Dreams - everyone has them, I know I do! Some are impossible, some attainable, some I don't even consider, just make excuses and create my own obstacles. It's what other people do, achieving their dreams. Not me.
The Reve Tour was one such dream. Seemed impossible. I followed the Super Six obsessively, reading daily Twitter posts and Heidi's updates on Peloton. Talked about it to friends during rides. Commented with other people following along on Twitter using the hashtag #revetour, and I continue corresponding with some of them even 2 months later. Now, our conversations have evolved to other things - cyclocross, epic mountain bike rides, travel. But I won't forget that it was the Reve Tour that connected us in the first place.
Dreams don't die once they are achieved. I believe they have lasting effects on people. I'm inspired by others who do what I cannot ever imagine attempting to do myself. I think it's only fair that I should give credit where it's due.
It's been a tough year for me, but I realize that compared to others and their challenges, it's not a big deal. Still, I have struggled with motivation and a frustrating injury. Resorted to chocolate and gelato as my mood enhancers when it should have been resistance workouts and challenging rides. My gym membership went unutilized. (is that a word? I think so.) Dealt with family stress, financial challenges, job issues.
After July, I began running out of excuses. Sure, time is short, and the years are piling up, but I can't let age be a factor. People way older than me do amazing things like run marathons and complete triathlons. Why don't I do these things? One major factor: my mind creates resistance. You can't do that. You don't have the time, the energy, the strength, the toughness, the courage, the confidence.
So, my challenges and goals are different - smaller, more realistic. Forcing myself to go out on a solo ride when I have a chest cold. It's all relative. Sure, it's not riding the Tourmalet with bronchitis, but it's all I've got today. Determination and desire to improve my health. I'm not a competitor. My competition is with the inner doubters, the voices that question my sanity, that tell me lying on the couch with a cat on my lap is easier, more comfortable, safer, better.
No. I want more. Because of Heidi, Jennifer, Kate, Kristen, Kym, and Maria - the minimum is no longer good enough. And they should know that what they've accomplished will have a lasting effect on people's lives.
I tell people who aren't cycling-obsessed like I am about the Reve Tour. They seem impressed, but I don't think they really get it. I don't think they appreciate how monumentally difficult the men's race is, let alone what six non-professional athletic women attempted and finished, despite challenges ranging from crashes to mechanical issues to illness. Deprived of sleep and proper nutrition, but fueled by sponsors and supporters, they did it. They navigated their way across France, finding a way to open that suitcase of courage every day in order to get the job done. This fact continues to amaze me, and yet makes anything I do on a daily basis seem small and insignificant. But it's not fair to compare, it accomplishes nothing - it's all relative. Our own personal struggles are just that - our own. What the Reve Tour has done is to make me aware of what mine consist of, and become willing to stand up to them and challenge them. Defy them. I may not do amazing things, achieve impossible insurmountable goals. But I realize there are some people who will never even ride a bike - at all, ever.
Thank you, Super Six Pack.