A Little Baggage Doesn’t Hurt Anyone: On Packing my Suitcase of Courage
I’m about to bite off a little more than I can chew and, you know what? I plan to survive.
Moreover – I plan to take it by storm.
Tomorrow I’ll do the biggest climbing day that I’ve attempted to date. My "normal" (read: non-cyclist) friends think it’s nuts. My hardcore cyclist friends think it’s no big deal.
I’m somewhere in between. 127 miles and 7,800 feet of climbing? Yeah, that’s going to be a leg ripper for sure. But I’m inclined to think it’s not impossible. Maybe it’s the delusional part of me taking over, but I’m in it to win it, and there’s no turning back now.
My partner-in-crime, Ms. Natalie Ramsland of Sweetpea bicycles, has delivered a week full of pep-talks and comfort and reassurance. When I stopped by her studio today with a look of terror plastered across my face, she stepped away from her fancy bike-making tools and sat down on the floor to talk me off the edge.
Her last point was probably the most important: I need to get excited. I need to stop biting my nails and tossing in my sleep and turn the happy-pants meter to eleven. I need to honor how big this will be for me and get stoked.
"If you wake up happy tomorrow," she said, "Then we’re all good."
Natalie, I love you. And I am standing here at the edge of our adventure with my freshly packed suitcase of courage in one hand and a 3,000 calorie supply of Trail Putty in the other.
May the forces of Matodextrin and HEED be with us. I’m happy. Excited.
Let’s do this.