"I could never do that," I would tell myself. "That's for skinny people."
Well, I am here to tell you: I did it. I am now a skinny person. I rode 100 miles on Thanksgiving Day, 2014. Here was the route:
100 miles, straight up U.S. 52. For those of you that don't live in South Carolina, that is a 4-lane highway.
For the first 60 miles or so, from Moncks Corner to Lake City, I experienced a strong headwind. At times, I was pedaling uphill, into the wind at about 5 miles an hour. By the time I stopped and took a break, my energy was gone and I thought about quitting.
But then the little voice in my head started talking to me: There is no giving up. Quitting is unacceptable. You've ridden 60 miles, You will ride the other 40 today. There will be no disappointment. You will follow through on this ride. Nothing stands in the way.
And with that, I wolfed down another 1,000 calories and got back on the bike and resumed pedaling. I had not eaten enough on the ride up to that point, so miles 60-80 were absolutely brutal. But I kept riding and stopped a few times to eat. I took another break at the 80 mile point, Florence, SC. Again, I thought about quitting. But then I thought back to all those times I had struggled. Like the time I finished a 10K race at over 400 pounds and I thought my knees were going to explode.
This is nothing. You've got this. Get back on the bike and finish the ride.
I got back in the saddle and pedaled like my life depended on it. And I made it. Here is a picture of me at the finish, at the 100 mile point about 7 miles north of Darlington, SC:
The bike is a custom-made Ritchey Road Logic, generously made available to me by a friend (and follower of this blog,) Dr. Clint Harshaw.
So there it is...my first century ride! I am not a prideful person, but on this one...I earned it. I rode 100 miles. My next challenge? To do it again and do it faster. How about a double-century ride? Anybody in the Charleston, SC area up for a ride? Drop me a line.
Don't ever let anyone tell you that you cannot do something. They're wrong, you can do it. Go out there. Make it happen. Eliminate all the negativity from your life and chase your dreams. Go get the life you deserve. Don't wait another second.