Almost like cycling with an elephant on your shoulders…

Posted on 20 June 2011 by Katie

Sleep deprivation, dehydration, exhaustion and fatigue were the main concerns I had when deciding to take on this journey. I though I would be more nervous about riding too many miles than not enough.

But one or two days in, and the most challenging part is facing the limitations that my fractured pelvis is causing for me and the rest of the crew. On my first shift, where I could have easily smashed a solid 20 mph clip, at times, my speed was painfully slow. The slightest incline felt like a mountain and the effort was triple what it would be on my road bike. Five miles into my shift, my frustration was building and I called into the support vehicle to demand my time trial bike. Yes, it would be foolish to attempt to ride on the road bike again, but I so desperately wanted to feel powerful again, if only for a few miles. One week ago, my idea of a challenge was cycling a 5,000ft climb. This week? A flight of stairs.

It has been a physical challenge but even more so mental, putting in so much effort and feeling like I’m not making progress. I’m torn between being excited to be a part of this in the only way I know how by handbike and feeling like I’m sitting on the sidelines and watching a dream I’ve played over and over in my mind.

I was a strong rider on my road bike but there is no reason I can’t be that on a handbike, too. Although I’m struggling to accept the disadvantages of riding on a handbike, I know that with the same patience and persistence that got me through my other challenges, will get me to Annapolis. It’s not where we get in life that defines us – it’s what we overcome along the way that truly matters.

6 Responses to Almost like cycling with an elephant on your shoulders…

  • Claire

    20 June 2011 9:23 pm

    Katie, Your determination and commitment are inspiring! We’re following your progress closely here at Aqua Clara. Thank you for all that you do.


  • Mark

    20 June 2011 10:58 pm

    Mini Wilson 2 is pulling for you and your team – and will ALWAYS be pulling for you. NEVER forget that! OK? You guys are the definition of courage, determination and heart. Hang in there. :)

  • Chris Martin

    21 June 2011 12:31 pm

    You are a complete hero. It’s all about the journey anyway and what a journey you’re having. Chin up and enjoy the view.

  • Scott

    21 June 2011 9:47 pm

    we only made it to trinidad in RAAM 2001 so you are already that far, and a relay means variable times per rider. sometimes you have to let someone else be the hero and do what you can do. your energy is an integral part of the team but you must preserve your health for future opportunities, so take good care of you.

  • katrina

    21 June 2011 9:49 pm

    I’m so inspired by your story. You are strong and determined and able to admit when something is hard without letting it defeat you. Love that.

  • TimO

    22 June 2011 12:32 am

    Madonna del Ghisallo, the patron saint of cyclists, is in heaven with your two grandmothers watching over you. Love and Prayers.

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