Persevere

Persevere: Through Rain or Shine, Wind or Hills; Persevere.

Outdoor training is in full-swing.  So is outdoor raining. I wish that were as funny as it sounds, but honestly the rain has resulted in some miserable, very difficult situations.  Yet we persevere.  Lately, the definition of “Monday” has been: cold and rainy.  Fortunately, I have survived.  And from finishing difficult rides, I feel greater confidence in our team’s ability to complete the great journey ahead of us this summer.  Allow me to elaborate.  By cold and rainy, I mean 40-degree droplets of water pelting Phoenix and I for longer than 2 hours.  (For those of you who forgot, Phoenix is my lovely bicycle.)

I have a condition called Reynaud’s Condition, which means whenever I am stressed or cold, my blood vessels decide to constrict and stop allowing blood to flow to my extremities (fingers and toes).  During the ride several weeks ago, I lost circulation in 9 of 10 toes, and failed to have any sensation below mid-calf.  Towards the end of the ride, it was taking a very long time for me to clip in because of this.  Yet I know these experiences were not the most difficult things I will have to accomplish on a bike.  There will be difficult days.  And such days magnify the important things.

What is 20 miles in the rain?  What is a mountain range or a relentless wind?  How can I possibly compare an hour of my so-called “agony” to the suffering which cancer brings?  Struggling through the harder moments of training, I must broaden my vision and open my eyes to the pain.  I must recall my purpose here as a rider on the Illini 4000 team.  As the bigger picture comes back into focus, I miraculously find strength to carry on the next few miles.   We will persevere as a team.

Alright, that’s enough fluffy stuff.  There is so much that I want to talk about in this blog post, yet I don’t totally want to bore you.  Beside rain and some chilly days, we’ve also had some extraordinarily beautiful days, which we’ve put to use to ride farther than ever before.  Last Friday, I rode 60 miles to Allerton Park and back with Walder, and it was great to get out for such a long distance ride.  Now do that 70 days in a row and you have the I4K trip.  It’s becoming more real.  Next time I blog, I’ll hopefully talk about non-bikey things.  Have a great week!!

 

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