…No, not that one! I’m talking about Commitment: something I’ve struggled with in the past – bags of loyalty, but I’ve undoubtedly been hesitant with the hard grind of backing up my morals.
I noticed this at the weekend when out paddle boarding, with freezing feet (having not invested in all the necessary kit for winter sea sport) and enjoying the exhilaration of catching my first wave… my only successful wave of the session. You see, I’m a total rookie at this sport. A kook. I had a couple of SUP lessons last summer, fell in love with the sea again (having grown up literally on the beach), and was generously gifted an end-of-season board and paddle for my birthday. It’s not top of the range kit, but it’s perfect for getting me out there and it’s the right place to start.
I felt pretty embarrassed knowing I was the only one in the water and being watched by the well attended audience of Sunday seaside visitors. But I know that you have to start somewhere, and I was exactly here with cycling not that many moons ago. I stayed in the sea until I could no longer feel my feet and then after getting out only to discover I’d forgotten my towel (only a novice could do this, surely!) I promptly ordered myself some boots ready for next time. I can’t get better without practice, and practice at this time of year needs warmer kit.
I’ve tried so many sports I can’t even remember them all to list: netball, climbing, volleyball, tennis, hockey, football, surfing, running, squash… the list goes on. Cycling is so far the only one that I have committed to, that I have competed in and has gripped me. It’s my sport and I feel like I belong to it. I think perhaps if I hadn’t moved away from the coast for University that surfing could have been my cycling. Hmmm, but if I’d been committed then I would never have moved away.
It’s a different thing when you really stick to a sport and develop. It’s very rewarding to say the least and with cycling I think of myself as an athlete now. I train daily, with specific sessions, and cycling is a large part of our family life. My body reflects this commitment in both how it looks and feels: strong and light. It’s such a pleasure to feel like this and it comes from doing something I love.
I have no ambition for the SUP boarding to rival my cycling. It is a different thing entirely. Like all the sports listed before it, I see the SUP as a recreational activity which I’d like to be able to enjoy with some style and grace, whereas my cycling goes much further than that.
With cycling I want to push my way to the top. How fast can I go? How hard can I push myself? What are my limiting factors? …and how do I eliminate these? I have real event goals that have been chosen with thought for my current situation, and for where I will be come the race season. I have a great coach and fire in this belly. I do understand commitment these days and I feel the rewards. I’m putting my commitment into my cycling dreams for 2014. I’m sticking to the plan.