Having decided that Ironman Hamburg 2018 was not for me… as a result of the whole thought of it slowly dragging the enjoyment out of swimming, cycling and running for me… I guess I initially decided to not really have any focus on a “goal”, as such.
I tend not to need a “raison d’etre”… so I was in no rush to find one.
But then, I got to thinking;
Maybe, whilst I don’t need something to aim for, a goal of some sort would be nice to have all the same.
Goals need to be challenging… otherwise they’re not really goals – they’re just boxes to be ticked off whenever you can be bothered.
Goals need to involve effort.
Goals need to be something that’ll make you feel that you’ve achieved something!
And what better discipline in which to set myself a goal than cycling?… the discipline which led to the whole lack of “mojo” in the first place!
As you know, it was my failure to complete two successive 200km rides (a distance I used to eat for breakfast) that got me into that whole spiral of self-doubt in the first place.
So maybe a few successful 200km rides would be a good place to start in terms of setting myself a new goal.
But why stop at a few?
A number of my cycling buddies are members of “Audax UK” – the club for long distance cyclists.
The very word “Audax” is basically the Latin word for “bold”… (and it’s from this word that we derive our words “audacious”, “audacity” etc etc)
Yep… serial “Audaxers” are proper, bona-fide, hardcore, BOLD, cyclists.
Most of my long rides, as it happens, have been organised by “Audax UK” (they’re superb rides – check them out) but I’ve never been inclined to “join the club”
You see – a few of my buddies who, themselves are members of “Audax UK” are in the process of earning themselves an “Audax” title; “Randonneur Round The Year” (or RRTY for short)
To get this title, you need to cycle an approved 200km ride every month – for 12 consecutive months.
That means cycling throughout those dark and miserable winter months as well as the more pleasing summer period.
You can see where I’m going with this, can’t you?!
Having decided to set myself the goal of completing a few 200km rides – to make up for those two failed attempts – it makes sense (to me, at least!) to set myself the goal of one a month, for twelve consecutive months… thereby earning myself the RRTY title!
How hard can that be?
No – really – how hard?
So, the other day, I formally joined “Audax UK” and entered my first ride, in May, to start off the RRTY attempt.
And I’m champing at the bit to start.
As for the Ironman… I’m not totally done with that – not yet.
Instead of cancelling my entry for the event, I’ve taken my option of deferring it until next year… and let me tell you, as happy that I am that I won’t be doing it this year, I’m equally happy that I still have it in the diary.
If, this time next year, I am still finding the whole idea less than motivational, then I’ll simply not do it… but, until then, I have retained the option of turning up in 2019.
That feels like the right decision to have made and, in my experience, if it feels right – it is right.
As a quick aside – those of you with a keener eye on my wider social media presences will have noticed that I’ve been taking more photos and videos whilst out on bike rides, recently.
This is all part of me making cycling more pleasurable again – and it’s working!
If you’re finding yourself where I was, with a lack of desire to be on the saddle, I’d advise you to do the same, actually… give yourself permission to stop when you see a beautiful view… drink it in… take a photo. It’ll remind you why cycling is so great.
I’m genuinely back to loving being on the bike again – which feels great.
So, for your viewing pleasure, below is my latest video on YouTube.
If you’re about to watch it on a desktop, you can click that little image of me at the bottom right of the screen to subscribe to my channel – but if you’re watching it on a mobile, you’ll need to click here to subscribe
For my photos, you can find me on Instagram by clicking here – feel free to follow me if you like what you see!
Thanks, as always, for reading (and watching) – and stay tuned for my RRTY attempt!