The ride I did today I chose to do with T rather than one of the organised women's rides. That suits my ethos as one of the key things I find tough about some of the rhetoric around women and sport seems to forget that some of us enjoy going out to play with boys as well as girls. We did London to Southend and then a few extra clicks to make up my 100km. And it's at this point I should tell you a few things. Firstly. I ride a single speed bike. That means it's much harder to get up hills, and I can't go any faster than I freewheel down them. Secondly, the route today had a total ascent of almost 1000 metres.
Busted. Broken. A bit beaten. Today I had my first ever emotionally challenging ride as well as physically challenging. I've heard runners talk about the various emotions of running and how much your mindset can alter the result, but never xperienced it for myself. Today I seriously considered blowing the savings I have for a shiny new bike on something sparkly and expensive. Not doing long rides and bowing out.
Epic & well earned ice cream
Rides like today remind me I'm not invincible. They take me out of my comfort zone and for many reasons I should be celebrating that, I learned a lot. I don't know if I like what I learned though. And for this reason, the #womens100 was worth doing.
Sport and activity and fitness is so different for every person and every woman but I think it's ok for it to be a hardship sometimes. Despite feeling beaten at the end of my ride, I still clocked my 100km, and therefore I still made it happen. Finding it tough or not enjoyable doesn't make me weaker or inferior to any other girl or guy, it just means that today, I learned some hard lessons.