Day 99: 26.0 miles/1:30
“Celebrating something every day is always a win. When you win every day, you cannot lose!”
With two rides to go, it seemed almost appropriate that the second to last ride would feature an unpredictable obstacle. Rarely is it cold, windy and wet this far into April in Arizona. Yet today we had one of those instant drops in temperature and a moisture system that forced me on the road in riding clothes I hadn’t put on since late February or early March. It was as if I needed to be reminded that not everything is always easy when it comes to our commitments.
I had not been challenged much lately. In fact, my mileage is up, I was into a near mindless habit, and I was feeling pretty relaxed about hitting 100 tomorrow. This weather interrupted me little routine. I spent all morning trying to calculate when I could ride, what bike I should ride on, and how much to bundle up. Then, when I first started the ride, I was calculating what route to take to achieve the barest minimum as it related to the one-hour per ride commitment.
About one-fourth of the way into my ride I found myself frustrated at my own bad attitude. Here I was trying to simply get through my commitment and not push or celebrate. I started thinking about one of my favorite 100 Pedals quotes and posts, “When the going is easy and the wind is at your back, push hard; when the going gets tough, push harder.” This was no time to simply get through, this was one of those rides where I needed to at least celebrate a decent and committed effort. That is when today’s ride changed for me and I engaged with a better effort and a much better attitude.
Most of what I have been experiencing the last few weeks has been very positive, effective celebrations. It is easy for me to feel good right now about all that I have been able to enjoy and embrace through this 100 day effort. But, let’s put this into perspective. I am not dealing with a life and death battle. I am not battling a terminal disease, mourning the loss of a relative, struggling to find a place to live, or recovery from major adversity; I am simply following through on a commitment and an inspirational quest that I challenged myself with. While this has been an effort, every day is easy for me to celebrate accomplishment. In a high stakes situation like Brandon’s, celebration does not come as easy. For his battle has life and death stakes. His accomplishments are measured in smaller doses. And, his progress can be harder to measure.
When I think about the most important lesson I have learned about 100 Pedals and those that are fighting big battles, the one thing I can say with great certainty is that you have to be able to celebrate a success, an accomplishment, or gratitude every single day. Too many people struggle to take big chunks out of big challenges and then burn out when progress appears impossible. Progress is progress, no matter the size or scope of the success. Celebrating something every day is always a win. When you make time to win every day, you start to win every day. When you win every day, you cannot lose!