" the team if I was. Indeed much of my love of reading etc came from hiding in the library.

But now? Sure, I'm still slower. Sure, I'm relatively weak. Sure, I doubt that I'll ever be able to do something like this. These things are undeniably true, and equally irrelevant. They just don't matter anymore.

What matter is that I'm probably stronger and fitter than I've ever been and I'm enjoying the ride. And who knows, I never thought I'd be here so maybe I will do those Audax rides one day.

I am a cyclist. And it feels great to say it.

And now I'd like to hear your stories. Your moments of truth when you suddenly realised that you had changed in some deep and fundamental way (good or bad). All comments are screened so they won't be shown unless you tell me otherwise in the comment.
26th-Apr-2008 08:48 am (UTC)
(Feel free to unscreen)

I've had a bunch of epiphanies about stuff which was always true (ie "it's ok to admit my Phd isn't going well") but the ones of the sort you talk about that come to mind are:
-realising I was an atheist
-realising I can now actually make quick decisions about important stuff, and spend large amounts of money, without (always) Freaking Out. Thanks largely to Cam's influence.
27th-Apr-2008 11:48 am (UTC)
Some important stuff there, thanks for sharing.

On a slightly frivolous note I'll observe that spending money can be a lot of fun if you're not freaking out about it. :)
27th-Apr-2008 01:48 pm (UTC) - Also unscreenable
Oh, absolutely :)

Less importantly, now that I think about it:

-realising I enjoy unsweetened coffee (well, "coffee", ie decaf or caro)
-realisising I prefer icecream to be low fat
-realising I sometimes crave zucchini

These all shook my self identity to it's core :)
28th-Apr-2008 02:01 am (UTC) - Re: Also unscreenable
These all shook my self identity to it's core :)

Given how much they're scaring me I'm not surprised. :)

And zucchini? Really? :)
30th-Apr-2008 01:18 am (UTC) - Re: Also unscreenable
I know, noone was more shocked than me!
(Screened comment)
27th-Apr-2008 11:52 am (UTC)
I might surprise myself by doing Audax rides, I'm not about to rule it out totally.

re riding around Australia, that isn't the first time that I've heard that the stretch south from Geraldton is purely brutal.
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