It’s Not A Race… But I Still Won!

Well, another cycling year is in the books – the record books in my case!

As 2019 came to a close last year, I sat here and wrote about using the start of the new year as a time to “hit the reset button on the odometer and begin anew” for 2020 – an opportunity for each of us to make course corrections that could help us “to lead better lives, to be better people, and to ultimately be able to enjoy life’s journey to its fullest.”

I had big plans for 2020, plans that came to a screeching halt in mid-March and left me with a decision to make – wallow in self-pity at how terrible the situation was and how my year was completely ruined, or do the type of “course correction” I espoused at the end of 2019 and make the most out of a rather unfortunate situation.

I chose to course correct.

In my case, it meant looking at what I could do instead of endlessly bemoaning what I couldn’t. Without much thought, I decided that I would concentrate my efforts on a series of home improvement projects and setting some new cycling records.

I’m beyond the point in my life where I am looking to race, at least not in the traditional sense of the word. You see, I’m not looking to race you… I don’t have anything to prove to you. I’m only interested in racing myself – striving to do better than my previous best, pushing myself to go farther, faster, and higher! Setting new records, but doing it on my own terms and timeline.

So, with my original 2020 plans thrown out the window, I decided to see how many previous years records I could beat. I knew some would be easy… and some a bit more challenging. But – quite frankly – with nothing better to do, I started an intense competition with my own past. And, as I now sit anxiously awaiting the start of 2021, I am happy to say, “I won!”

For all of the stress, sadness, and other emotional turmoil caused by the pandemic, resulting economic unraveling, social unrest, and election craziness, I kicked ass on the bike!

Most miles in a single year pedaled – 2,420 (previous record was 2,365 set in 2016). Fastest yearly average speed – 17 mph (previous record was 16 mph set in 2018). And, equally impressive, most feet climbed – 84,875 feet uphill (previous record was 75,767 set in 2017). Three new PRs to closeout 2020. Yes!

So, what does it mean? Truthfully?

Absolutely nothing!

I did it. It feels great. I set three biking records. Yay, me!!!

And now I hit the reset button, return to zero, and start anew.

This year was a journey; but then again, what year hasn’t been? 

Yes, 2020 saw it all – successes and challenges, good days and bad days, times of laughter and times of tears. But couldn’t the same be said for every other year?

What is important is that I made new friends, saw new places, and experienced new things. For that I feel extremely blessed and truly grateful. 

Life is what we choose to make it. I choose to live it, to try not to stress (too much) over things outside of my control, and to worry about only what I can control – which is how I react to what is thrown my way.

So, the odometer is back at zero. The next chapter in my life’s journey begins on January 1. I’m looking forward to the ride. I hope you are as well.