There are tons and tons of articles on the benefits of physical activity. Some focus on the health benefits, some focus on the physical benefits, some focus on the mental benefits. I'm a believer of all three, but increasingly it's the mental benefits that keep me out there plugging away. I'm never as alive as when I'm working up a sweat.
And at 51 years of age, I'm continuing to exceed my own physical capabilities, which is incredibly exciting. I'm sure the upward trajectory of my physical endurance will slow, and then begin to decline at some point, but not yet.
Not yet by a long shot.
Last weekend Mike and I ran the Long Beach Half Marathon. Our training was adequate, ensuring we could complete the race with very little residual physical impact, and that is exactly what transpired. We ran solid races, ate well afterward, slept like logs that night, and felt ready to resume normal activities the next morning. I felt satisfied with the outcome, but not necessarily ecstatic.
But this weekend? This weekend was amazing, and blew by everything I thought I was capable of. We did the MS Bay to Bay 100 mile bike ride and it was fantastic. As opposed to my slow and steady half marathon training, my MS ride training had been positively stellar. I pushed myself hard through every training ride, getting stronger each week. As a result, my legs were ready to do the event, my lungs were ready, and most importantly, my saddle was ready.
The MS event was beyond awesome. Super well organized from start to finish, with scores of volunteers and bystanders to take care of us and cheer us in at the end. I rode my heart, lungs and legs out, loving each and every hill and each and every mile. I've never felt so alive in my life as I did on this ride. When we crossed the finish line yesterday in San Diego, to yells, bells, horns and cheers of congratulations, I broke into tears. This ride turned me inside out, all of it very, very good.
|Bikes, bikes and more bikes at our Day One lunch stop.|
|The Day Two staggered start was under foggy skies in Carlsbad, CA.|
|101.2 miles completed in 8:10 hours. |
Not bad considering the race event crowds and the dozens of intersections we had to pause to cross.
|Our event 'bling'|
More than anything, I would love for others to experience the exhilaration and joy pushing one's own physical boundaries delivers. How powerful a pull is it? Powerful enough for these incredible, physically challenged triathletes to refuse to give up after some pretty damn significant setbacks. It was our privilege to share a portion of the riding course with them on Sunday, and they put what I've accomplished to date in perspective, big time. Click on the link below if you want to feel inspired.