Are you familiar with the rule in football about excessive celebration? I’m all for not taunting the other team and certainly not be braggadocios or using the slit your throat sign. I get that. But excessive celebration? I mean the coaches are working really hard to pump these athletes up. The athletes are working really hard to mentally pump themselves up and give the fans everything they want. Yet, if they run into the end-zone and have one to many high-fives or are jumping on each other or picking each other up, it’s a penalty – called excessive celebration. Give me a break! This world needs more excessive celebration. For every thing! Little moments, birthdays, small victories. Find a reason to celebrate and believe in yourself. It’s as much a mental game as a physical one so pump yourself up and celebrate damn it.
I recently rode a Century Bike ride (100 miles). No, not a metric century (62 miles), like one of my male friends politely asked me. (I guess he couldn’t believe I could actually do a regular century.) It was kind of a whim to sign up for it. I mean I had been riding a fair amount but I had never ridden over 42 miles at once. And it’s not like this had been on my list for a long time. I like new challenges and new types of races. I’m not a 5K every Saturday kind of girl. I want to do a GoRuck and Ragnar Relay, the list goes on and on. It’s keeps life interesting and my body never knows what it’s about to be put through. And, it gives us reason to celebrate.
I didn’t tell many people I was doing the ride. I didn’t want anyone talking me out of it. I also would rather do something, rather than talk about it. After I realized that NO one I knew was going on this ride, the fear started to creep in. My husband is always supportive, but nervous. He’s really never a good gauge on what I can and can’t do. My brother is a six-time Ironman. He truly believes that anyone can do anything – that especially goes for himself and me. But I got a text from him the day before saying “Good luck, but remember if you get to 70 miles and need to stop, it’s ok. It’s further than you’ve ever gone. Consider it a great training day.” At that point I really started to worry. If he’s saying this, what have I gotten myself into?
But somewhere deep down I knew I could do it. From the moment I hit the register button, I had this great panic of butterflies and utter excitement with an underlying sense of peace and confidence. I KNEW I COULD FINISH 100 MILES. It wasn’t a race, it was a ride. Have you been on a bike lately? I mean running is my thing. I love to run. But being on a bike is like being a little kid. Wind in your hair, going fast. It’s an amazing sense of freedom. I love riding my bike!
So I did it. 6 hrs and 36 minutes. I stopped at all the SAG stops, drank and ate plenty. It was a beautiful day. I met some really nice fellow cyclists forming a bond that only you can do from riding 100 miles together in 6-7 hours. And there in the parking lot of the race registration I had some internal excessive celebration. I was proud of myself. I proved this body can continue to work and train and grow stronger. But I also proved that in the end no one knows if you can do something, only you can believe in yourself enough to get it done.
So go run, ride, swim, box, walk – do whatever you do. Celebrate, excessively if you have too – with yourself or with the entire world. We need more reflections of success and happiness for those accomplishments.