Lessons from the Road: Part 2: Your Will

This may come as a complete surprise to many, but here's the truth: I'm not any speedier, stronger or more special a cyclist after the 4,000-mile ride than I was before the ride. I don't feel any more special or stronger than the girl standing in line to buy her morning coffee, or the college dude working on his final year thesis, or even the elderly gentleman reading his morning papers.

I feel as ordinary as I did before the ride.

While I did not undergo physical or athletic transformation after the ride, I did gain invaluable perspectives that I would not have, operating within the comforts of a routine life.

Discomfort has a way of forcing us out of our skin and teaching us lessons about life that we would not volunteer to learn the hard way.

Being out on the road, submitting my body to grueling physical hardship, battling unpredictable and harsh weather conditions, maneuvering motor vehicles that are hundreds of tons heavier and could cause serious damage to me and my bicycle, I learnt to work within the constraints imposed on me, embrace the suck and emerge victorious despite the setbacks.

I don't say this with arrogance or in total ignorance, but this is my true belief: Anyone can do anything they dream, as long as they WILL themselves to do so.

My success in completing the ride has little to do with my training and physical ability - I can’t emphasize this enough - I am a very mediocre athlete - I am not a super fast cyclist or a Kona-qualifying triathlete - I am a middle of the pack athlete in most races. But what I do have, is an indomitable will. I have an inability to quit what I’ve set out to do.

Give up 2

When the going got unbelievably tough during the 39-day ride and I felt like giving up, I’d raise my fists to heaven and argue with God, scream out in languish, hang my head low, heave deep sighs, and hear a silent whisper in my head, “Not today Angie, not today. Keep pedalling. As long as you do, you will get through today. This is a huge battle. Take it one day at a time.”

Give up 1

That was my constant, if not daily battle with the forces that tried to corner me into giving up my dream.

No amount of physical training would have gotten me that far in the game. It was entirely a WILL that refuses to give up.

Do you have a dream written in your journal or stashed in the forgotten drawers of your heart? What is stopping you from pursuing your dream? A lack of know-how? A lack of resources? A lack of confidence?

First WILL yourself to do so. The baby steps will follow after. I challenge you to do so today.