Monday, September 19, 2005

Ode to Pain

I wrote this to submit to a contest at WTB. They didn't pick it, but what can you expect they never returned my phone call for a warranty issue either.

Pain does not discriminate. It cares not if you are riding a hardtail, full suspension, $5000+ sub 22lb wonder bike, or a department store huffy. It treats us all the same, from royalty like Ned to any average Joe. For when you ride past your comfort zone, you’ll come knocking on pain’s door where it’s is always open and everyone is welcome.

The quest of many often becomes how to cheat pain rather than embrace it. Throwing money at our bikes, coaches, power meters, gels, drinks, and magic bullets will only get you so far. In our convenience centered society it hard to accept that you cannot buy your way into pain’s good graces. You won’t find what you’re looking for at the 24hr drive through, aisle 225 at the Mega-lo-Mart, or in a prescription from the doctor.

No, you can’t buy it and it can’t be given to you. It’s about selling something, about giving something. It’s about selling your soul, it’s about giving up your defenses, giving up your self preservation reflex.

Going into the light when every muscle in your body is telling you to stay away from the light. Bob Roll called it transcendence.

This is the true quest. This is what IT is all about. Not being extreme, not podiums, not trash talking. IT is holding hands with your demons, trading punches with yourself, taking all your shortcomings and turning them into fuel for your fire, leaving your self preservation on the side of the trail, and riding your legs into spontaneous combustion till all that is left is a little green nodule.

I might seem a little bit hypocritcal because the bulk of this BLOG seems to be devoted to new bikes, new gear, nutrition products, coaching, etc. But that is all just part of the fun of bicycling. I know full well that that stuff only helps so much, and that it's not until you get to the elite level where that stuff makes much difference.

This post on crossing the Threshold from a cool blog is in a similar vein.


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