What did I do, you ask?
That may not mean much to you athletic cycling types out there, or to those who are not from Alberta, but I was pretty damn stoked when I reached the finish. See, for those of you who don’t know, Canmore and Banff are both beautiful mountain towns that see lots of tourists and many outdoor enthusiasts of all types. In 2010, the Legacy Trail was paved from the Banff National Park East gate into the town of Banff; which is easily accessible from Canmore. When I realized this at the beginning of summer, I knew that I wanted to take on this challenge by the end of August.
If you’re wondering why this ride was going to be such a challenge for me, than you must be a pretty good cyclist! Joking aside, the ride from the Canmore Nordic Centre into the middle of Banff is about 25 kms, making that around a 50 km (~31 miles) biking day for this gal… the most I’ve ridden in one day! Also note, that since I am not a serious cyclist, I don’t really own all the proper equipment to take on such a ride on a hot summer day – hello non-existent water bottle holder! Either way, it was almost the end of August and this was the only chance I was going to get to do it… so, it had to be done.
Was it easy? Not entirely.
The paved path of course makes this ride smooth and accessible for those of all fitness types. The catch here for my friend and I, was that we parked at the Nordic Centre… which is up a very large hill. Smart, right? Not really.
My friend happens to be a very good cyclist, so really, it wasn’t too much of a challenge for him. He would have even finished the ride faster without me, but the day wasn’t about speed. It was about the awesome weather, my love for biking, and great company along the way. Oh… and the delicious lunch we had in Banff… so good. Anyways, the ride went well for the most part until the end… at the end is that long ride up the hill back to the Nordic Centre, which might be easy for a regular cyclist, but I can tell you that I do not have the quads for this feat. I won’t lie, I thought about giving up.
I was pretty tired after cycling almost 50 kms and I knew that my friend could easily cycle up the hill and get the car. Oh, I thought about it. But you know what? I also thought about how I had already ridden all that way and I couldn’t stop now… no way! (I will also say that the threat of a ‘bear in the area’ might have also motivated my final push up the hill – haha). It was difficult and my legs were damn tired, but you know what? I did it! And, after a few seconds breath, it felt good! It also helped to know that the reward/therapy afterwards was a trip to the Banff Upper Hot Springs…. soooo relaxing and warm. I always feel refreshed after visiting that place.
Although this may have been just a bike ride, it also serves as a reminder that we can overcome perceived obstacles as long as we keep on pushing (or have the threat of a bear on our ass!). When you are looking up that hill, don’t let the negative thoughts of not being able to do it wash over you. Instead, think of
how you can best use your energy to get to the top and overcome this obstacle, even ask a friend if you need to. In my case, I wanted to do this one alone… my friend rode ahead and I know that I finished because I had to motivate myself and didn’t rely on him to help me finish. And that is such a great feeling! In the end, it was an awesome day full of laughs, sunshine, and feeling great – can’t beat that! ॐ
Have you overcome any obstacles lately – whether it be personal or fitness related? How did you motivate yourself?