I’m sat on the train, leaving my parents home and heading back into London.
It’s been a good weekend seeing some of my family, lots of memories made, mostly good.
On Sunday, I woke early and went for a 27km trail ride through the forest with my bro. It was beautiful and a lot of fun. We rode the red route (aka difficult) and there was some great technical areas to ride through.
I hadn’t ridden a bike in years, so going straight in at this level was a challenge. But what made it even tougher, was that we’d rode 32km the day before and my body was in no way up for round two.
When I woke that Sunday morning everything ached. My legs were tired, my back was sore and my bum was raw from 2.5 hours on a tiny little saddle over bumps and lumps.
But I knew this was our last chance to go for another ride, and I knew my brother, a keen cyclist, wanted to head out again.
So despite not being able to sit on the saddle without quite significant pain, we rode off for another 2 hours ride.
When I set off I set off not trying to think too far ahead. I didn’t know if I’d be able to make it round again, and I didn’t know how I’d get back if I couldn’t. I just made the decision and set off.
The curious thing was how my body adapted, or at least my mind.
After a while, the pain in my bum started to numb a little. My legs remembered their job and went along with it. A little under 2 hours later we were back, in good time too.
My legs by then were done, and ready to rest. As I hopped off the saddle they felt like jelly, supporting me, but not as I usually knew.
Later that day in the swimming pool crouching down was quite a challenge. My legs stiffened up and made their case that enough was enough.
But despite all that, what I realised is how much more we’re able to do than we think. That when we think we’re done, often we’re far from it.
Navy seals know this well. I’ve heard it said that when you think you’ve given it everything, you’ve only given it about 40% of your limit. Your capacity is far higher than the first wall we hit.
Truth be told, if I had to go and ride another 30km the next day, I could have done. It would have been painful for sure, damaging maybe, but certainly doable.
And so it’s got me thinking about limitations and walls we hit.
We often think they’re our limitations. In actuality they’re often simply doors into the next stage.