Since my birthday last month I have been on my bike every single day, either out and about, or more recently, with the colder shorter days, indoors on my training rollers. Now training rollers are a great way of staying fit, but compared to being out in the countryside, they are B-O-R-I-N-G, pedalling away for hours each week.
To make the sessions more fun, I searched on YouTube for a training video which would encourage me as well as keeping my focus. I found one, a really well made forty five minute session, using video taken during a group ride, with predetermined intervals of effort and rest, I love it and use it every second day, interspersed with thirty minute low intensity ‘days off’.
In a strange way, riding with the other guys on the video, makes me work harder, give that extra bit of effort when my lungs, heart or legs are screaming ENOUGH!!! It’s the perfect way to continue my fitness regime, and with my newly adopted vegan diet, my weight, and more importantly, my body fat levels are continuing to fall.
People have said, about my exercising, and more particularly about my diet, that because I live alone, I have no interruptions, nobody to take my focus away from my goals, nobody to tempt me with other foods or get in the way of my schedule. That of course is true, but neither do I have anyone to ‘watch over me’ to keep me on track, nobody except myself that is.
Temptation comes in many forms. The temptation to add salt to the vegetables, because I was used to the taste, the temptation to crumble under the pressure from others who think being vegan is strange and will lead to deficiencies in my diet, even the temptation, to ease off, slow down, give up, when it’s painful to carry on riding. After all, nobody would know, nobody except me.
Determination is a very satisfying trait, one which I have only fairly recently acquired, but one which pays you back, time and time again, and which stabs you, like a knife through the heart if you decide to give in. Determination is a form of fitness, the more you practice it, the stronger it becomes.
Today is day 235 of my regime. In that time I have cycled, outdoors and in, over 4000 km, burned 130,891 kcal and spent 180 hours on 152 various different sessions. When I started I weighed 100 kg, today I weigh 77 kg, and I haven’t finished yet. But believe me, in all that time, there have been numerous times when I really wanted to stop, give up and call it a day.
Now it may be that I am lucky to have the time to devote to my quest. It may be that I can please myself about what I eat. It may well be that I get an addiction to things, and certainly in the past that was the case. But I think you will agree that I’ve given it long enough to disprove the last of those three.
I’m not special. I’ve done nothing here that anyone else couldn’t do, given the determination. I’m proud of my efforts, though I am disappointed that I let myself get into the situation in the first place, but my determination gets stronger over time. If you are trying to reach a goal, keep going. If you stop, there will only be one person who is to blame, only one who will feel the pain of failure, and that is you.