I can ride a hundred miles with a smile on my face in five hours, or less, with the right group of four or five guys. I’ve done it, time and time again.
My fitness, especially on a bicycle, is excellent.
This wasn’t always so, of course. There once was a day, just five years ago now, that four miles, 1/25th of that century, at fifteen miles an hour was something I could smile about. My bikes are a lot better that those days but the big difference is in me.
Building up my fitness did not come easy. It did not come naturally. It was hard work and took years (more than three, almost four) to develop my cycling legs even though I’d been running regularly for almost a decade. There were many training days of working so hard at getting faster I made myself throw up for the effort, miles from home.
This level of effort has its payoffs. Chief among those is the fact I have a desk job without the desk job body. In my mid-40’s I have the fitness of a kid. With an exceptionally stressful job, I am able to manage that stress – I have balance and perspective (though not enough to allow stagnation).
The level of effort put forth to achieve what I have only has one down side: It was temporarily uncomfortable.
Many of us have our excuses for refraining from effort, I’ve used one or two myself. The sad truth is, and it is near impossible to understand this without hindsight, in the vast majority of cases, physical fitness resolves the problems used to develop those excuses in the first place.
The reality is, if I never tried, I never would.
I never would have been fit, you don’t get fit on the couch.
I never would have known peace of mind in a hectic world.
I never would have known the happiness I do today.
I never would have known my friends.
I never would have known contentment as I do now.
I never would have known that the sacrifice of temporary comfort was so very worth it.
Ride hard my friends.