In our world we have the phrase “Go big or go home”. I have taken this to heart when it comes to celebrating my birthdays. Birthdays are always a milestone. The older we get it seems the more we dread them. That is why, many years ago, for my 30th birthday, in fact, I decided I wanted to change it up and start conquering mountains and taking on new challenges when my annual natal day came around. For my 30th I climbed a mountain, Teddy’s Teeth. I will always remember my 30th because of it.
This year, 28 years later, I am taking on another big challenge. It is probably my biggest challenge yet. I thought with all the training I have been doing to improve my endurance it was time to see if I could cycle 100 miles in one week. This would not have been possible just a couple of years ago. I was really over weight, stressed with work and woefully out of shape. Taking a 3 mile ride wore me out. I didn’t even like cycling but I did it because my husband really enjoys it.
Now that I am 57 pounds lighter, a lot happier and healthier, I thought it was time to take on a birthday challenge worthy of my progress and willingness to push myself physically as well as mentally. The idea to cycle for a 100 miles in a week occurred to me because of a boss I once had. She was an avid cyclist and her weekly average she once told me was 100 miles. It always impressed me. I could never imagine cycling that distance once, much less as a weekly average. I guess it stuck with me.
Taking on a healthier lifestyle means committing to regular exercise and eating well. The reality is it is hard to maintain weight loss and healthy new habits without changing things up regularly. Our bodies and minds look for excuses to shut down, gain weight and go back to the old, unhealthy habits. Research shows that by changing our workout routines and working towards big goals we can continue to better our bodies and strengthen our healthy mindset. That is why you see so many people who have lost a lot of weight train for races and marathons. There are immediate goals as well as a bigger challenge down the road to work towards. Step by step it is achievable…but not easy. You have to push yourself.
Well, I am pushing myself. The goal is to ride at least 20 miles each day for the first two days, since I am starting on the weekend. Then I’ll ride around 12 miles for the next 5 days. I started yesterday and my first ride was 22.1 miles. It felt great…particularly at the end of the ride. I was definitely tired but also amazed that I took the first ride and completed the goal for that day. It is a great feeling. I highly recommend it. It is a challenge I would like to pass a long. I nominate each of you reading this to take on your own personal “100 Mile Journey” challenge to do something you have never done before, in fact never imagined you could do, and start taking steps to achieve it. It is the best possible way to celebrate your vibrance and vitality while showing yourself, and the world, what you are capable of.
Enjoy! And Live Vibrant!