I'm not ready to write a full post about it yet, but I want to get these notes down. On the ride with Ken G yesterday, he made a comment about how he's not stronger than many of the riders he goes with, but he can tolerate more pain.
Then I got an email from Winter Larry about my post about my recent solo ride, in which he said, "If you averaged 18mph going UP Coppermine then you suffered or should be a racer!"
Now, of course, I DIDN'T average 18 going up Coppermine; that was my average for the whole ride. My average going up Coppermine was probably more like 11 than 18. Nonetheless, I think it's true that I suffered. I think it's true of everyone who pushes himself or herself on a bike, that we suffer, to some extent or other.
In fact (and here's the part I'm not ready to write a full post about yet), I think we suffer every time we extend ourselves in any way. I don't think it's a facile as the Nietzsche quote, "That which does not kill me makes me stronger," has become, but I think it's true, nonetheless.
I think that's why some people's worlds become smaller and smaller. Sometimes, even keeping the same boundaries requires extending ourselves, and it hurts. To avoid the pain, some of us give up little bits of ourselves, over and over. In time, there's only a small territory left.
I need to think more about suffering and extending ourselves.
(Larry, I am NOT going to be a racer. In fact, I'm trying to starve that competitive part of me!)