Climbing. I both love it and hate it at times, and today's course was filled with some epic climbs.
I slept really well last night, but Sunday night I got only about three hours of sleep. For some reason, it felt like I was riding on Sunday's, not Monday's night of sleep and I struggled.
Once again, the negative thoughts came and I had to fight them too. While spinning my little heart up the first major climb, I started to dwell on some of those unproductive, crap thoughts. In this negative mental space, another rider asked me what my jersey represented. I was happy to tell them about the Amy D Foundation, who Amy was and how the foundation has helped me as a developing cyclist.
When the fifth person asked me about my jersey today, I realized what would help me break through and beat the negativity that plagued me.
I didn't know Amy, but I have read about her. She was a woman of strength and integrity. An athlete that I aspire to be like. This was a thought that pushed me up the steep climbs.
Another woman came to my mind. My mother in-law, Janis Carelock. She too was a woman of strength, integrity and faith. She was a woman that inspires me, and I miss her dearly.
For some reason, taking my mind off of myself helped a bit, and I was able to finish as strong as I could. I took what was given to me today, and gave this stage my best.
I'm acutely aware of the learning and growing that I need to make it in this sport. Each day of this race is giving me more experience, and I am thankful. Tomorrow is, once again, a new day and I will ride with strength and integrity.