I am told the hard work is done.
With only two weeks before the start of the Canadian Cancer Society Cops for Cancer Tour de Rock, the training is slowly tapering off into maintenance mode: keeping us fit and injury-free before we hit the 1,200-kilometre ride starting Sept. 21.
It doesn’t seem that long ago when my legs cramped up and stiffened after approximately 10 km on the bike. And it was only a few weeks ago – approximately six months after that first ride – that 20 other riders and I rode to Jordan River and back in our longest training ride of the year, clocking in close to 140 km with less cramping and stiffening than the first.
Yet, my confidence is not where I hoped it might be.
Doubt creeps into my mind, not just about whether my legs will stay strong for the entirety of the ride, but whether my mind and heart will. Despite a significant change in my body – I am hovering in the 250s as opposed to the 280s in terms of weight – I am concerned about deficiencies I can’t quantify with a scale or my eyes.
I am quickly realizing the physical challenge may have been the easy part, but there are other areas of equal importance that I have no way to judge. I only know I didn’t train in those areas.
Before I started my Tour de Rock journey, I believed the physical aspect would be the most challenging. I didn’t question my mental and emotional fortitude. Now, thousands of kilometres on my bike later, I am realizing I may have misjudged myself.
I went into this thinking I had mind and body figured out, but everything with a number attached to it seems unimportant all of a sudden. After seven months of real blood, sweat and vomit, I have a feeling tears are about to join the conversation, and that changes everything.
In a matter of days, I will embark upon a journey for which I have waited a long time.
After years of anticipating an opportunity to be a part of the Tour, and more than half a year of intense training to reach a point where I could physically do the ride, the team stands ready for what many of us believe will be one of the most rewarding, life-changing experiences of our lives. I just hope I am ready for it.
This is about to get real. And my guess is the hard work is only beginning.
Arnold Lim is a Tour de Rock rider for Black Press.