I wanted to challenge my limits, mentally. It was the mental challenge that had inspired me to do this. These were my limits at that point and I was pushing them. I reminded myself of all the things I had been through mentally before. I told myself that 'the body achieves what the mind believes' so get on with it!
It was a beautiful experience! I spent a lot of my time on the bike reflecting on how I had got to that point, realising how far I had come and of course, wondering if I would dry out before the next rainstorm!
I would growl to myself “why on EARTH are you doing this?!” and then chuckle as I responded with “Because of THESE moments, now come on, dig deep!”
Being out there on a long stretch of open road, seeing a thunderstorm rolling towards you. Realising you have to keep pedalling into the distance as far as you can see, doing so and getting drenched as the thunder rain rolls in. The mix of emotion right then is exhilaration. It made me high. My little legs were going round and round like crazy, fuelled by determination against the weather and excitement at feeling so incredibly alive in the moment!
On this ride I was acutely aware of the parallel with life, and for me, life is a mixture of good and bad, ups and downs, happy and sad, success and failure. We might not like it, we might try to avoid the bits we don't like but it's the embracing of all of this that makes us a deeper, better developed person.
I thought about my anxiety. For me, one of the best ways to overcome it was to stop running from the emotions, turn and feel them. Let them wash over you and realise that just as the waves wash over the sand, so the feelings wash over you. Life is bigger than what we feel. At risk of sounding weird, we are nothing, and yet we are everything.
As with my bike ride, I rode on. So with life, I move on. Through all the ups and downs, the Sun and rain. Just keep going.
You have not come this far to only come this far. Don't stop now. Life beckons to you, allow yourself to move through life like the river moves through the landscape. Breathe and keep going.
So, what's next? ;)