I played soccer today and got a good amount of playing time but also made the commitment on my training schedule that I would ride today. I figured that the easiest way for me to get on and ride was to pick a street that I knew well and ride it, so Verdugo it was.
I had K drive me and Shamu to the Chevron down the hill and my ride started from there. I figured it was would a good, quick distance ride but what I did not expect, until I started to think about it, was that I was going up-up-up-hill to Montrose. From LA to Glendale the hills were rolling, but steady ..
Before I go on about my ride, I just have to mention just HOW BAD the roads are in LA. I have traveled to developing countries w/ better roads than we have in LA. My new tires already have a nick in them, uggg! As homeowner, and duplex owner in Los Angeles I have to express just how disappointed I am in my city. A city so quick to collect fees, and tax, and yet not so quick to reinvest that money in basic services that are essential to keeping our city “working”. Anyway.
Back to the ride …
As I made my way from Los Angeles to Glendale (who’s roads are 100% better) I started to feel the burn of the steady climb. It was not the type of elevation change that you’d notice in a car, or even walking but on the bike it’s a steady grind in the form of resistance.
As I played with my gears trying to figure them out, and where I was most comfortable the real work became clear. This ride has gone from a get out and get some miles to a hill-climb train — Whatever, I’m in!
Colorado Blvd. in Glendale to a residential neighborhood, Glendale Community College and then the sports complex…. They are all landmarks well known to me but the rolling hills between them have earned a new respect from me.
But the REAL work was ahead.
At this point my legs are starting to burn, and the tiredness is kicking in, but I am NOT giving up. I give myself goals, coach myself a long: “get to the light”, “ride over the hill”, “you can stop at the next light for a break, but if you go beyond it’s a bonus …” I offer myself encouragement too: “good girl, keep going” “you should be really proud, you went beyond your last goal and you have.not.stopped.”
I pedaled, and pedaled, and pedaled … and even when I saw the last climb in front of me, the one that just kept going, and going, and going with a major change in elevation I just kept going, and going, and going.
I made it all the way, I went beyond my goals and rode the hell out of Verdugo Blvd.
Yes, I may have been passed up by more experienced bikers, but I went beyond my own expectations and with every rotation of my pedals I became more and more confident on my bike.
Yesterday, I was a volunteer at Spartan Race in Temecula, and I was placed on the course between two difficult obstacles, near mile 8 of the course and heading towards 4-5 last challenges. I offered directions for what to expect, answer questions, share water/ snacks, let them know what their options are for the next challenge and words of encouragement, I know made a difference to many people: “Make yourself proud today” “This is where it counts, finish strong…” “Every step you take is one step closer to completing your goal” … These words have become my own mantras, and the more you say them, the more you KNOW they are real.
As I train for my own “Spartan” experience, I know that when you put the work in, that results will follow and even though I may have been passed up today, tomorrow that may be different, and no matter what the only person that I need to worry about staying true to is myself, my own goals and knowing that AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY I gave it everything I have.