Commuting, Setbacks and Motivation

Rainbow Hunting
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Last week I committed to commuting 1,000 miles in August. Not less than 12 hours after typing that post I woke up swollen, looking like a chipmunk, in great pain from a tooth that later that day would need to be removed. After a dentist visit, one less tooth and one more hole in my head I spent most of Friday through Sunday being lazy around the house and controlling the swelling of my face. By Sunday night I felt pretty alright but needed the dentist to confirm this.

With a pocketful of other excuses I can say I haven’t been on the bike since last Thursday, and today is Wednesday of a new week. No commuting miles and not any closer to my 1,000 miles. While for a moment this morning I allowed myself to be frustrated with this fact, I swallowed my shame and remembered I made the decisions that put me in this situation. All I can do is get on my bike tomorrow morning and maybe add some longer routes to my commute strategically to hit the 1,000 mile marker.

Setbacks Happen, Moving Forward is the Success

A wise friend once told me that when a setback, injury or change of course happened they welcomed it with open arms. It shaped them, it allowed them to show true strength, intelligence or humility where some might find frustration, embarrassment or anger. It made them mentally and emotionally stronger, but more importantly a better person than if it was all smooth sailing.

Lately I have been finding comfort in these thoughts and words.

We are only as good as how we handled our biggest failure. Your true character is the one that shows up when you are handling stress, struggles and fear. As an athlete I find excitement out of proving myself when the chips are against me and this commuting challenge isn’t any different. The strongest people I know aren’t numb to their emotions or ignorant to fear, but instead they find the rainbow and learn how to dance in the rain.

How do you handle a setback in training or life?

Everyone handles things differently, how do you handle a setback? How do you stay motivated? Is it through music, an idol or an inspirational quote taped to your bathroom mirror?

5 Comments

  • Edward says:

    Hear, hear!

  • Paul says:

    1000 Miles is a lot of commuting for 1 month. Mine is about 300/mo. Recently I piled up near the end of a long weekend ride & I was off the bike for a week until my stitches were out. The doctor made me promise to wait.
    You gotta have other things in your life. At that time I was in rehearsals for a cool show, so I focused on that. And got rides from my wife who was also in the show & who drives.

  • Perspective. And by remembering we are strong women that have handled setbacks and failure before and can do it again. That is what I love about cycling. It teaches us so many lessons we can apply in other parts of life. How to be passionate, how to focus, self-discipline, and competitiveness( not with others but driving ourselves to be better). I’m currently sick as a dog and I start the Breck Epic in 3 days! I was suppose to at least get on my bike this week but hence no energy. I’m just working through it mentally and confident I can find the strength to get better and race.

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