I was cycling up a horrible hill the other day, and I hit breaking point. I’d go through all my gears, I was wobbling all over the road, I was blowing big time, like a trumpet solo, my leg ached, I didn’t have the energy to stand up and get the legs driving. I went round the bend to see the climb continued and my heart sank, then I saw it a drop in the curb. That when the demon in my head decided to chime in… “brooksey you fat f**k, just unclip and catch a breather here it’ll be fine no one will know, unless you’re stupid enough to blog about it and even then no one will know as no one reads it anyway.” The demon had been niggling in my head the whole climb, and this was the time I was starting to listen…. I mutter out loud ‘why am I doing this?’
We’ve all had a moment like the above, where we wonder ‘is it worth it’ where it seems easier to quit and like the typical Brit take pride in being plucky. The problem with moments like this are not at the time, it’s when you look back on them in a few years’ time and think ‘if only….’
The reason I’m talking about the above is two fold. Firstly to show as much as I brag about how much I love cycling it still hurts like hell at times! I have a long way to go. Secondly is there is a way to beat moments like this. And to be honest it’s not actually that difficult, all that it requires is to ask yourself a question. The question is ‘why are you doing this?’ What is driving you to do it? We all have a reasons for doing something, be it losing weight, proving a point, challenging yourself; the list is endless. Now at some point that reason was important to you, you set out to do something and nothing was going to stop you.
My Reason? To prove something to my dad. I remember the day he died vividly. It’s a horrible day and I really wish I didn’t. But there is something I try to remember vividly from that day, its pretty much burned in my soul. It makes me wheal up whenever I think of it. There was a line in the note, in a paragraph, that was written specifically for the eleven year old who was about to have his world turned upside down. The line ‘good luck in your new school. Make me proud.’ It’s the second part that is burned in my soul. It’s in many ways a curse, a burden I carry. But it is also my drive. It helps me push myself more than I could otherwise. Without it I’d not have shed the weight, got the new job, picked up and carried on after that day. It is what drives me and what makes me know I’ll succeed on this ride. I have to make dad proud, so don’t tell me I can’t do something cause I’ve got to do it.
So back on the bike, I hear the answer ‘to make dad proud.’ I sigh, cuss to myself for thinking of quitting, stand in the bike and ‘kick’ past the dip in the curb. In the back of my head I visualise the old man pushing me up the hill, suddenly I’m not tired and the summit (I make it sound like the alps I know, but for a fat fuck like me, it might as well have been!) is in sight. When I reach it the feeling of achievement is so much greater than the mercy of stopping. I press on, still twenty miles to go, but I feel pride in what I just did, and somewhere I hope the old man did too.