I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I simply cannot choose. Every challenge, every hobby, every activity seems like a good idea to me. I end up setting myself challenges and targets upon challenges and targets and I simply cannot do everything. The inability to decide one thing over another is tiring!
Earlier in the year, inspired by The Next Challenge, I set myself a challenge to cycle from Lands End to John O Groat’s. I wrote about it here. The idea was to give myself a target, a goal. I wanted something that was kind of like a big adventure. This meant that in the winter months when getting outside for exercise wasn’t really possible, I had a reason to get on my exercise bike in my spare room and cycle my way to fitness. I was giving myself no excuses, trying to make sure that I felt motivated to get on my bike when I could to add miles to my total.
It worked. At least to start with. During the winter and early spring, when the evenings were dark and the weather was cold and wet, I would get home from work and get straight on the exercise bike in the spare room. Some evenings I’d do half an hour, others an hour. Sometimes I’d get up before work and do 20 minutes. On a Saturday or Sunday I might set myself a little challenge to do longer or further or faster. Over the first four months of the year I made real progress up through my virtual country, feeling like this was a really good idea. In April I cycled nearly 220 miles – in-between everything else I was doing. That was worth something to me!
As time went on it got harder to find the time. I was very busy – it became rare for me to find time for a whole hour on the bike. And when I did have time I was tired and found an excuse not to. The exercise bike became boring – even with something good on BBC iPlayer to keep me company. I set myself other challenges at the same time, such as running the Lincoln Race for Life. Then there was a big holiday coming up and I was running out of time. I started cycling to work again when the weather improved, but that was only eight or nine miles a day and I wasn’t making as much progress as I had wanted to. I knew it was going to take me a few months to complete but I had hoped that come June it would be a distant memory. I completed my last mile this evening and it’s the end of July!
I still love the idea of this challenge. I am pleased that I set myself a goal of cycling that distance. I am happy that I was inspired and did something with that inspiration rather than just letting it fade away. I’m glad that when I came back from my holiday a couple of weeks ago I didn’t just delete the tracker from my blog sidebar and forget about the last 115 miles but that I continued on and finished what I started. I am proud that I got on the exercise bike when I got home from work this evening – the bike on which this challenge was designed for and after having cycled home from work – and completed the last 12 miles. 12 miles is a long way in my spare room on a bog standard cheap exercise bike. 900 is even further.
I cycled the 900 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats at home in seven months. Maybe I’ll try and beat my time next year.