This will end up being a very long post full of text and videos. Over the next few days I will be posting videos of each lap of the Fat Pusher Challenge. I will talk a little about the journey and my summary of the ride. I just wanted to let you know that beforehand. I am hoping the videos will be encouraging to others who, like me, struggle with their weight and get discouraged.
As the title suggests, there were some surprises. The first came before the ride. On my last ride I got an infection from a tic that got into a cut in my leg. Fortunately it was manageable and I didn’t end up in the hospital.
From there, I got to the park to find out there was an organized 5k running event with dogs. I wasn’t even sure if the trails were going to be accessible. Fortunately they were.
That’s when the big surprises came! People actually showed up to either support me and ride, or ride with me to do their own FPC! I was blown away!
I decided that I would ride my fat bike for as much as possible, so I began rolling with riders and having a great time. Since my arthritis was on high, I wasn’t sure what I would be able to do, but the excitement of having people with me pushed me and, with the help of my new friend Brian, I burned through the first lap.
Jerry is a guy who I met through our local bike shop. He primarily rides road, but he posts pictures daily of the miles he rode that day. Each day I would see the pictures and it would remind me that at one time I liked to ride distances. In a way, Jerry was part of the motivation behind my idea for the Fat Pusher Challenge.
It was really nice of Jerry to join me for a lap, as well as Dan, who I met between laps. I was inspired and excited, and for a minute, the pre-ride jitters started to get the best of me and I started to cramp up. Cramping is something that used to happen to me regularly and caused me a bad crash back in the down hill days, as well as some struggles in the endurance days. I have been working on my diet to eliminate things that trigger cramping and haven’t had a really bad one in years, so this was concerning to me as I thought about how many laps I would actually be able to do.
Lap 3 tied me for the longest I had ridden this year. I had done 3 laps on my Remedy, but it was a feat for me to do on the Farley as it is fully rigid and causes a bit more rolling resistance with the larger tires. I was able to make it through, but was thinking of giving up since I was concerned about the cramping. It was a bit of a mind game. Matt and Kyle showed up and offered me some motivation I desperately needed.
Having been motivated by Matt and Kyle, and knowing that really anything I did at this point was above my longest ride of the year, I set out for lap 4.
Lap 5 was my goal. I was able to get out and start my 5th lap. At this point, the 7.5 mile course had already seen me complete 30 miles, so I was pretty tired, but excited all at the same time. It was time to ride smart and overcome the mind games to make it through this lap.
Lap 6 was tough, but it made me push towards my dreams. I proved to myself that I could ride for an extended period of time. I proved that I could ride a decent amount of distance on a fat bike. I proved that I could overcome the mind games that plague me as a big guy. Then, I moved past that and completed nearly 46 miles!
At this point I knew it was time to listen to my body. I rode a very safe lap and called it a day. All in all, the #fatpusherchallenge was a success. I pushed myself to:
- Ride when I was feeling like I couldn’t.
- Ride with people
- Ride smarter to overcome obstacles
- Ride with a purpose
- Ride to my goal
- Ride to exceed my goal.
Thanks to the new friends I made, and to the ones who supported me on this challenge. It was very rewarding.