Friday, November 5, 2010

A Caveman Clydesdale Begins to Evolve

So, a group of us saw this movie last night.  These are close friends of mine, but hardcore cyclists.   These are people that casually try to decide if they really want to do the 109-mile route of El Tour de Tucson, or do they just "dog it" and do the 80-mile.   It's as if they are trying to decide what else they have going that day.  "Hmm, I do have to get to Costco later in the day...I guess I'll just do the 80-mile, so I can get on with the rest of my Saturday".  I admire them, but can't hang with them on the bicycle.

At the end of the movie, some people were making plans for a weekend ride.  They used to invite me and I almost always said "no".  Their rides always seemed to be at least 28 miles, sometimes 40 miles.  Given that I weighed almost twice what they weigh and am still a bit to new to cycling...I would always say no, but I'm grateful that they kept asking.  Good friends, great athletes...but out of my league.

They started talking about their planned ride for tomorrow (not asking me, which is fine).  I started realizing that Samson (my boy) and I are going to do a longer ride tomorrow too.  Maybe 30 miles...maybe more.  And I slowly began to smile deep inside as I realized the following:

Maybe I'm not out of their league too much anymore 

My ride with Samson might be as long as their planned ride.  Interesting.

I am not as heavy as I used to be.

My legs are much stronger than they used to be.

I may even be doing more cardio workouts per week than some of them (though I am still not at their fitness levels).

Even a simple 25-mile ride is beginning to feel like a fun, casual ride right now (with Samson).  When we finish, I always know that I am feeling like I am just warming up and ready to really get a lot more miles in. 

I guess I am beginning to realize that I have the strength and stamina to go much further on the bike than I have been going.  This means that I need to build in time (2-3 times per month?) for much longer rides to see how far I can go at this point.

Just another lesson that some of us really hold ourselves back.  It makes me wonder about all of you and your stories. 

What was your "a-ha" moment where you realized that you were capable of more than you had previously thought? 

What was that moment when your eyes clicked open and you focused more on what you could become, rather than what you had been?


Dr. Fat To Fit said...

That is so awesome. You really have to change the way you think about yourself. It's hard. My A-HA moment was the first time I ran that 25min in C25K. Because I have never, ever, ever ran before in my adult life. Not ever. And I really didn't know if I could. But I did and it changed everything in my head. Thanks for reminding me of it.

BTW-kick Alan's ASS! Ha ha ha ha!

Tricia said...

What an amazing moment

RockStarTri said...

I'm considered one of "those" people but I wasn't always.

I think you should try a ride with the big dogs. You may not be able to keep with them this time but maybe you will. Then go and ride with Sam.

Part of the transformation from won't to can't to can....

Raegun said...

Oh Clyde, I hope I have one of those moments next week! I was actually just blogging about the fact that I still feel like the "old me" and hope that doesn't stop me from getting in some good exercise with one of my work friends this week. Please stop by and give me some advice. ;)

Luke said...

I think my first a-ha moment was when I first started losing weight. During my second week I started losing about a pound every two days. This was during losing my first 20 pounds. Since then I have a-ha moments at every new PR, my first 50 miler, 5k 2nd place. My first 10 mile run and my first tri were big ones. I felt like I was walking dead, but it gave me motivation to keep pushing and I think the confidence alone made me faster.

Patrick Mahoney said...

The a-ha moment is going to be on the mental plain. I'm sure you could go do 50 right now physically. I say you join them for a ride. What's the worst thing that can happen? You get dropped. Maybe it's a no drop ride? Then the worst thing that happens is they wait. Either way you'll get through the miles.

Patrick said...

Cool moment for you! Very cool.

Aha moment, hmmm... I seem to be building u smaller moments into a grand momentum. But when I got on the scale & realized I had dropped my 25th pound I recall believing that this time I can go all the way and get this done.

Have a great weekend!

Debbie said...

Wow a 30 mile bike ride and I am just up to 3 miles. My Aha moment was when I stepped on the scales and I was below 240 lbs..

Megan said...

I'm sure that felt great to have that moment when you felt at the same level as the other guys. :) I remember one time being invited to swim with some ladies training for a 70.3 and they were experienced swimmers, I was nervous. I was able to keep up and felt so awesome afterwords.

I Said So... said...

My aha moment was about 2 weeks ago...I kept defeating myself. For some reason, it has just clicked and hasn't been that difficult (yet). It's just food---that's what I have been telling myself. It's been working this time. Today is the time to do it, not tomorrow.

Glad you're doing the Throwdown. :)

Alan (Pounds Off Playoff) said...

Clyde, great post. This transformation is so important, yet difficult to arrive at. I'm still pondering. One interesting thing for me is that I've found some new habits that are now "me". The latest is that I don't drink diet soda. DC is probably not the worst thing in the world, but I've downed a lot of it with junk food and just decided to try not to have it any more. Now, it's just something I don't do. I've made that mental shift. Could use it on a whole bunch of other topics. Anyway, great job with your new day in cycling.

ThatNoiseInYourEar said...

I'd say you were never out of their league. You just thought you were. Like RockStarTri and Mahoney mention. You can probably ride 50; and if not, what is the worst that can happen? you might be riding by yourself for a part of the ride. Didn't you ride 35 miles last year? And maybe those people aren't out to drop newcomers on their ride. Maybe they just want to socialize while everyone exercises.

Bruce said...

One of my A-Ha moments was not long after I started mixing in running with my walking after losing about 60 lbs. I kept going a little further each time. It gave me courage to sign up and then finish a 10K and later a half-marathon. A year ago, I didn't think that would have ever been possible. I've lost over a 100 lbs now. I now know I can do hard things!

Susietri said...

For me, it was totally unrelated to racing and triathlon but simply life. A couple of years ago my husband and I were "frolicking" in the water with some friends who were over a decade younger than us. We were climbing up and jumping off a raft, swimming to shore for a drink, back to the raft etc. I suddenly realized that I could keep up with them, no problem. Most people my age couldn't have done that. It was even sweeter because they were all in really good shape themselves.