jenI heard this advice today.  Ride with your heart.  It made me smile, and of course got me thinking.

My impossible is finally here.  12 months ago, I signed up for something I wasn’t exactly sure I’d be able to do.  A 7 day mountain bike race, covering 350km+ and 8000m+ elevation over BC’s West Coast.  Over the past year, I’ve trained my butt off.  I’m sure many of my close friends and family will be happy when this is done, as I’ll be able to say ‘yes’ a whole lot more instead of choosing to do hill repeats in the blazing heat.  I’ve put endless hours into this.  More than I have for any other physical goal I’ve ever set. I’m ready.

I’m not hoping to win, or even podium for that matter.  What I’m hoping for, is to be able to say at the end of it all – with a smiling face of exhaustion and a cold beer in my hand – I tried my best, and couldn’t have given a single ounce more.  My goal is to ride each day with my whole heart.  With every single thing I’ve got in me. I’m going to (try to) leave my ego behind – to remind myself, every time my legs hurt a little bit too much, that I’m DOING THIS.  I got myself here.  I worked damn hard to be in this moment, THIS moment.  It’s not whether I win, but the fact that I’m out there, doing what I love.  Pushing myself past my limits, farther than I’ve ever even thought was possible before – inspiring others around me to maybe push themselves a little more than is beyond their comfort zone.  To soak in the tall trees, the creeks, the thousands of shades of green, the wind on my face.  I want to be PRESENT.  To feel connected with myself and to the moment that is happening all around me.

I feel like that is why we do this.  Why we push ourselves to the limits of an impossible feat.  We do it because we are finally able to tune out all of the background noise – and to be so completely and totally IN IT, that all we really are – is present.  Our ultimate goal.  Doing what we love.  Secretly smiling, being inspired by the pain – almost wanting more as it brings about more raw reminders of how truly real this feeling really is.

It doesn’t have to be a bicycle.  It doesn’t even have to be a sport for that matter.  Whatever you do, whatever you LOVE to do, do it with your whole heart.  Become so consumed by it that you forget about everything else, because all that really matters is what you are doing right NOW.  So give it everything you’ve got.

Smile with your heart!

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