One of my biggest turning points last year was a long weekend in Mallorca, it was a big week for me, with a lot of climbing and mileage. Plus I picked up the most horrendous cold with a very chesty cough, which made me wheeze when climbing and resulted in having no voice for the stay.
On the last day, I was exhausted, ill and ready for home. My group had other ideas however, and wanted to cycle to the Cap Formentor and the Lighthouse. After an internal battle, I decided that I didn’t want to be left at the hotel so after a ‘small’ tantrum and promise of Prosecco and Paella on our return, I set off with my head under a big grey cloud.
The ride to Cap Formentor is an out and back ride, and all the way there all I could think was “I don’t know how I’m going to get back”. It was really worrying me, and was not a happy cyclist at all. Once I arrived at the lighthouse, I didn’t even take a picture, I just grunted and turned round. Not one of my finer moments that’s for sure.
On the way back I was a mess, I just couldn’t see how I was going to manage it. But I realised this internal (and somewhat external) monologue of negativity was happening all the while I was turning the pedals. I wasn’t stopping saying I couldn’t do it, I was cycling and telling myself I couldn’t do it. Once I realised what was going on, my attitude changed 180 degrees. I WAS DOING IT! I WAS GOING TO MAKE IT!
I had a sticker on my top tube that said:
“Courage. We all Suffer. Keep Going”
Every time I wanted to give up, I would look down at the sticker and keep going. This really flipped a switch in my brain, you’re the limiting factor, I was doing these things all the while I was telling myself I couldn’t. What would happen if I started believing in myself?!
Every time I’ve had a tough day on the bike, I remember how I felt that day and how just a little bit of positivity can go a long way…