Does Make me Wonder

I know tomorrow the world will be full of posts about the Super Bowl, the commercials and lady Gaga. I am happy to say I didn’t watch a play of the game. Quite honestly, I didn’t care this year.

Instead, for the last 3 or 4 days I have been reading quite a lot. In fact I finished two books in that same time frame. One was an EXCELLENT science fiction book, let me know if you are interested. The other was Rainier Sojourn: Around Rainier on the Wonderland Trail, by Daniel Saviers. Not bad at all.

This is not a book review of either book, though I may do one about Rainier book later. Instead, it’s a post about one line in the book. Near the end, when they were making the final push to the car, the author wrote:

In my limited experience it seems that it is the mind that gives up before the body is defeated…

Wow that got me thinking….

When I read that, I had two events pop into my head. Two of which may actually prove the hypothesis of Mr Saviers.

The first was the Crater Lake Century.

tired

Take a close look at this cyclist. He is NOT a happy man! This was a brand new bike, the temperature was in the 90s, and he had already done no less than 3 tough climbs, totaling more than 3000 feet and he had more to come. About this point in time, his head was telling him he was a dumbass!

It wasn’t long after that our hero found a place to sit in the shade, and did just that. I sat, drank water, and contemplated life a bit. I knew if I sat long enough, a van would come along to rescue me and drive me down. And for a bit, I was VERY much ok with that idea. But as I sat longer, I got mad. I spent money and drove hundreds of mile to do this ride. YES the scenery was worth the drive

Phantom Ship

Phantom Ship

But Dammit, I ALWAYS finish my rides! (I am unsure if those words were spoken aloud or in my head) I took one more drink and saddled back up. Soon after the van passed me and I pretended NOT to see it. NO it was not an easy ride from there on, AND, stupid me,  I took the optional “Go to the highest point” turn because, well, its go big or go home! The legs that I thought we done got me out of the hills and back into the flats where I looked MUCH happier

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I am glad I didn’t think myself out of the ride.

2014 was the second 1 day STP. 206 miles in one day and again it was hotter than hell!

I stopped at every official food/water stop, convenience store, and front yard lemonade stand to try to stay hydrated. Even so, at 25 miles left to go, I was done! Stick a fork in me. I quit. I called for a ride….

Michelle knows me. ESPECIALLY when it comes to rides. She could heat in my voice I was tired, but she heard I was NOT done. Like a good coach, she told me in NO uncertain terms to get my ass BACK on that bike. “You can do 25 miles! Its nothing!”

Saddle up I did, and sure as hell, Tony made it over the finish line in typical Tony fashion

stp

A few minutes later though, I the adrenaline was gone, and I looked like this, semi comatose! Half a beer and part of a plate of pasta later, I was asleep!

STP

Luckily we had good recovery plan! Notice the wine class and water bottle!

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In both cases, my legs proved they still had the power to get me to the end, it was my head that was saying enough is enough!

Surprisingly, the RAMROD in 2015 I had no issues.

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That was a bitch and a half! And at the end I was tired

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But at no point did I ever falter. The mind and body were lock step on this one. There was nuthin gonna stop me! And it didn’t.

WAIT! I just remembered one more time! Chinook Pass!! The first time I tried it, I let my head talk me into turning around. It looked hard, I was tired, and I gave up! The author is correct! I kicked myself quite a while for doing so, and the next time, I made it! PROOF that the head can screw you over!

image

But then, I pondered a bit more, and my thoughts went to my attempts at climbing Mt Rainier. Here you see a VERY unhappy Tony. At a place called Disappointment Cleaver Tony gave up the climb here, not once,  but times.

Rainier

Some things, no matter how hard you try, just keep coming back to haunt you. Did my head talk me into quitting? I tell people that my body shuts down at 12,500 feet, but is that an excuse?

On a bike, I am supremely confident.

image

I now know in my heart that any ride I start I will finish.

But that is a big assed mountain

imagecamp muir RainierPart of me will always wonder what woulda happened if I just got up, pointed my nose uphill and kept walking….

We will never know though, I have hung up my ice axe and crampons. The bike and I have become one. There are still plenty of adventures to come with those 2 wheels.

But remember, When you are considering something new. Or, you are in the middle and thinking of quitting. Your body is tougher than you think. DON’T let your head talk you out of it. When you want to quit, stand up, saddle up and keep moving. There is a damn good chance you will make it.

This is why this now hangs in my cubicle

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I guarantee you I will do JUST that! Like the wind!

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6 Responses to Does Make me Wonder

  1. Wot!!!!! Puking stops you moving, ah you youngsters. More seriously I like this post and can empathise with this. Takes a lot for me to give up, some just call it obstinacy! Turned back a few times on mountains, usually because of big storms coming in fast. There’s usually another day and if not, well that’s just the way it goes.

    • Exactly, I was stormed off Mt Adams, that one hurt as I KNEW I was going to make it, but safety before summits is a no brainer.

      And I concur, there is a strong amount of obstinacy that has to go into a cyclist life, and I KNOW my wife would agree with you!

  2. OK, but this does not apply to going to work on a snow day! I hope you are staying at home. Oh, and regarding book reviews, go for it! You do a great job of telling about the parts of a book that really spoke to you, and why you agreed or disagreed, yet without revealing the whole story — so that a reader can discover more of it for themselves.

    • I am at work today 🙂 We had just over an inch up in the Lynnwood area. Michelle and I got up, and drove in together. 5 minute commute makes it easier and we have All Wheel Drive

      No worries! the bike is safe and warm at home!

  3. sarburch says:

    I love this line in the book–totally true! However, I’m curious what happens when the heart is factored in…What happens when you heart truly isn’t into something? Can the almighty wise Tony rewrite the quote to consider what happens to the body (and perhaps the mind) when the heart isn’t into something?

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