2 weeks ago
There’s never a day that’s not filled with friendly smiles, multiple invitations to people’s homes to eat, drink and sleep, blue skies, incredible landscapes, amazing spots to pitch my tent to sleep and plenty of miles.
Although right now at nearly 3pm in the afternoon I just can’t be bothered to move..... in fact I haven’t moved in nearly 3 days.
I’m on a mission to get to Uzbekistan over the last two mountain passes I’ll travel this year in Central Asia. But my body right now says differently.... It’s a hard one, for me anyway, the idea of listening to my body.
Years ago as I got into competing at an elite level in Adventure Racing and Mountain Biking I believed the best athletes were the ones that could trump their bodies with their minds. In fact, it was to ignore the body that you could then push at least another 20% harder- and that’s how medals were won, which was what I thought. I was surrounded by incredible guys that pushed their bodies so hard and I looked up to them, envied them so. But I couldn’t see that I was just as determined, as strong and as disciplined, i was also doing the same. I was really so blind to what I had in me.
I raced my first 24hr Mountain bike race only entering a few days (pretty much because someone said I was a no-one so I wanted to prove them wrong.) I rode so hard I was crying at the pit stops with ice on my forearms, I’d fallen off and broken my arm (without realising it) but still I kept going because I wanted to win, on a hardtail not suited to the harsh and rocky terrain, and I won.
I received neurological injury in my feet that plagued me for years and yet 6 days later I lined up for 24hr adventure race and again took the win. Crying in pain as I was running, I raced like I had to prove myself, which I thought I did. But was it worth it the toll it took on my body?
As they say, the only way to find your limits is to go past them and see.
As I became a semi professional athlete I thought I became more in tune with my body, but I felt guilty taking a day off and would push it so much I was tired and flat and it felt like a chore.
Racing in two World Championship events only 6 days apart....see below