This is my personal truth.
If there is one thing I have learned by now, it is that nothing ever goes the way you planned. This is one of the key reasons why my Inspired Action Plans are not written in stone. And I most certainly do not write them down once and then never revisit them! In fact, I have a look at them on a daily basis and ask myself, what is working? what is not working anymore? what do I need to do more of? what do I need to change?
With the SkyRun less than 3 months away, shit is happening and it is happening at the speed of light! Our anticipated move to New Zealand has manifested way sooner than what we had originally thought it would leaving me alone with the boys for the remainder of the year which means getting through exams and race day on my own. I also need to make some choices with regards to training as I know the 6 hour runs are coming soon and I don’t want to leave my boys for such extended periods of time on their own. On top of all this, my lower back has decided she ain’t playing this game anymore resulting in excruciating pain from about 1 kilometer in a run.
I found myself sitting down and asking if it would not make more sense to walk away from the SkyRun? Don’t worry, this was a very fleeting thought. Remember that by the time that I write down a goal, it is a non-negotiable for me, come hell or high water!!!
I remembered the time I won my first silver medal at a provincial level race. I didn’t win my medal because I was the fastest – shit I was competing against some professional cyclists! I definitely didn’t win my medal because I was the strongest – back then my hip had already shown warning signs of what was yet to come. I won my medal because nobody else finished the race!!!
Waking up to the sound of strong wind and relentless rain against my window had me lying in bed debating the wisdom of going out to race in the storm. I had been training with my coach for months with the goal of getting podium position at my first provincial level race. Truth be told, I had no idea how I was going to accomplish this! But I had done every training session, listened to everything my coach told me to do, damn I had even cleaned up my eating and weighed less than I had in school!! So I dragged my body out of bed, loaded my bike and headed off to the race.
Standing at the start line, it was clear that most of the field had the same thoughts as I had in the early hours. Except they decided to stay in bed (hint: you have zero chance of winning if you don’t even show up!). We set off for the first lap and it didn’t take too long for me to lose sight of the women in the front. A couple of times I was nearly blown off my bike, the rain hitting exposed skin like needles! I could hardly see 5 feet in front of me with water and tears constantly blurring my vision. Then came the thunder and lightning. Hot damn that was scary as hell. And this was followed by hail leaving bruises on legs, arms and back.
As I came around to the end of the first round I was thinking how much easier it would be to just get off my bike. But then I saw my amazing husband standing in the storm screaming his heart out to encourage me so I dug a little deeper and kept going for round number two.
After another 10 kilometers I started losing my sense of humor completely. By now I was freely cursing the wind, the rain, the hail, the potholes, the bloody baboons that I had to dodge in the road. I was not a pretty sight! But I kept going. The main thought in my head was “I’ve worked too fucking hard to give up now!” So I kept going.
By the time I had crossed the finish line I was exhausted, both mentally and physically. I was hurting, I was angry, I was disappointed in my finish time which meant no possibility of a podium finish.
Except I did get podium! In fact, I received the silver medal because NOBODY ELSE HAD FINISHED! That’s right, only two riders continued after round number one to cross the finish line. The winner (who was a professional cyclist) and little old me who was too stubborn to give up! That was the birth of my indestructible mind-set.
So back to the drawing board and revision of my action plan for the SkyRun. I’ve arranged my support structure aka WonderMom and SuperDad to help out with the kids whilst I go on the training camp and race week-end. I’ve moved my schedule around to facilitate my long runs whilst the kids are in school (the beauty of being an entrepreneur). I’ve changed up my training to include more cross training in the form of riding my bike (woooohoooooo!) and strength and mobility training to support my lower back.
Lesson: when the storms come up, and believe me they always will, you have one of two choices. You can decide to stay in bed and have no chance of finishing the race. Or you can adjust your sails, let out an almighty war cry, and ride that baby all the way to the end.
You know what I’m going to do! What about you?
Walk with honor.