As I pedalled through the rain earlier today, with various parts of me starting to freeze, I wondered what the hell I was doing?
Festive 500. 500km from Christmas Eve to New Year’s Eve.
Sound easy? Not in mid Wales, right by the coast it isn’t! This is the third year I’ve attempted it, and the third year of failure. This is the earliest I’ve admitted defeat though.
Last year I was 80km from finishing, despite gale force winds and torrential rain. The previous year, illness stopped me just after halfway. This year, I’m less fit that I’ve been for ages, both cardiovascularly and with my neck and back inflamed from alternative sitting positions, knees twinging and so-called ‘good’ right hip misbehaving. Nonetheless, I thought I’d see how it went.
Pretty bad, actually.
Many people encourage setting targets. The trouble with my physical and mental limitations is that sometimes they prevent me from achieving those targets. It’s taken me a long time to learn to stop castigating myself in the event of ‘non-achievement’, aka FAILURE. If you have failed something, you are a FAILURE. It positively shrieks at me and makes me feel worse. I still don’t always know when I should give up or plough through, or whether I should even make an attempt in the first place.
So, I’m quite glad this year I’ve decided early on that it’s not going to happen, and that I knew from the start that it wasn’t realistically likely.
I just wish I’d decided that before I did those 12 extra, lonely, rain-soaked, freezing-cold miles earlier.