On May 1st, I start an epic challenge participating in a self-supported bicycle race around the Netherlands. This is the second ultra distance event for me in as many years. In July of 2018 I rode my bicycle around Denmark in 13 days and travelling 2,159 km. The race was 1,949 km. I got lost a few times.
The race in the Netherlands is 1,890 km and has a time limit of 9 days. Last year I averaged about 156 km per day. This year I have to average about 210 km each day to cross the finish line before the deadline.
I learned a lot about racing last year. I know there is an better engine inside me than I realized. I am physically capable of completing this challenge. My core fitness is good, my wind is up to snuff, my legs are strong so I know I’m physically ready. Sitting on the seat for long hours will hurt but that simply goes with the territory. Developing blisters from sitting is a show-stopper so I’ll take great care to avoid that condition by using medicated cream throughout the day.
My story started on June 3, 2017. At the time I was 270 lbs and uncomfortable with my size in virtually every situation. For example, I always sat at tables in restaurants as I couldn’t squeeze into most booths and when I could, it would rub on my belly. The steering wheel on my car rubbed. My knees hurt all the time and walking up and down stairs was torture.
In the last 2 years, I lost almost 1/3 of my body weight. My waist dropped from 44″ to 36″, I can comfortable go up and down stairs, ride up hills I avoided when I started riding and have the endurance to cycle for hours.
I am a walking example of what is possible for anyone. I am not an elite athlete. I am not a natural athlete. I am not physically gifted. When I started cycling, I didn’t see this remarkable outcome on the horizon. It just happened because I made two choices: increasing my daily activity and improving my diet.
With that said, becoming healthy goes hand in hand with life choices.