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Twenty Twenty One; Done ✅

On the first of January 2021, I set myself a few challenges. These ranged from baking cakes to learning new recipes. Studying to reading. Yoga to cycling. Some I have achieved, others not so much. Life just got in the way.

One of them however was to cycle 5,200 kms over the course of the year. 52 weeks at 100 kms a week seemed reasonable and so it began. I had originally set myself the challenge of never cycling below 75 kms a week; I failed on that by the end of April. I did toss all one week. Diddly squat. Some weeks are just super hard.

To compensate for the lack of activity some weeks, I made up for it in others. My most intense cycling week covered a painful 242 kms.

Some weeks it was a breeze. Others an out and out chore. I persevered. Some days I was cycling three times a day to progress it. Literally morning, noon and night. Ridiculous. Amongst it I’ve done a 130 km ride. Six 100km+ rides. I’ve completed the Etape Loch Ness. I’ve loved cycling. I’ve hated it too. I’ve cruised. I’ve fought. Even achieved a queen of the mountain. It’s a rollercoaster. But one I’ve hung onto this year, sometimes only by my beautifully manicured fingernails.

My Etape Loch Ness compatriates

At the beginning of December, I really wondered if I could achieve it. I was 200 kms behind my target. I actually wondered if I could be arsed. I had a very intense period at work and my head was not in any kind of zone. At all. I doubted myself. I convinced myself it didn’t matter. I convinced myself I didn’t care. But deep down I knew it did. I did. I wanted to complete it to give me something to build on for next year. Well, I just wanted to complete it. Period.

I’m awfully pleased to say that today….. it is done. 5,205.2 kms. Tick. The last 600 kms were ridiculously hard. Detested many of them. But one pedal stroke at a time I did it. To say I’m relieved would be an understatement. Oh and a little pleased with myself too.

So what have I learned?

1. Don’t flipping wait until December to cycle hundreds of kilometres. December is not a month with an abundance of spare hours, so that really wasn’t big or clever.

2. Build rest days / weeks in and don’t berate myself for using them. The guilt I feel when I don’t ride my bike is way too intense. It’s actually counterproductive and I end up feeling doubly bad because I feel bad. This only results in me cycling less, not more. It’s very silly.

3. Set less challenges next year. Be realistic of what I can achieve. The frustration with being an optimist is in thinking way too positively about everything, including how many hours there are in a day. There are 24 Helen and you need to sleep. Your plans are just not physically possible.

4. Oh, and there’s a quote I’ve read “don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life”, however I would change this to “don’t get so busy making a life that you forget to live it”; I have found myself so busy that portions of time I’ve been unable to just enjoy it.

5. Oh and the last and probably most important one? Just keep pedalling.

2022 sees 3 events in my calendar. Etape Loch Ness in April where I aim to finish in the top 100 women in under 4 hours. Etape Caledonia in May. Ride the North in August. And while I’m so tempted to chase 5,555 kms, I’m more interested in promoting some kind of consistency to my cycling rather than distance. But we shall see. Some of those Conqueror challenges look quite fun.

In any case what a year I’ve had. A healthy mix of sunshine and showers. Contentment and vigour. And I plan for 2022 to be another absolute belter. Flipping amazeballs.

Much love and HNY when it comes,

Helen x

Published by soopermunchkin

I'm just a girl, who likes to write.

4 thoughts on “Twenty Twenty One; Done ✅

    1. Thank you and I completely agree. It was tough and simply not enjoyable at some points. I’m toying with the idea of cycling three times a week. No distance, just get on the bike. Maybe 10km. Maybe 50 km. See how I feel. I’m hoping that helps with consistency. I do need a challenge to keep me motivated, but definitely need to change it in 2022. All the best to you for the new year. Look forward to following your progress 🙌🙌

      Liked by 1 person

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