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.