I press Play and step back. I throw a leg over to my bike, it’s 11:59, time for an hour-long slog on the turbo…
BASED ON AN ACTUAL EVENT
I start pedaling. I am looking forward to getting a good sweat on but sure wish I’d be doing that on the road in the 75 degree spring heat…
ONLY THE DEAD HAVE SEEN THE END OF WAR.
[Thinking to myself] “Nice warmup… Easy gear, take it slow for the first five”…
[The camera sweeps over a gaunt man, wrapping a dead body then fades to another covered dead man, this one tied upright to a makeshift wheelbarrow]
SOMALIA – EAST AFRICA
Years of warfare among rival clans causes famine on a biblical scale. [FADE] 300,000 civilians die of starvation.
Mohamed Farah Aidid, the most powerful of the warlords, rules the capital Mogadishu. [FADE] He seizes international [aid] food shipments at the ports. Hunger is his weapon [Ed. So is the AK-47, the villagers have rocks].
I’m well passed warmup pace already and steadily into zone two. It’s been about a minute and a half. I think, “So much for an easy warmup”.
The world responds. Behind a force of 20,000 US Marines, food is delivered and order is restored. [FADE]
Aidid waits until the Marines withdraw, and then declares war on the remain UN peacekeepers.
Beads of sweat are starting to form on my forehead already. I’m averaging about 30 mph and feeling quite good even though the sun is shining and the temps are relatively mild at around freezing. My mind drifts back to summertime. I’m 25 miles into a 35.5 mile ride. I can feel every bump, the texture of the road under my tires. I’m sweating, and I don’t think it’s possible to stretch a bigger smile across my face. I look down to see the blur of rock chips embedded in asphalt whip by. Man, do I miss that… I’m snapped back -
In June, Aidid’s militia ambush and slaughter 24 Pakistani soldiers, and begin targeting American personnel. [FADE]
In late August, America’s elite soldiers, Delta Force, Army Rangers and the 160th SOAR are sent to Mogadishu to remove Aidid and restore order.
The mission was to take three weeks, but six weeks later Washington was growing impatient.
BLACK HAWK DOWN
By now I’m up to speed and not even five minutes in. I’m feeling quite snappy, I’ve already gotten a good day’s work in and I still have a few hours to go after I’m done with my ride…
30 Minutes in and I’ve had a heck of a ride already. Starting to tire a little bit so I shift down a couple of gears and take it easy for a few minutes.
31 Minutes in… [Thinking to myself] “Man, I’ve ridden my ass off. Legs are feeling a little bit cooked. Feet are starting to tighten up a little bit.
32 Minutes in… [Thinking to myself again] “OK, 45 minutes is enough. No mas. 13 minutes to go”.
42 Minutes in… [...] “Three minutes to go”.
43 Minutes in… My accountant calls, needs invoices to pay bills ASAP.
44 Minutes in… [...] “Maybe I should just finish off the hour… What do I think? Oh, hell no, I’m done“.
45 Minutes in… [Talking to myself now] “F*** You, you’re finishing it. 15 Minutes to go, Our Lady of Endorphins, DON’T FAIL ME NOW“!
1:01 pm I’m drenched, pooped and feel much, much, better. Every once in a while I wind up having to push myself through a workout I was very much looking forward to. Today was one of those days. It doesn’t matter how long I’ve been working out, doesn’t matter how fast I can go, nor how slim and trim I am – I have to push through the fuck – as if I was just starting out as a noob.
Oh, and she didn’t fail me. Aaaahhhhhhhhhh. Much better now.