New Year. New target. An alternative resolution.
I might be a bit late to the table on this, but we’re two weeks into January and I just wondered, how many resolutions are still intact? Well done if you’ve stuck with it this far. No really, well done. It’s just, well, I have an issue with resolutions. It’s their vagueness. The fact that the whole premise teeters exposed on foundations built thinly out of will power, and in a society where we have grown accustomed to the comfy seat, procrastination and laziness rule supreme. It’s incredible just how quickly the excitement and adrenaline that comes with the dawning of a new year fades away. This would be the year everything changed and yet look how easy it is for that old routine to bully your optimism out the door, out into the cold and rain where you should be training. And there’s another problem; if you haven’t exercised in a long time then trying to start in the middle of winter can be borderline impossible.
But wait, before you think that this is a pessimistic post, bashing all that’s good with turning over a new page in your life, I’d like to offer an alternative. Something which prompts you to work through that spare tyre acquired in a bleary-eyed blur of Christmas excess and to push on over the col.
It’s a simple (and subtle) variation – instead of announcing, into a full pint, to a room full of mates that this is the year you “ditch the tube and ride to work”, instead of throwing money at that smug gym rep, scare yourself – set a target. Enter a race. Something harder than you think you can do. Enter a sportive – 50-miles, 100-miles, 200-miles…whatever – on a whim. Do it whilst you’re on your lunchbreak. Do it now. Commit to a definite date and tell people you’re doing it. Tell everyone you know. Announce it on Facebook. Shout it on your crowded tube carriage. Telling people you’re doing something is easy, and makes you feel pretty good. Telling them you didn’t do it because you couldn’t be bothered or didn’t feel you trained enough or gave up, is hard, and feels pretty lame. And it becomes harder the more people you have to tell. Now, with that immovable deadline looming over you, that ride to work suddenly looks like a great idea. You’ve paid. You’ve entered. You’re committed.
This deadline will follow you around. It will nag you and prod you in the ribs when you start slacking. So buy a bike, or dust off the one that’s been doing nothing for too long, weather proof yourself with some of the great kit on Alwaysriding and get out there. And what’s even better? Do it all with a mate.
What’s my target? On July 21st it’s the 330km Tour du Mont Blanc Sportif. It’s a beast of a ride and one I’ve finished twice before, but third time lucky and all that, makes this the year to really give it a good thrashing. Really push myself. And just to mix things up and keep me on my toes, the weekend before I’ve entered the 210km Salzkammergut Mountain Bike Trophy. Am I scared? Hell yes, but come July I fully expect to write a “this is how it went” post, rather than a “oh yeh, that race, ummm… well I didn’t actually go in the end” piece.
If you fancy coming along to the Tour du Mont Blanc, or have already entered, send me a Tweet - @RossLovell – and I’ll add you to our Strava group.