Friday, July 2, 2010

Measuring Success

I was thinking about all these bike tours and longer distance events that I sign up for and get all excited for. I questioned why I get all into these events and why I want to bother with them at all.
The answer was instant and simple.
I want the work that I'm doing at boot camp to pay off and I want to see where I am, and how far I've come and to be able to set up goals for myself long and short term.

Perfect example is the Century Bike Tour coming up in September. I'm aiming for the 35 mile route. Why only 35? Because it's 5 miles more than I've ever biked. To me that extra 5 miles is a grand and huge goal. Remember when I did the 5 boro bike tour last month I wanted to quit after 15 miles and I dug super deep and found it in me to go another 15 miles before waving the white flag?

For me to tack on an additional 5 miles would be a super sweet accomplishment. I know how hard I struggled to make that 30 miles and how many times I wanted to give up and go home. (Thanks in part to my pals who were on Facebook watching my progress I didn't quit)

To meet that 30 miles again and leave it in the dust 5 miles behind would make me feel really good about myself.
Plus there is this additional challenge of having to carry my 40 pound bike up and down two flights of stairs. (In addition to the subway stairs!)
Recently in Boot Camp I've been doing a lot of work on my legs and getting the muscles stronger and better prepared for biking.
I need to see if it's working. I need to put it to the test. I need to see all my sweat and aches and pains in action.
Do I see the results in class? I sure as hell do!

Yesterday we were using the resistance bands to do a sort of ox draw. We looped the band around our waist and our partner had to make it hard for us to run to the other end of the loading dock. Then we had to switch and we had to pull them.

I was paired with the only guy in the class and while he's not a hulking beast I think we were the closest to each other weight wise. He's a solid guy and he gave me a SERIOUS run for my money both in trying to hold him while he ran and holding me while I ran.
At the end I was so exhausted I flopped down to catch my breath.

As it so happened there was a 35 pound Kettlebell sitting next to me and without thinking I grabbed it and did 10 quick presses with it and then held it in the air with both arms with my legs up off the ground for 30 seconds then I did 10 more presses and I was done.
I realized what I'd just accomplished and it made me smile looking back to a year ago when a 10 pound weight was out of my league.

And of course when it comes to the bike I NEVER EVER EVER would have considered the 5 boro bike tour if not for Boot Camp.
It's not enough for me to see the results in class. I need to see and feel them applied elsewhere. To push myself outside of class.
I like to feel my increasing strength and see it in challenges and since I have no desire to jog the bike is the thing for me.

I'm super excited and confident about the upcoming 20 mile ride through Queens. I'm not feeling anxious about it at all and think it should be a good easy ride and something that I can look back on and say "Look how strong I am! I did that! I finished that!"

The other thing that helps and the other reason I think I do these things is that it helps me stay motivated and work as hard as I can in class if I have a goal or something to work towards and visualize.
If I can say "I have to do one more squat or I have to jog rather than walk because I need to get in shape for something."

Concerts and trips work as well but that's more of a vanity thing and the push or drive isn't as strong to go balls to the wall in class to get ready. (Though this upcoming cruise in October is always on my mind) A physical event, something that I have to invest time and energy in. Something that has a start and a goal are what I push for and enjoy.

No idea what I'll do in the winter months when there are no events! Guess I'll look to May and making the full 42 miles of the 5 boro bike tour!

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