Every road to success is paved with a couple failures. And while the trails I ride are paved with concrete, I feel like my personal road to the 50-mile challenge has hit some snags. Boy, do I feel like a failure this week.
Let me start by admitting that I haven't really trained in the past six days. It's been a tough couple of weeks for me personally, and unfortunately it's effected my cycling. Searching for inspiration simply isn't cutting it anymore.
Last weekend, I even went so far as to stand in the sun for five hours at the Indy Criterium. Yet, I've still failed to find motivation to ride this week. Even though watching professional cyclists speed through downtown streets was amazing, somehow afterward I remained discouraged. They're just so damn skinny. Their spandex suites don't buckle or bulge at all. They certainly put my own miserable attempt at 50 miles to shame.
For some reason, I just feel despondent and downtrodden at the thought of donning my bike shorts. Simply put, I've landed in some kind of cycling funk. And I'm not sure how to climb out of it.
It doesn't make sense to me. I met a big training goal during my last ride: 30 miles on the Monon, my target distance. You'd think, with a personal success like that, I'd be more motivated than ever to keep plugging away on those pedals. Instead, I feel like I've let myself off the hook.
For a long time, I've held the mantra: "True success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." And now I realize that in Winston Churchill's terms, true success really ain't easy. A big revelation, right? (Read: sarcasm.) But to put it into context, enthusiasm has always been something I've had in spades. An internal compass that's always lit my way. Now, I'm feeling a bit lost, particularly in light of a recent personal lack of enthusiasm for ... well, anything.
Just to be clear, I'm not quitting this journey. But I would feel dishonest if I didn't confess my real-life challenges. How to overcome them is the real question. But just how do I go about injecting ardor into this adventure? Perhaps a reward system? Maybe group rides? Or even a return to joyriding in exchange for the distance-oriented training trips?
For now, I'm mulling it over, with a simple message in mind: Failure is likely, but laying down in the face of failure is unforgivable. Right now I'm in a valley, waiting for a second wind that will push me up the mountain. And hopefully, by fessing up, I'll stumble out of this funk and onto my bike.
Tell me what you think. How do you motivate yourself? What kind of obstacles have you faced on a personal journey?