As my alarm slowly dragged me into a dopey consciousness this morning at 4:30am, the second sound I became aware of was the howling wind and thrashing rain outside.
These are the mornings that I dread getting on my bike.
Half an hour later I was peddling down my road at the start for my 7 mile ride to the office.
Within meters I was struggling.
The wind, so strong it felt as if someone was pulling on the back of my seat.
Within minutes my lungs were pumping at full capacity, my thighs were burning and I felt physically worn out.
I thought, “I don’t think I can keep this up for 7 miles. I’m not getting anywhere. I may have to turn back and take the car”.
I’d been cycling to work for nearly 18 months and had only missed two days. These two days of non-cycling were my decision and were unavoidable.
When I set a promise to cycle into work everyday for a year, I vowed nothing would stop me, including mother nature and I’d cycled through all types of weather.
Having said that this wind was bordering on lethal.
I later discovered the wind, that day, had ripped up parts of the UK claiming a fatality when it flipped a high sided lorry.
In the 18 months I’d been cycling to work, I’d covered enough miles to pedal from Dublin to New York.
This time, for the first time, mother nature might have the upper hand.
I only had two options: give up or carry on.
Was I really giving up?
The weather was dangerous and I’d only made a silly pact with myself to cycle to work everyday.
It’s not the law, nor is it set in stone or even compulsory. It’s something I’ve chosen to do.
There again if I did give up, I’d never really know if I could have done it, plus the next time the going got difficult I’d have probably given up again.
This wouldn’t be a one off, it would’ve set a precedent.
If I didn’t give up, yes it would hurt and I’d arrive at work ragged but I’d have stuck to my promise.
I’d also have an even stronger resolve that nothing was even going to stop me ever again.
I’m pleased to say I didn’t I didn’t give up.
I got back home that afternoon, pleased with myself, that I’d triumphed over the best mother nature could throw at me.
As I dismounted my bike and walked over the threshold of our house, feeling like a pioneer, I proudly stated to Meagan, “After 18 months of cycling, that was the most difficult cycle into work I’ve ever had but I did it!”
“You’re an idiot you could’ve killed yourself”.
An odd way to greet a pioneer, I thought.