Tag Archives: sports

Hold my beer, …

“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” ~ Sir Edmund Hillary

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As Sunday quickly approaches, I am left to ponder what the hell I have managed to get myself into yet again. After all, since the beginning of my cycling journey I haven’t been known for making the soundest decisions…

Here is the formal description of this Sunday’s Six Gap Century Ride:
“The Six Gap Century boasts many of the same roads and mountain climbs as the elite Tour de Georgia. The ultra­-challenging route takes you up and down six of the steepest climbs in the North Georgia Mountains. Elevations on the six gaps in this ride range from 1,400 feet to 3,460 feet. The toughest climb, Hogpen Gap, will challenge even the strongest riders, averaging a 7% grade for seven miles, with sections as steep as 15%.”


Let me give a little history lesson about some of this course… In 2014, Three Gap Fifty which consists of the first and last two “gaps” (climbs) of Six Gap Century was my very first organized ride EVER. Yes, a Miami girl decided that her first organized ride ever would be 58 miles with 6,385 vertical feet of climbing. If I may say so myself, it was NOT my smartest move ever…

Wolfpen Gap made me cry. I wanted to quit. I wanted to throw my bike off the mountain and never ride again.

But I did not quit.
I did not throw my bike off the mountain.
I did not even walk once.
But, had one more person told me that the rest stop was ‘right around the next turn’ I may have opted to get off my bike and throw them AND their bike off the mountain.

I finished Three Gap Fifty and it was amazing, glorious, and utterly painful all at the same time. That was the day that I truly fell in love with riding in the mountains.

There is something about the pain and suffering that goes along with riding in the mountains that I hate, love, and crave all at the same time. It is the epitome of entering the “pain cave” and “embracing the suck.” There is no way around it and the only way to go is up, one pedal stroke at a time. There is this funny swerving movement that starts to happen when going suuuuper sloooow up a steep incline… You can’t control it, it just happens. When stuck in that space you only have two options, keep pedaling or get off and walk. The problem with quitting and walking is the realization that you will have to walk the rest of the way up because there is absolutely no way to get back on your bike and get forward momentum again. So you just keep pedaling, one stroke after another, how ever you have to in order to keep moving. When one set of muscles starts to hurt, you simply start pulling up on your strokes until those muscles start hurting too and then you go back to pedaling like normal. You repeat the process over and over and over again until you reach the top.

It appears that I love to put myself through the wringer whenever possible. Despite, analyzing this fact to death, I have yet to figure out exactly why I do these things to myself.

I love a challenge.
I love the feeling of being on the edge of life and death.
I love proving the doubters (including myself) wrong.
I love the suffering.
I love giving everything I have and then digging deeper for a tiny bit more.
I love crossing the finish line.
I love the exhaustion and rush of emotions that comes afterwards.

Six Gap Century is a bucket list ride for me and I have been waiting three years to finally get to do it. (I even tried to convince my friend we should do it in 2014, thank God that he knew better than I did then.) Unfortunately, this has not been a banner year for me so far with all these injuries. I am not going into this ride having trained how I wanted/needed to. But, what I do know is that I am in 100% better shape now than when I did Three Gap Fifty, Assault on the Carolinas, and The Assault on Mt. Mitchell (read about my Mt. Mitchell ride here: The quest towards a century ride, REALIZED.). I also know that I have a bike that is lighter, faster, and better than the one I had back then. And, most importantly, I know the drive and determination that I carry inside me to be successful at the stupid things I challenge myself to.

What’s the saying? “If you’re going to be dumb then you better be tough.”

I am incredibly lucky that I am going to be able to do this ride with one of my favorite people and biggest inspirations, Caroline. She is, by far, my favorite training partner (sorry Zac). Caroline drives me to be better at everything that I do. I know that there will be moments where I will want to quit and may not be able to rely on my own brain/heart to push me forward so I am thankful that I will have her there to look over at and give me the “put on your big girl panties and suck it up” face.

Although I am nervous about how my foot and hip will hold up, I am beyond excited for the challenge that is ahead of me. I have been waiting for this day for so long and I am 100% sure that the climbs and descents will not disappoint. My main goal for Sunday is to soak up every single second of this experience no matter how difficult it gets.

I have written about visualization in some of my past posts and that is exactly what I have been doing the last few days, visualizing this experience and visualizing myself (in one piece) crossing that finish line.

And, let me tell ya… the end of this ride feels pretty damn sweet.

See everyone on the flipside!

Complicatingly Uncomplicated

“Life is found in the dance between your deepest desire and your greatest fear. ~Tony Robbins”

The road.
The road is my home.
The road is where I belong.
The road is where solace, peace, and understanding live.
The road is uncomplicated; its twists, turns, and obstacles are marked.
The road is complicatingly uncomplicated.

Life.
Life is complicated.
As uncomplicated as you strive to make life, complication always appears.
Life’s twists and turns are not marked; sometimes these objects are closer than they appear.
Life is complicatingly complicated.

As much as I run from complication, I continue to find myself nestled right in its arms.
So I turn to the road…

I visit the road to escape from life.
I visit the road to escape complication.
I visit the road to find solace, peace, and understanding.
I visit the road to tire my brain, to exhaust my heart, to close my eyes, to simply “be.”

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Photo Credit: Caroline Worrall

370 miles by 37

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“How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you were?” ~Satchel Paige

A couple weeks after doing Ironman 70.3 Florida (which I have yet to blog about) I got injured playing kickball. Kickball… Not one of the bagillion asinine other things that I do on a daily basis, I got hurt playing an elementary school sport. I went to the orthopedic clinic the next day and the diagnosis sucked just as bad as the pain in my foot. “It’s most likely a stress fracture but no way to tell for sure without an MRI.” This was quickly followed up with, “you’ll have to wear walking boot which means no swimming, cycling, or running for a while.”

Excuse me. No what?

To say the time in the boot sucked would be the understatement of the year… I had to pass my bike in the living room every day, multiple times a day, and it looked so sad just sitting there. I tried to follow the doctor’s plan as much as I could but I did throw in a ride, just to see if I could.

When I went back to the doctor, just shy of a month later, he cleared me to wean out of the boot, start riding/swimming again, and slowly start running again as well. ‘Wean out of the boot,’ to me, meant the boot was completely done. I went right back into riding with no issue but running was a different story…

When I finally started running again, I could tell that I had lost a lot of the run endurance that I had built up through my Ironman 70.3 training. Not only had I lost the endurance but my foot would burn while I ran making it that much harder to go faster and further. After several runs, I decided that this was probably going to be my ‘new normal.’ My age was catching up to me. I was starting to feel old. I felt like my body was starting to betray me. I hate getting old. When I turned 21, I was ready to stop counting. Unfortunately, that’s just not how life works.

Friends and family kept asking me what I was training for next, what races were on my calendar… I had no answer for that question because I had no clue. My body felt off and weak but I knew I needed something… I needed something to push towards. I needed something to make me believe again. I needed something to help me stop feeling broken.

Injuries steal something from you; not just endurance, muscle mass, or other physical stuff. Injuries emotionally rob you too. Injuries make you begin to doubt your body’s ability to be pushed to the brink because injuries are a stark reminder that there actually is a limit to what your body can take. They remind you that, even if you make it through training for crazy events injury-free, it is something small and unexpected that can sweep the rug from under your feet and knock you down.

On Thursday, June 16 I decided to go to a 4 mile group run with some friends that starts from a local beer/wine shop called Tipples Brews. It was the third Thursday so they bring out the race clock, which means I would inevitably be pushing harder than normal because I always want to ‘beat’ the clock. And pushing myself to the brink is exactly what I did… I took off near the front of the pack right behind a friend that I know likes to push her pace which makes me push right behind her. My foot started to burn around mile 2 but I wasn’t ready to back off so I kept pushing. Somewhere between mile 2 and 3 she got further and further away as she pushed her pace more but I kept steady to mine. Mile 3 was brutal but I dug deep and ended up finishing the 4 miles in 34:08 (8:32min/mile). I was on an emotional high from a great pace coupled with having had a couple ciders when I decided to give myself a seemingly impossible challenge to achieve…

I was going to ride 370 miles in 7 days.

Why 370 miles and why in 7 days? You see, a couple hours before the group run I realized that it was my last Thursday of being 36 years old. I knew the way the rest of the week was going to go already… Every day I was going to wake up and have the same conversation with myself, “Oh my God, it’s the last Friday… Saturday… Sunday… Monday… Tuesday… Wednesday…”

I didn’t want to do it; I needed to change the story in my mind. My M.O. tends to be that whenever I need to change the story in my mind, I dream up some outrageous thing to strive towards, something that will take up my time and distract me from whatever negativity needs to be avoided. I knew there was no way that I was going to run 37 miles on my birthday and riding 37 miles would be nothing big. I needed something bigger, something crazy. So that’s what I did… I gave myself a crazy challenge to pull my focus away from feeling weak, away from thinking about the upcoming change of my age number…

I had no plan and definitely no clue on how exactly I was going to achieve this goal but I knew that I needed to feel as if someone was going to hold me accountable towards completing it. I went to social media and shouted from the rooftops that this was my goal. I knew that, if I put it out into the universe, there was no room for failure. Then all I had to do was start riding…

And ride I did… Rolling into the weekend, I knew I had to ride big miles because I still had to work full time and take care of a pair of kids while trying to achieve this monstrous goal. I was reminded of a question someone once asked me while we were facing a seemingly impossible task at work, “Do you know the best way to eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” I didn’t think about the bigger goal, I broke it down and focused on smaller goals and each individual ride I was doing. I stayed in the present and quit worrying about everything on the peripheral.

The days went something like this:

Day 1: 100 miles total for the day. 6 rides: 33.5 miles, 10.06 miles, 10.55 miles, 26.23 miles, 4.17 miles, 16.11 miles

Day 2: 70 miles total for the day. 2 rides: 56.14 miles, 14.22 miles

Day 3: 72 miles total for the day. 2 rides: 52.18 miles, 20.18 miles

Day 4: 48 miles total for the day. 2 rides: 28.12 miles, 20.34 miles

Day 5: 43 miles total for the day. 2 rides: 23.26 miles, 20.20 miles

Day 6: Rest day, yay!

Day 7: MY BIRTHDAY!! 1 Ride, 37 miles in honor of turning 37!! Plus I threw in a brick run with my boys just because J

Total riding time: 23:00:34 at an average pace of 16.1mph


Deep down, I knew this goal was about more than just getting it done… It was about reflecting on the current state of my life and the past 37 years. I have consistently written about the peace that I feel when I am riding, even on the especially tough days. Riding is my happy place. Riding is the place where I hash out my life and these 370 miles were no different. I learned new lessons and was reminded of old lessons while out of the road over these 7 days.

  1. Anything is possible. Not only is this the motto for Ironman but it is the damn truth. Anything is possible as long as you put your mind to it and you work hard to get to where you want to be. Life really is mind over matter; as long as you believe, you can achieve. There are so many more clichés that I could throw in right here because they are all so very true. There were moments where I doubted myself but those were far outweighed by the moments where I knew I would not allow myself to fail. I don’t like failing and I certainly wasn’t going to fail at my own self-imposed birthday goal.
  1. This year had more gains than losses. This past year had been one of growth and learning, it brought with it a lot of losses but even more gains. I needed the time out there on the open road to put that into perspective. While the losses were significant, the gains were exponentially larger.Training for Ironman 70.3 brought with it an entire new foundation of friends; I gained a new support network. Whether my new friends were runners, cyclists, or triathletes, they accepted me with open arms. The amazing thing about these wonderful humans? Once you met one, you were instantly linked to 10 more. It was truly as if I had known them for years. They were ready to push and challenge me around every corner, never allowing me to give up. The time and effort that all these wonderful people put into themselves and everyone around them is a thing of beauty, everyone wants to help everyone and everyone is a family. Thank you to each and every one of them for entering into my life at the most opportune moment.

    A special thanks to Caroline, one of my newest pals, who came through to help me suffer on two of my fifteen rides on this journey. I won’t even begin to talk about all the texts she sent me pushing me to roll out of bed and keep moving towards my goal. Thank you. Thank you from the depths of my soul. You were my champion this week and will forever be a true friend. Things like this are what make people who were once strangers become friends and eventually even family.


    This past year also brought with it a change of employment. It was not a change that I was ready for but it was definitely a change that, in hindsight, was much needed. I had been at my previous job for 6 years and the stress levels were crazy high there. My new job is much more relaxed and is a semi-vaca from clinical work which is a very welcome change. I have great coworkers that constantly have me laughing and have brought another layer of wonderfulness to my already charmed life.
  1. Even a glorious failure can be an immense success. I won’t get deep into this because it will be delved into much deeper in a later post (hopefully). The gist of this is that sometimes what one person calls a failure is actually a success. And, sometimes you need some “failures” to propel you towards an even bigger success. I am so proud of everything I have accomplished this year, whether it be a glorious failure or a resounding success, I am proud of it all. I think this Robert Louis Stevenson quote about sums it up, “Our business in life is not to succeed, but to continue to fail in good spirits.”
  1. I am such a lucky girl. Anytime that I feel myself slip into sadness all I have to do is take a step back and look around me. I am surrounded by so much love, friendship, and family. I have so many friends in my life that have been there for years upon years. It has to say something about a person if they can rattle out the names of so many friends they have had for 10+ years, not to mention the two best friends that have been in my life for 29+ years each!! I may not have a “partner” to walk through life with yet but I have so many wonderful friends that are there precisely at the moments when I need them most, some before I even realize that I need them at all.I can honestly say that I don’t think I ever take my wonderful friends for granted but I do believe that, sometimes when we allow ourselves to wallow in whatever pain has overcome us, we forget the things/people we have directly in front of us. Sometimes we let the pain take over and steal our joy. I am trying to do a better job with moving myself through pain by reminding myself of all the goodness in my life. Sometimes this works and sometimes I fail at it but, like I said earlier, even failure at something can be a grand success in the long run. Sometimes we need to just feel the pain before we can move through. Continuing to focus on the positive of all the things I DO have is definitely a goal for my next year.
  1. Being single ain’t so bad. I love love. I love being in love. I love having a person. But, I have been loving being single and immersing myself in training. I have learned that I don’t need to have someone in my life; I don’t need to be in a relationship with anyone but myself. This has been an interesting lesson for me since I have been so used to being in relationships. I am such a social person that being alone in itself used to be painful. Through my few years of cycling, I learned how to be alone. I learned how to be alone and ok with my thoughts and myself. This year was different because I wasn’t only alone out on the road; I was alone when I came home too. These 370 miles were a reminder of what I already knew… Being alone is ok. Furthermore, being alone isn’t just ok, it’s wonderful. I get to do what I choose to do, train when I want to train, I get to dictate my own life (when my kids aren’t doing that, obviously). I get to be the master of my own peace, something which I didn’t even realize until this year. I am open to the idea of someone coming into my life but, until that happens, I am happy and ok being alone.
  1. I am NOT broken. Age is just a number. Everything happens for a reason. I am pretty sure this speaks for itself given the ridiculous goal I achieved. Getting injured wasn’t the end of the road for me, I got to heal and keep going. I may not understand the reason behind why I got hurt, no one ever wants to get hurt, but it happened for a reason. Maybe the reason was to propel me to set this goal and smash it so that I could see that getting old doesn’t mean that I will be worth any less than the younger person at the start line next to me. I have to push harder to fight the aging process but that’s a challenge that I am totally willing to accept. Bring it on life!

I believe there are probably tons of lessons that I am forgetting at this precise moment but these six were by far the most important of this experience. I am sure that they will come to me later on and then I will get to mold them into their very own blog post. For now, though, these are enough.

Life is going to keep coming and there is nothing that I or anybody else can do to slow it down. I might have to live life on life’s terms but you better believe that I will be trying to control those terms as much as is humanly possible. I truly can’t wait to see what the next 37 years brings with it! Who knows… maybe there will even be a RAAM ride in there somewhere (Ride Across America, check it out!)

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Fear is a liar

“Fear is a liar.”

We hear this statement all the time.

I say this statement all the time.

I truly believe this statement to be true.

But… when fear sneaks in through the window that you forgot you left cracked open it has the ability to infiltrate every single corner of your mind.

I equate it to having a flea problem in your house… you can wash everything, spray your house, and treat your pets but somehow fleas always seem to appear here or there from time to time.

“The enemy is fear. We think it is hate, but it is fear.” – Gandhi

Fear can paralyze you, it can make you believe that you are incapable of doing something that you are certainly capable of doing. Fear can negate days, months, years, or even a lifetime of hard work.

So, when fear sneaks in, what do we do? Where do we go? How do we overcome?

I battle these questions EVERY TIME I enter the pool.

I have an intense fear of drowning but even bigger than that is the intense fear I have of not being good at something, of failing at something.

I want to be an Ironman probably more that I could ever adequately express in words. I can’t even tell you why I want it so bad, I just know that I do. One might think this desire would far outweigh any fear that might enter my mind… But, alas, it does not.

Whenever I am getting ready to go swim my anxiety levels begin to rise… My heart rate starts to increase, my breathing becomes irregular, and my thoughts start to race. I start to make bargains with myself about how much I am going to swim. When I get in the pool, all my symptoms become that much worse. When I go underwater, the panic becomes palpable. I start to feel as if I am going to run out of breath, like I have forgotten how to do what I have to do. I find myself stopping after every lap to catch my breath, to give myself a pep talk, to convince myself to keep going.

Swimming is my Achilles heel.

But, sometimes, there is this strange thing that happens while I am swimming… Sometimes when I am swimming there is a strange sense of peace that comes over me. The panic falls away, I feel calm, I do what I have to do without overthinking it… It actually feels natural.

So, when fear sneaks in, what do I do? Where do I go? How do I overcome?

I keep going. I keep pushing. I go to that place within my heart, within my soul, where my confidence and drive live. The place where I know that I can conquer the world and anything that comes between me achieving my dreams. I overcome by pushing past the fear and continuing to get in the pool until swimming becomes second nature to me because…

Fear IS a liar.

Fear WILL NOT win.

Fear WILL NOT conquer me.

Fear WILL NOT steal my dreams.

Rain

“Let the rain kiss you. Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops. Let the rain sing you a lullaby.” -Langston Hughes

There’s something special about riding in the rain… Even when the rain is aggravatingly pelting your eyes, it still isn’t aggravating for some reason. The rain is peaceful and serene and calming and cleansing. The rain feels like it’s washing me clean of all my transgressions while simultaneously kicking up dirt to make my body filthy. The rain makes me remember things and simultaneously forget them. It is such a strange sensation. I seem to forget that I am soaked and dripping and miserable and just keep pedaling and feeling free…

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I am one Tough Mudder

“If you want to change you have to be willing to be uncomfortable”

If someone were to ask me to define myself I would most certainly call myself a cyclist, I would ride all day if I could. By no means would I ever call myself a runner. Runners love running. Even if a runner moans and groans about the process of going to run, they get out there and love the actual running. I moan and I groan getting ready to go and the whole while I am doing it. This is in stark contrast to the clarity and freedom I feel in my mind while I am riding (even in the toughest of conditions). I had always thought about doing a Tough Mudder but once I fell in love with cycling that thought pretty much faded away. Besides… the thought of adding military style obstacles throughout a 10-12 mile run made the idea that much less appealing as well.

The opportunity, however, resurfaced when my brother convinced me to do one with him as his Christmas present and I was sure that I would be a “one and done” type of mudder. I wanted to have the experience with my brother because, despite our individual athletic endeavors/accomplishments, we had never done any sort of event together. Despite my hesitation about getting electrocuted, being covered in mud, jumping into ice war, and getting tear gassed I was very excited to finally be able to cross Tough Mudder off my to-do list. 10422302_10204914583558894_4666883680843050455_n The day arrived and it seemed like every single thing that could go wrong was going wrong. We were late leaving our hotel, got caught in a horrendous traffic jam, and everyone was on edge. We finally made it to the event location in Doswell, VA and my anxiety was through the roof. I was worried that I hadn’t trained enough, that I would let my brother down, that I would get injured, and about a whole host of other nonsensical things. The atmosphere, however, was electric. There were teams of people everywhere seemingly working to psych themselves up for their impending mission. It seemed like everyone was also trying to act really confident and “better” than the next person walking by. It actually became kind of humorous which helped to lessen the anxiety I was feeling. 10629800_845132567278_4432652533047138123_n We quickly located the rest of my brother’s friends whom were a part of the ‘For Great Justice’ team, put all our final preparations in place, and got all the registration stuff completed. We had missed our original start time so we started with the 9:15am wave. My parents, my kids, my pregnant sister-in-law, and the significant others of the other team members all registered as spectators and were able to follow along on some of the course to watch us complete the obstacles. 11249634_10205885245304831_8379264542788722271_n  11403019_845132357698_927840402909850716_n

The experience in itself was a truly amazing one that emphasized teamwork rather than individual strength. And this wasn’t just teamwork amongst your own team members but across every team line there was. Everyone taking part in the event wanted to help you and see you succeed, whether it was during the log carry or getting over a wall or swinging on a rope, or whatever really. There were no teams on the course, only friends. Friends you never knew you had but friends nonetheless. It is a truly humbling feeling to know that you can ask any one of those hundreds of people for help and they wouldn’t hesitate to give it. I am not sure that I have ever been part of such a thing. The running sucked but that didn’t even seem to matter because once we did the first obstacle, I knew I would do another Tough Mudder and that I would be perfectly fine getting through this one.

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I don’t feel the need to describe every obstacle that we faced because they were all hard whether physically or psychologically. There were some that I wished I would’ve done better that still haunt me when I think about them and others that I aced. I am very proud of the fact that I attempted every single obstacle placed in front of me even the tear gas, ice water bath, and electrocution. I can honestly say that I loved every last one of them too which probably makes me sound a tad bit crazy. Truth is, we all have a little crazy in us, I like to think of my crazy as the good kind though.

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It was amazing to have my kids and my parents there to witness us go through the grueling course. I feel like my kids look at me differently now, with a stronger sense of pride at who their mother is. They have heard me talk about races and bike rides but they never actually witnessed me do one. And, of all the things that I have completed, this was definitely the one that probably looked the toughest. It was pretty amazing to get to hug them as I crossed the finish line and be able to see the pride in their faces. It was also fun having to sit in the car with them while they went on and on about wanting to do one themselves and how they made me promise to do one with them when they turn 16. And, promise I did. I will be way older but I will gladly do it with them and we will love every minute of it.

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I also feel as if my brother and I became closer in what we dubbed as the #SiblingToughMudder. Something indescribable happened as we suffered through the heat and struggled, pushed through, and overcame all the obstacles placed before us. It is not something that I can even find the words to describe but I know it is there and so does he. We finished something amazing together and no one can take that experience away from us.

22813_845134159088_7310626159312185026_n  11430095_845135815768_8390351094462006586_n10306488_10100147521932214_1746628636284687393_n 11430108_10205886916386607_1657985124624413186_n11427205_10205887293876044_2279050131382637052_n So… while I would still define myself first and foremost as a cyclist, I think I can safely add Tough Mudder to that definition as well. Besides, I am already the proud owner of a ticket for the Central Florida Tough Mudder on November 7, 2015. I’m gonna be a Legionnaire after all!! I truly am a masochist and a glutton for punishment. 11141163_10205887375918095_2171056622339766266_n 11415330_10205886750302455_5759940302544225200_n 994112_10205924985938322_3255529296967127442_n

Nothing becomes SOMETHING

It’s strange to not have a cycling goal to work towards in my life. For almost the past 2 years there was constantly another challenge that I was pushing forward towards. Now? There’s nothing… And that’s kinda how it feels at the moment. Like nothing.
True, there’s really nothing that I need to make me want to get on my bike. Riding is like breathing to me, I would most definitely die if I didn’t ride. While I realize that statement seems a little extreme, it’s kinda how I feel.
So, I find myself sitting in a hotel room in Washington DC thinking about the fact that right now I should really be fighting with my bed in Gainesville so that it will free me so that I could get up and ride. Instead, I’m sitting here pondering my latest life challenge that is completely un-cycling related.

The same way that I am passionate about cycling, my brother is passionate about doing Tough Mudders. I mean, the guy tore an Achilles’ tendon while living in India, rehabbed it, and then trained to do a Tough Mudder for 8 months when he moved back to the U.S. He did it and then he was hooked. He told me that he wanted to do a “sibling” Mudder to which I agreed half-heartedly (I always wanted to do a Tough Mudder but cycling was my thing then, I didn’t want to run anywhere). He had all kinds of plans to do tons more and then, in the true nature that is our precarious relationship with the universe and injury combined, he tore his OTHER Achilles’ tendon last summer. I talked to him the same day and he sounded pitiful. I already knew what was going to happen… And happen it did. I promised to do a Tough Mudder with him as his Christmas gift.
So here I sit, staring at the Potomac River and Georgetown across it pondering our sibling Tough Mudder in two days and wondering what the hell is wrong with me. I constantly dream of making my body ride a bike 100+ miles up some gorgeous mountain where I will have incredible views and adversities that I’ve overcome to write about. Instead, on Saturday, I will be forcing myself to jump into ice water, to be electrocuted, to be teargassed (really, wtf?), to be caked in mud, to do other ridiculous obstacles, and even to RUN (a lot)! Just as in cycling, I don’t like to know the truth about what’s coming. But, also as my coach loves to tell me the truth, so does my brother. (That’s how I found out about being teargassed!) I’ve looked at the map but tried not to study what obstacles we’ll be doing because, honestly, I do better with convincing myself to go forward when I have no clue what’s around the bend.

So, my nothing has become something. Not quite the something I had planned for but a something nonetheless. Now all I can do is bide my time until Saturday, take in some sites in this beautiful city, and pray that I make it through the Tough Mudder with all my body parts attached and unbroken.

Here’s to great ideas and super ridiculous Christmas presents!! Who knows… Maybe I’ll end up wanting to be a Mudder Legionnaire!! After all, I clearly enjoy torturing myself…