this is what I've learned:
everything is possible.
each day I begin a ride toward a canyon I start with my heart pounding and my head saying, uh-oh, can't do. the first mile is tough, as it's all uphill, and the second mile is never much easier. it takes me a good twenty minutes to get in the swing of things, twenty minutes of no, uh-uh, I'll quit early today, and oh I want to stop.
this happens every time I ride, and you would think that I could condition my mind to accept its negativity as a simple phase to pass through, but each time it happens I believe myself. I believe the "this is too hard" and the "I can't do this."
of course I can do it!
I've proven I can do anything I set my (obviously conflicted) mind to. what I cannot seem to do, though, is keep this certainty, knowledge, and awareness front and center.
so every day is like a new day, a new day of learning that I can.
I signed up for lotoja (yes, I'm still waiting to hear that I will or will not be training like a fool again all summer) knowing that I will panic a bit about how I can't do this, but that I will do it anyway.
I am hoping that one day I will completely internalize this awareness that I can.
I've come a long way, I've come to this point where a century is always doable, and any old ride will be survivable. I know this, at least until I get on my bike and have to suffer through that warm-up period where I know I can't. the ride/the goal/the successful outcome seem unimaginable, and perhaps this is where the opportunity lies: perhaps I need to remember to imagine it.
to imagine my success.
to imagine myself already at the top of the hill, already beginning to descend.
to imagine the outcome I desire.
so, the lesson.
it must be to imagine the unimaginable, and to let that be your guide. forget the aches, disregard the naysayers (even if they live inside your head), and believe.
in other words,
have faith and simply keep pedaling.