It was getting to the end of my first mtb season and I was reaching peak form, It was the last race of the season and I wanted to do well. My training was right, my taper was right and my mind was right… I was ready. As i lined up at the start line I scanned nervously at the group of racers beside me. I somehow found my self near the back of the pack at the line and decided to sit there and hit it hard off the line at the start. As i anxiously awaited the start I could here my heart pounding in my ears, I took two deep breaths and slowly exhaled and heard the heart rate slow ever so slightly …. 4.-3-2-1 Gooooooo! suddenly interrupted the pulse in my ear, i put my foot down and felt the cleat slip off the pedal and hit the dirt and watched the peloton charge away….I pulled the pedal back clipped in and started hard…..I was dead last… this is not how it was supposed to go…..I pushed hard and caught up to the group but faded and watched the leaders disappear into the single track…..My thoughts of victory vanished ….I will keep riding hard and hope for the best. Suddenly there was the first big hill and i pushed the pedals in rhythm….Machine machine i said to myself… pedal like a machine … no big spikes just steady… i kept churning i slowly crept by one then two then three … then a large group….I suddenly found a surge of adrenaline, flow…. something! i was rolling over the top of the hill then down into the single track peddling steady, suddenly i was with the lead group….then second wheel……My heart rate was 200bpm…i was not in Kansas anymore this was way beyond threshold…I had to catch that guy ahead. I pushed harder as my heart rate topped out at 202…ouch I backed off to ease the chest discomfort then hit it again…. I was flying….. I stayed right on the edge pushing pushing pushing  then suddenly i saw the finish line and started to sprint … my heart rate peaked again as i crossed the finish line … i took a dive into the grass to catch my breath… I had never ridden that hard…… my lungs hurt… I could taste the blood in my throat ….. damn i never caught the guy in first place……but i had an overwhelming feeling of satisfaction and joy …. I gave it my all and that’s all i wanted. The journey was worth the effort…I had some nutrition then walked to the posted results…..there it was I took first place …. I passed the entire group and didn’t realize it….had i realized it i might have backed off a bit …. good thing i had no idea because that one race taught me about pulverizing my mental limitations!

“Satisfaction lies in the effort, not in the attainment, full effort is full victory.” Mahatma Gandhi