Day 11: Halfway, OR to Cambridge, ID

Yay, we made it to Idaho! It was much tougher than I expected. And that really was the lesson of today.

The profile of the ride today was almost identical to yesterday. A couple miles longer, but starting with a descent and ending with a big climb and final descent into town. For me, it was a very different ride and my expectations may have been the problem. I thought today would be easier than yesterday. I didn’t really have any good reason to think that, but I did. When it wasn’t, when it was a harder climb than I had expected and when the final descent was into the wind a good distance and with cross winds for the rest, so not as easy as I expected, I struggled mentally. I had to do all the self-talk to keep going.

It is interesting to me how many different people come to me on rides. Today I pulled up many people and images to get through when it was tough. I often think of my dad, occasionally with a few tears. Today I thought about how often he used to text me while I was riding as he thought of this thing or that thing that I should know about. Honestly, it drove me crazy at times, but how I miss it now. Today I would have loved to get little note from him. I think of my spinning classes, and how often I told them they could do anything for 2 min some period. Today, I told myself I could do anything for 2 miles, then 1 mile, then .25 mile. As I pedaled, I said to the rhythm of the cadence “I can. I will. End of Story.” Over and Over. I thought about everything that I have learned from my CrossFit coaches and Soulshine members about determination and mental toughness. I thought of Sydney and how brave she is to be starting something so new and different: she struggles so with change, yet she does it anyway. I should be as brave as she is. I thought of Margaret. She has sacrificed so much for me to be here: a gift that I probably cannot repay.

On long climbs, there is lots of time to think about all kinds of things. For me being able to draw on the strengths of so many makes it easier to smile as the miles go by. I feel grateful to all of you right now. Without you, today would have been much more difficult - and it was plenty hard enough!