Today was the day – well, maybe- I hadn’t quite made my mind up yet as I was peddling my bike towards the stop sign. I was a bit rattled after starting my morning with one of those hit-gravel-while-feet-are-attached-to-pedal-slow-motion-crash moments. So, I was still in the midst of my grumbling and self talk as I approached the stop sign. With a mere yield and an arm outstretched it all happened in a flash. Yes! It was the day! I turned left. See, right takes me down a very familiar and moderate 10mile loop – but left, LEFT – takes me to Monterey. Up – up – up and up again, Monterey.
Now I had a goal – a very specific goal of making it to a very specific street so I could take a picture and send it to my boyfriend who had already completed the feat weeks earlier. Good goal, huh? Competitive? Me? – Nah – not in the least! 😉
Geez, it’s hard to breathe but I am going to do it –no turning back – and plus I am thinking about writing this blog in my head as I ride, so I couldn’t possibly stop now. I’m thinking motivation, I’m thinking about challenges, I’m thinking about determination and I’m thinking about this statement that an old friend used to constantly recite during times like these. “It’s really just 10% physical and 90% mental.” I repeat this over and over – I say it as my legs burn, I say this as I am sucking oxygen, I say this as I blow right past that “specific” road sign and continue upwards.
Energized and just a teeny bit proud, I keep going while questioning my sanity with each additional incline ahead. I continue to ponder that 10% / 90% statement. Sometimes, especially during moments of physical exhaustion, I think this is completely BS – but with a rational mind, I know there is much truth in those words. Climbing mental? Heck yeah! Paddling mental – yep. Hiking – you betcha – Life? Absolutely!
Finally I know that if I don’t turn around now, I will be late for work (and, damn, there is another hill up ahead anyway!) The return trip rewards me with a high speed coast and a smile from ear to ear. With serotonin flowing, I relish in the fact that my mission (for this morning) is complete; in fact, my mission is MORE than complete. I start to think it wasn’t “really” about my picture/proof for my beau (ok, so maybe it was 10% about that and the other 90 was personal proof?) Regardless of what it was about, regardless that this is a mere warm-up ride to many of those guys and gals I see riding everyday, regardless of the fact that I probably will turn right many more times in my life – today, all that matters is I turned left.