This morning climbing the big hill on my Tuesday/Thursday-morning bike ride, I had thoughts of turning around half-way, thinking I’d been doing this for 40+ years, maybe it’s time. But I pushed on through, because I’m not ready to face that reality yet, and what would I post here? That the time will come when you have to give up, not put your dreams on hold but realize they’re not possible?
Fortunately I don’t have too many days like this. One thing that keeps me going, pushing through such thoughts, is that I’m 65, been doing this for 51 years, and there has yet to be a day I didn’t feel better at the end of a ride than at the beginning. Or I should say, a day I thought afterward, I shouldn’t have ridden. Or ridden so hard.
I think the key thing is that what I do to myself, pushing myself, is voluntary. I am in control. When you’re dealing with issues at work, or at home, finances, kids, spouses… those can wear you down because you can easily feel like things are happening to you, other have control over you. Your exercise routine is totally you. You own it. You are it. You have 100% agency. You know what you accomplished and nobody can take it away from you. You didn’t let some obscure type of cancer stop you. You didn’t let all those things you *have* to do and aren’t appreciated for or feel like you’re just spinning wheels… they didn’t stop you. The doctor who told you “If you’re tired, just rest” didn’t stop you.
The only person who can really stop you… is yourself. This morning I didn’t let that happen. I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel like giving up. It wasn’t easy. But it was worth it.