This is part 4 of the “Training with The Chief” series.
Everybody is afraid of something. For as long as can remember, I’ve never been afraid of anything. I have a healthy respect for a lot of things, snakes, camel spiders, guns, large bikers with Born to Kill tattoos, etc. But I don’t fear anything…or didn’t until I got wounded and ended up with TBI. My brain doesn’t process things like it used too and suddenly the thought of driving 70 miles without my beautiful navigator reduces me to a puddle of nervous sweat and hives. Today was a long ride day for me, so it was time for me to step up and make the 70 mile trip to the Louisiana Rails to Trails (Tammany Trace)…alone. My bride had made the trip with me last week and we marked it in not one, but two GPS units, but still this was a huge, nervous step for me.
I didn’t want to go, in fact I drug my feet, making every excuse not go, but, in the end, I knew that somewhere there is a Sailor, Soldier or Marine out there training, so out the door I went. I loaded up the Chariot, made sure I threw my shoes, helmet, bike flag, granola bars, G2, Shot Blocks, etc in my blue bin and away I went. I drove 15 miles to the highway and decided to start a little pre-ride snacking and reached for a granola bar, only to discover…there was no blue bin. I had put it on the Chariot to roll it down the driveway, and …well…I don’t know where the hell it went after that. So, I turned around and headed back home. Now I truly had an excuse to stay home because now it was even later in the day and things weren’t going well. It was a sign from God, wasn’t it?
No? Look.. there… in the driveway…a blue bin! Imagine freak’in that! Back on the road. The drive to LA goes well, the GPS units work great, I find the Tammany Trace without a hitch and before you know it, the Chariot and I are all alone. I have, without knowing how it has happened, plateaued at 30 miles. As I hit the turnaround at 15 miles, I am already starting to feel the familiar tightening that comes at mile 20. At 25, my knees start to complain. They don’t hurt; they just start to talk to me like two old Ladies on a Central Park bench. They just want to let me know they are there. Believe me I know.
There is a small cut-out I take to add some distance and I watch the GPS click over to 32 miles and my body holds a celebration. Yea, we did it, more than 30, the band starts playing, somewhere inside parts are starting the Conga line, when they notice I haven’t hit the brakes, but instead have driven right past my truck. The Central Park Ladies suddenly take notice and change from their conversational tone to a much sterner one. The truck is starting to fade behind us, and the Ladies voices are no longer stern but downright mad as they remind me that this is an out and back trail. But I ignore them. My back is starting to get the small throb of a spasm so I slide a little deeper in the saddle and then it happens…The magic…THE MOJO!
That moment when you hit your stride and the world stands still and everything is effortless, the push, the pull… no voices. This 40lb touring bike with matchbox car wheels suddenly is going 14, 15, 15.5MPH, and dare I say 16 MPH???? Hurry take a picture! On my 34th mile, now I’m going 16 MPH, where the hell have you guys been? But, no, no complaining, nothing to ruin the moment, because I have been around long enough to understand how rare these moments are, and how they usually happen on the days we don’t feel like working out at all! So, here it is. On a day I had every reason to not drive 70 miles to work out, I pushed myself, and finished with a 2hr 45minute, 42 mile bike ride; busted the crap out of my plateau and I got to experience a rare magical MOJO moment.
Sometime this week you are going to struggle too. You are not going to want to work out. You are going to feel like staying home or driving right past the gym after work etc. It’s time to step up. Stop whatever you are doing right now and get out a marker and write on a sticky note, your hand, the wall, whatever; this word: MOJO! That’s right, MOJO! You need to become part of the MOJO Nation. When you feel like not working out, look at that word and believe you can! You need to step up and find your magical moment, and it’s where and when you least expect it! Do not walk away this week from that moment, but embrace it…Because if I can do this…you can do this. It’s as simple as that.