I couldn’t put my finger on the right word for this picture. On Saturday, I did a mellow ride on the 2nd loop of the Breck 100 course – a loop I remember well from last year.
I was keeping some of the racers company during the tough sections. Little French is one of the toughest sections of the race, and is also part of the Firecracker 50 course. It’s steep, loose, longer than you want it to be, and a high point. I turned around and I saw this guy.
He had probably been up since 4 AM, signed up for the Breck 100. He had also most likely been riding for about 7 hours at the time I took this picture (the race started at 6 AM)
If you think about it, looking at this picture provokes more than just thinking, “That guy is exhausted, probably a little demoralized, and maybe wondering how he can move forward.” To me, this scene was very poetic because we’ve all been there. Maybe on the bike, and certainly in life. He has a choice. Give up right there. Throw in the towel, say “I can’t do this.” Or option number two. Lift his head high, and take another step forward, and then another.
The definition of persevere: “to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly.” This is why I am an endurance racer. Continue steadfastly despite difficulty.
There are so many things in our life that make us want to give up, stop and maybe even be afraid to move forward. Things that make us want to curl up in the fetal position. Sometimes perseverance is the only thing that we have. For someone who is in great danger or dying, having perseverance may be the difference between life and death. The will and courage to fight despite ostacles. We may be physically exhausted, emotionally exhausted, or feel trapped. Looking at this picture represents a very dramatic, genuine human emotion, and the fact that we do have a choice. The feeling of being down and out, but having faith that you can still succeed.
Perseverance is what drives me in life. I will ALWAYS keep moving forward. How about you?