Each time I feel the increasing drive to train and hurt, it seems to correspond to a decreasing level of happiness and satisfaction. But training helps, putting your body through the same amount of pain that you mind is going through – it’s almost like an alternative to self-harm and cutting.
Someone once told me that I should get a pet dog, so I could talk to it and it’ll love me more than it loves itself. No, too much commitment, I said. I have to feed it, take care of it and take it for walks. My bike, that’s different. It goes through hell with me, it’s there when I’m hurting the most, it needs minimal care, and doesn’t get upset when I neglect it for a few days.
And so I ride, hard and long. If anything is for sure, it is that I’m happy when I’m riding, truly happy. And for once, the expectations and competitiveness doesn’t kill the love for cycling. But what’s best is that training pays off, unlike many other things. I’m faster than I’ve ever been, and feel as if I can go faster. At some points, you start being uncertain and afraid of putting more hope into getting faster, but we should never be afraid of putting in the hard work, and never fear the big dreams. I’m running faster than I ever have, if I can run a 47-min 10k after a swim, I believe I can go under 45 min fresh. If I can average 35km/h on my 60km bike rides, I can do a 40km time trial in slightly over an hour. If I can swim 27:40 in the lake, I can swim a sub-27 min in the pool.
People have been telling me that I’m going over the top with my training and expecting too much of my body; that I’m too hard on myself. But as they say: if your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.