Mental strength vs physical strength!!
Why do we train, or work out? Go to the gym or maybe those runs at sunrise? Most would say to get strong, be fitter, leaner, faster. Those are all physical strengths that most us humans have a desire for and to always be better! But when does mental strength kick in? I’m super competitive myself so I’ll push myself till I nearly collapse. That’s when you experience mental strength. When you feel like you can’t run another mile, but push through anyways, or want to give up on that 10 mile hike and the last two miles are uphill but you have no choice to finish anyways. Or the sprint at the end of a long race to come in faster on time or pass two more people; that’s mental! In one month I experienced pain, exhaustion, physical and mental strength, determination, and the satisfaction in the end of completing a goal because I pushed through it all and didn’t give up.
565 miles in one month! A ride for a great cause and to raise money for our veterans. After all our soldiers do for us, and having a brother serve as a Ranger and two grandpa’s serve, this cause is dear to me. I’ve done it two years in a row now and the second I decided against a team of 10 to split the miles up, but do them all by myself. I was going to have to ride about 24 miles a day giving myself 4 days off with that mileage schedule. Not being an avid bike rider, I really had no idea what I was getting myself into, but had already set my mind to it-so in my eyes, there was no backing out.
I started off day 1 with a 30 mike bike ride. I thought there’s probably no way I can do this. That first ride hurt unbearably and wore me out!! But day 2 – I can’t remember the last time I felt pain like I had sitting back down on that bike seat! It was excruciating! I thought yet again I don’t have to do this many miles. I’ll just ride what I can. But after getting warmed up and bearing through the pain, I got in another 27 mile ride. There were more days than not where I truly believed there’s no way this is happening. I set my goal way to high this time!! yet somehow, pure mental strength pushed me through each exhausting mile. That month I probably soaked in the tub with Epsom salt or used the heating pad more than ever. If I had spare time; I was walking, hiking, or biking. I’m not sure I sat all month!
Each ride alone that one takes, makes you think. There were times I’d even rip my headphones out and just wanted silence. I’d think of how uncomfortable I was, how exhausted, or hurting and it’d make me think of our soldiers. My pain was only temporary. After a few hours I’d be off my bike, back to my loved ones, showered up, fed, and a comfortable bed to sleep in. Our soldiers are not guaranteed coming home, or sleep on the ground, freeze, or over heated, hungry, or missing home. To me that fueled my desire to ride. I had it made in the shade compared to our soldiers.
As I reached the end of the month, I stayed pretty close to being on schedule with my mileage. Still battling days of wanting to give up and thinking I’ve done 400 or 500 miles and that’s good enough. Or simply not believing I could even do it, but yet everyday getting back on that bike seat and pushing through more mileage!
I think for me, the hardest day was my last; Feb 27th. I needed 24 miles to complete my 565. It was another cold windy winter day and I was beyond tired of riding and fatigued. I debated splitting them up and doing 12 and 12 the last two days but the 28th was supposed to be even colder, and rain even more. I had to finish that day. so I set off on my bike; freezing and not in the best of mood. That last ride, I truly experienced mental strength in its purest form, as I felt my body was giving up! I had plans on doing all 24 miles but had got to about mile 15 and felt weak and broke down. I decided at that point when I got to my split in was going to cut it short and go home. I ended up with 21 miles on the bike and walked the last three on my treadmill after a hot shower and some rest. I completed my mileage!! I had no idea how I pulled that kind of strength off, especially not being a great biker. I would almost argue that mental strength is greater than physical. It’s the drive in one’s heart and determination in your soul to say I AM going to do this. Put aside fears and doubts, and crush your goals. As humans we all have that passion and desire. Our bodies were created to be strong! We just have to dig deep and grab a hold of it. Just as our American soldiers do everyday! I was proud to ride for such an amazing cause. Our veterans need us like we need them and our soldiers. Our country would be nothing without them. Thank you to all who serve and have served. #blesstheveteransimridingfor
I’m also including the link to the video I posted and wrote about on Instagram:
I wrote a ton more on Facebook about this. It didn't all fit on here. I get long winded. Haha. My hats off to Cory Smith first and foremost. Not only for serving but completing the mileage running. This was a goal that I honestly didn't think I'd reach. The first day was brutal..actually first two weeks. Haha. Today was probably the worst. The coldest and windiest. I was exhausted and sore. I actually think I experienced running g completely out of physical strength and reached deep for what last bit of mental strength I could use to pull me thru. Thank u deeply from the bottom of my heart to all our veterans and soldiers and their families. I pray God shields you all as you do us and our country. Every one of the 565 miles is dedicated to all of you!! I may still hike tomorrow. So maybe one more picture coming. I'd like to get in three more miles..one for each of my kiddos! I can tell you I will not be getting on that dang bike tho!!! Haha #rangerpantiesoffreedom #runrangerrun #gallantfew #blessthevetransimridingfor #565 #milesofmemories @runrangerrun @gallantfew @lisacole5280 #veterans #whyididit