Haute Route Ventoux is a three day cycling stage race with each day having a summit finish on Mont Ventoux in Provence, France. There are so many amazing and valuable lessons that I learned from the experience of training for and racing in the Haute Route Ventoux.1. You need friends that are crazy enough to suggest epic challenges
. Thanks Mark! Is it not true that you end up being like the people you hang out with? If everyone around you is going for it and trying new things and looking at life as a grand adventure, then you will end up doing the same thing! Hang out in Warrior long enough and you will end up running, swimming, biking, hiking, training, kite sailing etc. You start taking risks and changing how you work and practice. You re-prioritize you time to focus on what God's purpose is for your life.2. Sometimes you just have to say yes without thinking about it too much
. If I would have laid out the pros and cons logically, the race and subsequent adventure through parts of France and Italy would never have happened. 3. Set things in your calendar a year in advance
. If you want to do something epic you need to plan for it
. Do your vision time, dream big, and then plan on doing the dream. The Venoux trip and race was planned close to a year in advance.4. Pick something epic to train for to stay disciplined.
I had a short training cycle for Ventoux. My last IronMan was two years earlier and the past 24 months had been committed to strength training as my goal was to do the Crossfit Open Rx in my age group which I achieved in February of 2017. This was wonderful but not great for a three day mountainous stage race in the Alps. Not great because my aerobic training was down and my muscle mass was up by 15 pounds. The climbers in cycling are known for not lifting anything, it's all about power to body weight ratios. Big heart and small muscles makes for easy climbing.
If it wasn't for the race I would never have put in the training (4000 km of riding including a few Everest's worth of climbing) that it took to complete the race or ride daily afterwards through the mountainous and iconic terrain in southern France and Tuscany.
If it wasn't for the race, Marie and I wouldn't have learned how to make fresh pasta from a local lady in a 400 year old stone farmhouse with good friends, float in the salty waters of the Mediterranean, or hike between the hilltop towns in the Cinque Terre.
I suppose it all boils down to the fact that you have to risk trying something that seems impossible
. Sign up for something that scares you and then put in the training.
It doesn't have to be a physical endeavour. Sign up to learn a new language, play an instrument, audition for a play. Just get out of your comfort zone.
If that intimidates you then ponder this quote from CS Lewis. "You all know that security is mortal's greatest enemy."
While you try to avoid risk and seek comfort and security you are losing your life. It is passing you by as you sit and watch TV or excessively check on your social media. Get off your butt and do something. Anything.
Live your life without regrets.