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Often described as one of the toughest bike races in the lower 48 states, the Arrowhead 135 challenges even the most prepared riders. This is a journal by a non-athlete's participation in an event where starting is often just as much a challenge as finishing.

Role
August 12, 2010
Moving forward from the mental lowpoint in the previous post, I'm going to try and change my attitude. Being positive takes practice, and I'm going to need all the training I can muster just to do that as well.

I was reading though Eric's antarctica logs. I liked the way he reported Bill and Dong's observations and insights - they were quite positive. Of course, there are many ways to report an event. There is the "we're doing great and this is fun!" angle, or the "this is really hard and dangerous and we hope we survive" point of view depending on what sort of response the author is trying to get from the audience, and usually the truth is somewhere in between.

I know from working with and reading expedition journals that a lot of what happens is unsaid. The weak team member isn't called out on the blog. A urine bottle spilled on the ipod isn't discussed. Disputes about how far to go or division of duties goes unsaid. And really, these things don't really matter. They might add a bit of "color", but they also distract from the message as well. An expedition isn't a study in small team dynamics, its a mission to get attention to something else. In Eric's case, he shows people what global warming is doing to the planet. For me, its about the power and utility of the bicycle. Talking about what pissed us off on a given day doesn't forward those messages.

At the same time, being down about my training or abilities before training has barely begun is only self-defeating and ultimately destructive. The best I can do is the best I can do. If, in the end, I'm not trained well enough, well then I don't go. Better that then go and die, or go and fail. Well, failing is ok if you try hard, but my lack of ability is not the reason I'd want the adventure to be scrubbed.

So, the point now is to just do my best, keep working hard, planning, thinking, etc., and see where it gets me.

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