A few months ago, during a conversation with my 18 year old step daughter … I suggested that she try to start going to sleep earlier and waking up early, instead of staying up late and sleeping in late, and missing the morning.
As she is French, she got all passionate and nearly started shouting .. “I have tried to wake up early and I don’t like it.”
It was a funny conversation, and one that I will not forget for a while. “I don’t like it!!!”
For the past 6 months or so, I have been waking up either at 2:15am or 3am (depending on the day) every single day, including most weekends to train for my race across America.
My ritual is to wake at 2:15am … by the time I brush my teeth, and get out of bed, make my coffee and banana and orange juice its around 2:30.
I enjoy my 20 minute breakfast sat in my favourite chair where I read the news.
At 2:50, I will leave my home and walk to my car … and by the time I get to my car and drive out of the garage its 3:00am.
Then I drive about 35 minutes into the desert to a place between Dubai and Abu Dhabi … take 10 minutes to get my bike set up …
And by 3:45 – 4:00am I start training … for the past couple months, my training is normally, not less than 6 hours, and on weekends often more than 12 hours sessions.
After training, I go home, take a shower and then go to work (my work schedule is 11am – 7pm)
After work, I go home eat with (or try to) eat with my family … and then get in bed no later than 8pm …I must be in bed by 8pm so to be able sleep to start this ritual all over again the next day.
I have learned to like waking up at 2:15am every day.
I have learned to like riding my bike for 6+ hours in the desert.
I have learned to like the pain from all of this.
I have tried to teach by example … and get my daughter to understand that life isn’t always supposed to be soft, cushy and easy …
To achieve our goals, we often have to do things we don’t like or don’t enjoy doing
In 4 days, I begin my toughest challenge yet – to ride my bike across America under 12 days.
To achieve this goal, I will have to ride my bike at least 20 hours a day.
I will get saddle sores … that will become so painful that sitting will become hell.
I will get so sore that I will have trouble getting on and off the bike.
I will get sick, and have to stop along the roads to vomit or use the toilet on the side of the road!
I will become sleep deprived … if I want to have a chance to finish this race under 12 days, I will not be able to sleep more than 2-3 hours a day.
I am going to hurt badly …
But to experience all of this pain and suffering; and to see if I am strong enough physically and mentally … is exactly, why I have organized my life for the past 6 months in a way to train, and put myself in a situation where I can achieve my goal.
Life isn’t always about comfort and ease – and the best things in life are often the hardest, most painful to get.
To be able to reach the summit of our mountains, we often have to learn to like things we don’t like to do.
On June 11th my RAAM challenge begins. I will see if I am strong enough physically and mentally to achieve my goal of finishing under 12 days.
Finish or failure.