Pain, Pleasure and The One Thing

by klassman

Saturday I went for a long ride.  It was nice.  I saw some parts of Maryland that were new to me like Beallsville and Dickerson.  All in all, I did 104 miles with an elevation gain of 2,523.  I rode hills and because I missed a turn, I also missed out on riding up Sugar Loaf Mountain.  Maybe next time.

Actually, it had better be next time.  The profile for IMLP bike course was released causing a big stir.  For each 56 mile loop the official map measures about 2300 feet of climbing though the countless race reports and message board participants swear that it is really somewhere between 2,900 and 3,400 feet.  That is about twice what I did in Maryland.

Regardless, it was a long morning.  When I returned home, I found this on the countertop:


Inside the specially decorated envelope was money, an appointment card and directions to this place.  The rest of the family was at the pool so I changed shorts, went for a run, ate lunch and went to get my first massage.


There was 90 minutes of pushing, prodding, rubbing, stretching and general application of force.  I now know why when pro cycling teams take these guys on tour they are called “mashers.”  Holy mother of something.  The thing is, as soon as the pressure — the strong, powerful application of pressure to the points where muscles connect, joints should stretch and knotty bits exist where they ought not — is released, my muscles felt better.

I swear that when I left the place I was at least an inch taller.

Sunday, I awoke and had to the great pleasure of going through this treasure trove of awesome.

Made with love by very small hands. Happy Fathers Day. Happy Birthday.

Not only do I have a wife who — once again — knows what is good for my body before I do, but children who made a whole series of cards, booklets, pictures, fans and posters for Fathers Day and my birthday.

The people at Endurance Nation counsel you to have the “one thing” for the race.  It is the one thing you can rely on as a bedrock to win the argument when your mind prepares to give up.  We all expect the body to give up before the mind which is why it is so devastating when the mind is ready to throw in the towel.  To fight back, you need that one thing.

My thing is my family.  They are that good, that big-hearted, that warm and wonderful.  Several of them also drive me absolutely mad, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.