My Yoga teacher has told me many profound things, but probably none that ring more true to me than this one… “If you fight pain, you have pain and suffering… If you embrace pain, you just have pain… Which would you prefer?”. It’s a tough concept to grasp. Pain hurts and it’s only natural to try and prevent it’s occurrence. You can waste a lot of energy on a bike trying to fight pain. You waste energy being angry at it, you waste energy crying and you waste energy giving up then having to start again. This week has been a pleasantly challenging week for me. Three days in a row this week, I arose early at 4am to be on the trails or on the road by 4.30am. It was, to be honest, not by choice but necessity. I’m one of these people who can’t say no… I take on project on top of project, and hobby on top of hobby, and love it all too much to let anything go. So I leave myself with no choice but to create time to do these things, and sometimes it means I burn the candle at both ends (in fact, a lot of the time it means that). Some people would say it’s crazy and unsustainable, others would say it’s dedication and I am “making things happen”. To be honest, I wouldn’t have it any other way. There is a distinct satisfaction in holding down a full-time job and having the motivation and drive to force myself out of bed early to train, then heading out on some incredible adventures when I’m not doing anything else. And in actual fact, it’s a fantastic time of the day to train… Instead of training tired after a day at work, I can punch out solid efforts when I am “fresh” (maybe not quite the right word) first thing in the morning. Sometimes it’s cold, and often dark and raining, but once again, it’s about embracing that pain to achieve a purpose.
So after making it through my Tuesday to Thursday early morning madness in one piece, I again found myself crawling out of bed at 4.30am on Saturday morning to make my way to Auckland for the Woodhill 360 6 hour race. I’d packed the van the night before, but by the time I got away, I was running about 20mins late. I was cutting it fine arriving at the race 10mins before registration closed and race briefing was due to be held. I was left with just enough time to get dressed, drag my bike and gear tub out of the van, and put my number on the handlebars before we were standing on the start line. As bizarre as it sounds, I may have done myself a favour… The running around after sitting in the car for three hours definitely woke me up and got the legs working again! Tim Farmer had done a spectacular job of pulling together a good-looking event as his fundraiser for world champs, and there was a pretty solid field of riders lining up, especially for the solo events. The weather was a bit grey and drizzly, but perfect. The temperature was good, and the drizzle was nice and refreshing.