We all have them, whether we’ve written them down, spoken them aloud, made a pact with some friends, or just thought about them to ourselves… we all have goals for most everything we do in life.
Over the past two years, I have been trying to reach a goal of riding 2,000 mountain bike miles in a single year. Unfortunately last year (2010), I didn’t meet my goal, mostly due to a physical injury that I had little control over (you can read more about it here if you’d like). So when January 2011 rolled around, I knew that I had to give it my all and go for the 2,000 mile year!
I know that to some of you riding 2,000 miles in a year seems like chump change. With groups of crazies doing epic bike races like the Tour Divide, 2,000 in one year is pretty insignificant. But for me, this was a huge goal.
When you break it down, it doesn’t look so bad: assuming there are only 2 weeks in the entire year that I wouldn’t be able to ride, doing 2,000 miles only required me to ride an average of 40 miles a week. During the peak of the season, that really isn’t much, since I was doing single rides that were much longer than that. But when work and school and poor weather and other responsibilities get factored in, as well as the fact that these are all mountain bike miles, it started to look like a more daunting goal.
I definitely didn’t ride 40 miles every week. There were several weeks I could only ride once or not at all, and then there were a couple weeks where I put in well over 100 miles in one week. Somehow, by the beginning of November, I checked my statistics and noticed I was exactly on target to finish 2,000 miles by the end of the year.
But November and December can be two of the hardest months of the year to get miles in, what with school and finals, the lack of daylight, wet winter weather, and family responsibilities over the many holidays.
However, as of the end of a 20 mile ride in the rain last week, I can finally say that I have ridden over 2,000 miles on a mountain bike in one single year! Despite all of the challenges, all of the doubts, I have made it through to the end of this goal, this journey. (Photo above: just finished with my two thousandth mile!)
I’d like to thank my wife for allowing me all this trail time, and I definitely thank the Lord for blessing me with the health and fitness to accomplish this goal. As I found out the hard way last year, being healthy isn’t a right–not by a long shot. Being healthy is truly a gift, and I am so thankful to have had a healthy year full of amazing singletrack!
I had some great company on my last ride of the year!
But what can you get out of all of this?
Here’s the key takeaway: your goals shouldn’t be imposed upon you by someone else. They should be for you to set and you to attain. I set this goal of riding 2,000 miles in one year, and it was a real challenge for me to complete it. For some people, 2,000 miles in one year is way out of reach. For others, they can ride that in 365 days without even trying.
When you set goals for yourself, focus on you–don’t focus on what everyone else is doing. Set a goal that will push you and challenge you, but something that you are also capable of attaining.
As much as I’d like to, I doubt I’m going to be racing the Tour Divide any time soon…
Your Turn: What is one of your mountain bike goals for next year?