My goal is to lift weights 3x a week and ride 100–175 miles/week on my road bike. I can accomplish the biking in two to three rides. That gives me the option to rest one day a week.
The gym part is pretty easy because regardless of the weather I’m dry and warm.
Riding my bike get’s a little tricker because of the weather.
Wind is a constant here on the northern California coast. I expect a 10–15mph headwind on my 20 mile ride back home from the turn around every ride.
It’s not a big deal because I’m used to it.
The situation compounds itself when you throw in temperature.
Some days it’s chilly.
All it takes is a look out the window at the trees blowing and seeing the weather station read 47 degrees and it’s easy to bail on that day’s ride.
Things get exponentially harder when there’s wind + chilly temps + rain.
Two weeks ago I needed to get my normal thirty-five mile loop in to hit at least one hundred miles for the week.
The forecast called for 20 MPH winds, a high of 53 degrees, and rain.
Rain forecasts are remarkably accurate in this part of the country because you can see the weather coming over the Pacific from a long way, so I trust the forecasts.
A three hour window appeared that called for no rain.
Plenty of time to get the ride in.
I suited up, got my water bottles filled, put the lights on the bike and opened the garage to head out.
To my surprise it was pouring rain and the wind was stronger than was forecasted for “the window”.
I thought about bailing for a split second as the rain and cold air hit my face.
The next second I said to myself,
“Brandon, you’re already dressed and ready. Let’s just do this.”
And without hesitation I clipped in and headed down the street.
It was miserable. I had a 31mph headwind for fifteen miles. No BS, here’s the weather reading from my Garmin.
These conditions are hard enough. Then add in the 1,700 ft. of hill climbs on this part of the route. Yea, it was really hard.
The saving grace I told myself was that if I could make it to the turn to head home, I’d at least have a tailwind to help push me home.
It was so bad out there that as I was climbing a hill a kind lady slowed down, rolled down her window, pulled up next to me and asked if I wanted a ride home.
I said thanks for asking, smiled, and said I was fine.
You think about a lot of things when your in the middle of doing something really hard. Quitting is one of those thoughts.
What I kept saying to myself was,
“Brandon, if you can make it home it’s going to be SO easy to ride when all you have to deal with is a little wind and some chill in the air in the future.”
And I was right. Every ride since has been a breeze (no pun intended)
Here’s the thing…
It wasn’t in a race, it wasn’t a life or death ride or anything like that.
I put myself in that situation. And…
I believe we all need to do that from time to time.
It builds confidence, it gives perspective of what “hard” is, and makes other hard things easier.
Life is’t always predictable and it’s going to throw some really hard things at you.
These little exercises will help you build up resilience and get through those hard times.
Every once in a while do something physically hard. Something that will not kill you, but is something you’re just not quite sure you can do.
Then do it 💪
Your future self will thank you.
You’ve got to do hard things to do hard things.
If you enjoyed this article be sure to claim your subscription to the weekly email I send out. It’s full of great information and other articles just like this one. This piece is from my 2/18/23, Week 8 update.