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I’ve been having a lot of clients ask for mindset work lately- i feel like there is this notion that working on mindset is somehow separate from all of the nutrition/ training work that we do. In my perspective, it is not separate at all… every single thing that we do is an opportunity to work on our mindset.
This story illustrates how much we can learn from being willing to explore the boundaries of our capabilities.
I was in the middle of a solo bike trip- starting a climb that was 20 miles long with 4000 ft elevation gain.
The sun was shining.
As I started to climb, a few clouds started creeping in.
I kept pedaling…
All of a sudden it was pouring rain- I scrambled to get my rain gear on- but everything was already soaked.
Lightning bolts filled the sky- I was nowhere close to the top and I was already encountering patches of snow- which seriously slows you down on a bike.
“Oh fuck- this is bad.”
I started to lose feeling in my hands and my feet.
I struggled to hold onto my bike handles- I had to use my entire hand to shift gears because I didn’t have enough dexterity in my thumbs- and my feet felt like clubs shoved in my soaking wet shoes.
“You’re fine… you’re totally fine…”
I kept pedaling.
Finally, I reached the top and quickly started down the other side.
I thought, okay, we’re gonna be okay.
Only everything kept getting worse- there were more and more snow patches which meant I kept having to get off my bike to walk… and when i was able to ride, the freezing cold wind and rain burned against my skin.
My hands and feet were in excruciating pain at this point, but I had no choice but to keep pedaling. If i stopped i would absolutely get frostbite- if I kept going, i only MIGHT get frostbite.
I was sobbing trying to ride down this 4000ft pass- screaming and crying- terrified- absolutely no one around to help.
I finally get to the bottom of the pass where according to my map there should be a town… except there isn’t one.
There is nothing. I totally panicked.
Is this how I’m going to die? In the middle of nowhere on my bike?
It didn’t even occur to me to use my GPS tracker to call for help… that’s how fucked up my cognition was at this point.
I remember seeing a building in the distance.
I rode up to it and saw that the front door happened to be cracked open. I hobbled off my bike on my numb feet and collapsed inside crying, sobbing, terrified.
A few minutes later, a man comes walking toward me from inside the building.
“Omg. Are you okay.”
I had stumbled into a water treatment plant- the only building for miles. The guys working that night fed me and let me sleep on the floor in one of the conference rooms. I’ve never been so happy to sleep on the floor of a conference room.
I don’t know how to describe how terrifying that situation was.
Anything. Literally anything could have happened.
I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue biking at that point but I absolutely did not want to quit.
So I got back on my bike the next day and started pedaling.
If you want something badly enough you’ll keep pedaling no matter how fucked up things get.
If you realize what you’re going after isn’t what you want, you’ll stop.
Whether you continue or stop is irrelevant.
What matters is why.
Why are you continuing? Or why are you choosing to stop?
It is in the willingness to ask these questions that we have the opportunity to grow.
Improving our “mindset” does not require us to almost die on a bike ride. Lols.
In my opinion, it does require us to get uncomfortable- to inquire into the why behind our actions- to be willing to take risks in an effort to understand who we really are.
“Success” / “failure” are irrelevant. The willingness to engage in the process is what matters.
How we do anything is how we do everything.
What have you learned from exploring the boundaries of what you thought was possible?? We’d love to hear your stories in the comments below!