Climbing the Alp de Zwift and other challenges.
Sometimes I get these crazy notions. Well, OK, more than sometimes. For three weeks in a row my crazy notion was to join the Thursday night race up the Alp de Zwift. Let me explain.
The Alp de Zwift is modeled from the fabled climb of the Alp de Huez from the Tour de France. It is 21 hairpin turns up a 12.2km climb that averages 8.5%. When you include the lead in (about another 10km) it takes the average person somewhere in the neighborhood of two hours. Yes, that’s right, two hours.
I have never been a great climber in real life or on Zwift. But on a Thursday evening without much going on, what else is a person to do? Well, get on the trainer for two hours of course and spend most of that time torturing one’s self up a climb! Sounds like fun, right?
I did manage to take almost 10 minutes off my time from last week so I am under 1 hour, 58 minutes. That was the goal, to break 2 hours.
I think we all need these crazy notions from time to time. Like why would anyone want to climb Mount Everest? Why would anyone want to swim the English Channel? Why would anyone want to go camping and sleep on the ground (versus a perfectly comfortable bed)? Why would anyone want to compete in a dance competition with the possibility of crashing and burning and coming in last?
These crazy little notions are challenges that cause us to stretch ourselves beyond what we think we can do. With each challenge accepted and overcome we prove to ourselves us how much more we can do, how much more is possible.
I often go to my son when I am looking for a good book to read. When I went down to meet my first grandchild about three weeks ago, there was a book there by David Goggins called “Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds”. David Goggins was a Navy SEAL, is an ultra-distance cyclist and triathlete, and former record hold for the most pull-ups in 24 hours. He came from a painful and tormented childhood and accomplished by shear force of will than most of us could even imagine. The premise of the book is that most people only accomplish 40% of what they are capable of.
I read that book in the two days while I was at my son’s place. Great book and highly recommended if you want to learn to push yourself to do more.
There is no time like now to discover what you are capable of. Your next challenge awaits you.