I have this thing about doing something that I fear. It’s like a drug. I want it. The way it makes my palms sweat and my heart skip a beat. Will I? Can I? Should I?
I am not a small person. I joke about my spare tyres I carry around my waist. I dislike it! I’ve always had big thighs. I figured, I’d put them to good use. I know I hold power in their muscle.
Since climbing mountains I’ve discovered this: I’m a great short, sharp climber. If I get my gearing right, I can burst up a hill with speed and roll over the top and hammer the descent. This kind of hill is my favourite. I use the body type I have to achieve this. When I hit a long steep climb I go slower than a snail. GIMME MORE GEARS! I grind up, I don’t look at the top for fear of falling. I tell myself, it’s flat if you look at it at the right angle. I find myself with Tourettes. Since having received new wheels I roll faster, which means I can reserve. This helps me to recover.
This year I participated in the Buderim9 Challenge. I made 7 out of the 9 climbs. 57.8km, 1,233m, 2:41:43 moving time. The day, prior, I drove the course. I was pretty shocked with what lay ahead of me. I couldn’t turn back. I decided I’d do at least 5. Having set that goal, I pushed beyond to make the 7.
In the build up I rode weekly Coot-tha’s, Nebo, Binna Burra, O’Reilly’s and the 2015 Ride for Westpac Chopper MTB Mudgee to Tamworth challenge. These rides made me stronger both physically and mentally.
Another discovery. You have to find your ‘inner animal’. You cannot do anything without it! I’ve tried to explain it to a friend. I don’t think she gets it, just yet. I visualise my greatest fear. That thing that gets you fired up. I use it as my fuel. When I have it engaged I find myself in that moment. If you can find that moment then you know you have put in 100%. You’ve emptied your tank.
This photo captures everything. I look beyond the shape of my body…my left shoulder. Instead, I visualise the things that I know I can do. I use the pain as fuel to propel myself into the future space I have created.
I am on a mission to climb as many mountains as I can in 2016, with the goal of a Peaks challenge on 2017. I have mapped out my year to include both type 1 and 2 fun, with a new edition, type 3 fun. This I learnt from my friend. Type 1 Fun: Pure fun. Type 2 Fun: Post-fun. But, my new found discovery is: Type 3 Fun: Storytelling Fun. This experience is definitely not fun in the moment and really isn’t personally fun for you to reflect on. You probably still cringe looking back on what happened, whether it was embarrassing for you or just terrifying. But, it makes a good story and that brings a new positive memory to the experience. Watch out for my blogs!
I have watched and learned. I have failed, lost, been dropped, won, come last, succeeded, cried, laughed, yelled, sworn, giggled, sweated, had tantrums, given up, picked up.
The view at the top is worth the pain of the climb.