Torture Chamber AKA Sufferlandia
There truly are few things as dreadful as sitting on your bicycle in a cold, damp basement riding spinners or rollers in the heart of winter. The monotony and lack of visual stimulation is stifling, even with all the tools available both affordable (Sufferfest videos
) and not (wahoo trainer
). It is at such times that one must pull from an inner reserve, one must conjure up memories of epic climbing conquests, blazing fast group rides or races, perhaps even failures to stay motivated.
My de facto motivational scene was my spring 3 day “riding camp” last April. A three day organized ride in the coastal flat lands around Oriental North Caroline. On the third day after turning cranks for 160miles (since there is no coasting in the flat lands), with tired legs, I got on a four man train comprising primarily of locals. Unaccustomed to such long straight roads, whenever I took my pull, I always planned to pull till we made a turn then get off ( back home a road is never straight for more than 400yards). It did not take me long to realize that the roads there went on into the horizon, straight as an arrow.
Needless to say, all I could see for the last 15 miles was the wheel in front of me, as I struggled despairingly to hang on to it. The group did all they could to drop me as I became dead weight but I hung on with as much pinash as the parasite I had become could muster… I would not make the rest of that ride on my own, I knew it.
There were many times my body begged me to ease off, let them go, it’s not worth it. I was so close to the end of the ride but yet so far. In my life I have been struggling with the same sentiments, sometimes we hold on so long waiting for a breakthrough that never seems to be coming. Like a tempo ride, your heart seems to redline right before you hit a slight downhill or your turn on the front is over and you get some reprieve. We get similar compulsions, an inclination to go it ourselves, abandon the struggle
. The fact is we need that wheel to hang on to, we need that stronger rider to pull us to the finish line.
In my times of turmoil and dejection the wheel is so love to hang on to is Isiah 40:30-31: even the youth grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.
I love that….