Honesty and Self-Improvement

On Thursday two weeks ago, my climbing partner and I competed in the 12 hour competition at Horseshoe Hell.

What does this have to do with a biking blog? Does it explain my time off the bike? It would be easy to say that was the reason, but it wouldn’t be true. So, let’s start this randonneuring thing (again) by being honest. Seems smart, yeah?

Honestly, I have figured out that I try to make radical life changes after becoming absolutely fed up with myself that it drives me to action. I get fed up with not being able to travel the distances that I want to travel. I want to get up in those mountains and grind away for hours along. I want to transcend myself, transcend my weaknesses. Time after time, I planned. Time after time, training began in earnest, only for my efforts to come to nothing after I run out of energy within a couple of weeks. Distance becomes intimidating. Difficulty becomes a sign of weakness. Then weakness becomes proof of lack of ability.

Oh yeah! Rock climbing… So, rock climbing has exposed my weaknesses. My true weaknesses are all mental: fear of failure, an unhealthy relationship with difficulty and pain, and most painful to admit, lack of belief in ability. But in order to uncover all of those, I first had to become comfortable with admitting these weaknesses to myself in a healthy way. Through rock climbing, I’ve learned quite a bit about being honest with myself about personal limitations and testing those limitations. As an added bonus, I have upper body strength and core strength now! The challenge will be taking what I learned from the rock and applying it to the road.

Difficulty and challenge will come, as they very well should. With the right attitude towards them, they can be transformed into gains both on the bike and in the head. Above all else, there’s one things I must keep in mind above all else:

Perfection is an unattainable goal, but true progress is always within reach. All is required is honest effort.

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