In my mid-thirties I began to do a lot of cycling. When I mean a lot, think of Forest Gump and his running, and you are getting somewhere close to my obsession with endurance cycling. I was spending 40 or 50 hours a week on my bike.
I cycled through rain, snow, all day, all night, across town and cities and countries. I slept with my bike in my bedroom and beside me in bus shelters in strange towns. I told myself I was training. Maybe I was. But more likely I was running away from the demons inside my head.
I remember reading about a cyclist who trained for The Race across America ( a non-stop 3000+ mile bicycle race) which the top guys complete in around seven days. This competitor simulated the boredom of long-distance cycling by riding for 24 hours at a time on a stationary exercise bike facing a blank white wall.
No music, no TV, nothing to distract him from the boredom and the pain in his legs except his thoughts. Brutal but probably effective. The race would feel easy by comparison because he would be able to see and chart his progress.
Life is like this too. The secret of happiness is to see progress. Are you thinking about and celebrating your own? It’s a vital part of achieving your goals. As you mark off the waypoints towards a long term goal, you will feel your spirits rise.
Sometimes progress is not obvious and needs to be re-framed in our head. Take Thomas Edison and his quest to develop the lightbulb. “I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” He understood that these failures were part of his journey towards his goal.
Take a moment at the beginning and end of each day to tick-off your progress towards your goal. Make time to celebrate the small milestones. Keep your energy high, your belief in yourself strong and one day you will achieve your dreams. Remember, we climb the mountain, not in giant leaps but one small step at a time.
PS. For those who fancy a bit of a giggle! Below is a video that sky news did in 2007 about one of my cycling adventures with my mother.