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September 7, 2011 / Angela McCuiston

Into the Headwind

I had a LOVELY bike ride today. By some standards it would not be considered as such. Why, do you ask?

Simple, because of the 22 miles, 11 of them were INTO the wind. And not just any wind. Tropical something-or-other Lee blew through here the last few days. I rode down Hwy 98 and up 30-A, which for those who don’t know is right along the Gulf of Mexico the whole way. The waves are up and the wind was blowing big time in my face.

Why would I like that? Well, besides the fact that I knew that I would get to FLY back (oh and I did, it was fun!) was because I knew that mother nature was providing the resistance. It was like a Drill Sergeant: you never knew how long the challenge would last or what it would be. Just when I thought that I was going to get a break, I’d upshift to make it a little higher and I’d be hit with a 15mph gust that almost threw me off the bike. I’d put my head down and push through it…and the wind would let up long enough for me to enjoy the scenery.

Riding your bike outdoors forces you to challenge yourself. You have to peddle yourself back one way or another because no one is going to come get you! And you can’t just get off, like on a stationary bike. Besides this, you get scenery.

I guess that’s it, the challenge is what I’m after. I like being challenged, and the road does that. I don’t know what the wind will do, if I’ll have to be on my toes for potholes, or what, but it’s a challenge to take yourself out so far only to know you have to get yourself back and no amount of whining or complaining will change that.

It’s easy to get yourself off a piece of gym equipment, to walk out of the practice room, to just get up and leave things, but when you are out cycling, running, maybe even swimming if you aren’t in a pool, there’s no one but yourself to depend on to get yourself back.

In the Army, we call that INTESTINAL FORTITUDE.

I like it, but I also like to call it inner strength, and finding out that you really are made of more than you thought you were.

So find your method of challenge – and go discover your own amount of intestinal fortitude! :)

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