With one week until I take on “one of the most grueling road races in the world,” I must admit, I entered this race blindly. My heart said “Yes!” before my body and brain weighed in. I wanted to honor my father on Father’s Day weekend. When I began training, I realized this mountain was a bit bigger than myself. If I’d known the monstrosity, I can’t say I would have said yes.
I’m glad I was blindsided.
There are things we take on willingly, but it’s often the challenges we never saw coming that have the greatest impact on our lives.
There’s a big “ROUGH ROAD” sign on a road under construction in my neighborhood. The signs makes me giggle every time. Too bad life doesn’t have such clear warning signage! But I imagine that’s by design.
People think I am brave. I am not. I’m scared. My legs feel weak. My race-prep logistics sit heavy in the pit of my stomach.
The night before the race, I must: eat at 6 p.m., to take my first dose of nighttime medication at 9 p.m., to take my second dose at 1 a.m., to finish my medicine by 5 a.m., to leave time for nausea, stomach aches and dizziness, to get up at 6 a.m., to put something in my stomach and drive to the race course with enough time to stretch, relax, take photos, to cross the start line at 9 a.m.
X-factors I can’t control: will I sleep “well enough” to keep my cataplexy at bay? Will the mountain’s vistas and altitude affect my cataplexy? Will thinking about my dad cause cataplexy? Will I stay hydrated and fueled enough without cramping or injury? Will the winter temperatures and wind towards the summit affect my muscles and core warmth?
I much prefer to gloss over the details, but since this is a blog about “overcoming adversity,” I should probably mention my adversity sometimes.
So yes, I’m scared. Luckily, I’ve felt scared, defeated, exhausted and alone enough times to know that it’s not the end of the road. It’s the beginning. So if you’re scared, congratulations! You are in an unmarked construction zone of life – building a brighter future!
“Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working.”