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What Happens when You set a Realistic Goal

When a "something you want to do someday" converts to a written commitment things can happen faster and with more intent.   Really I only have them once in awhile.  Recently it has to do with my exercise activity.  It has felt kind of good to go easy on the bicycle after trying to ride hard for a few years. Since I tore my Achilles tendon,  I haven't regained my competitive notions. I now ride with no particular agenda.

I have had several of those " someday somethings" over the years.  I wrote them down by signing up for the events and then knowing that I had to train to achieve them would become somewhat painful. Who wants to get up at 3:00 in the morning to do a century on the bike to train for a future ride? What is it with this "man against self" mentality?

Some people seem to be wired to get motivated by such things.  What about other less "painful" goals?  I want to go to Switzerland too.  Someday I will. There is an element to doing these things that says the timing is right.  The fact is I could go tomorrow if I really wanted to.  It wouldn't be totally imprudent.  I can afford it and I can take time off if I wanted to.  There are just other priorities and the enjoyment I would get from going there says now isn't the time.

One other someday something was to go on an a more adventurous scuba diving trip.  Some friends had gone to the Galapagos Islands.  They were planning another trip.  Several had dropped out. When I heard about it I knew I wanted to go and I signed up to replace the drop outs.  It was about a year away so the preparation and anticipation were half of the fun and the trip was not a let down.  I took one of my sons to share it with and another of my close friends.  

So it was with my first century ride, the Half Ironman triathlon, the double century, a platinum time in a local race event and now a challenging group ride to a local town. The anticipation and planning are much of the growth that comes from the right goals.

My desire to ride from Mesa to Payson someday was just an idle thought for many years.  While they are calling it one it is not really an epic ride nor even that a scenic of ride.   Then a local bike shop and sponsor plan a group event to do it. Like most of my "someday somethings" there may be some hurting to train and then to do it. The pain I experience however is just enough to keep me from sinking into the couch.  Every time I do one I ask myself numerous times; why am I doing this?  I am not sure that I have ever really answered the question.

An injury a year and a half ago stopped my training.  I had no ambition to train after that since I had no goal of doing anything.  Once the goal is set however,  I find that I am no smarter than my dog.   He will fetch the ball until he passes out.  He will fetch and not eat as long as the ball can be chased.   This thing called the subconscious mind has to more than an instinct.  I know the dog doesn't think, "I don't want to chase the ball but I will do it anyway."   I know that I don't relish the uncomfortable instances in these event but I and others do them anyway.

I know I think I want to do the event.  I know if I commit to it I don't want to fail.  So then I have to train.  I didn't want to do a 100 mile ride this morning but I knew I had to.  I blocked other distractions from my mind.  Thank goodness for friends training for other things that let me tag along. I am pretty sure that I would just go and suffer on the event if I didn't have a support group for the training.  Maybe I would train because I do have a desire to do well at whatever I do.

The problem is I know I need to do another training ride even though I don't really know how to train. I just know that time on the bike will make me stronger and able to do the event and not have to worry about it.   I am aware though that you can train and be totally ready and still not feel good or some other equipment factor may come up.  Do you not train because of that?  Well, of course not. Heres to the final event that I think I wanted to do on a bicycle!

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