Seven days left until SkyRise – a computer simulation of climbing the 103 stairs of the Willis (aka Sears) Tower for those of us who use Hand-cycles. This training commitment takes not only physical strength but mental focus and stamina. Last week was filled with moments of breathless disappointment and heart racing encouragement. I find it challenging to find the right combination of carbo-loading to fuel my body, a cardio-pumping warm-up to wake up my arm muscles and the rhythmic click-click-click of shifting gears to make the wheels move faster.
Last Tuesday my time on this forty-five degree angle course was thirty-five minutes – thirteen minutes longer than my best time of twenty-two minutes. As I watched the red line indicating my computer generated progress slowly move through the course, I felt nothing but frustration with the addition of each minute. On Thursday, although my time was better, thirty-three minutes, I was aggravated beyond belief. The coach knelt down next to me with words of solace and gear shifting tips. His wisdom paid off. The second course attempt shaved four minutes off my previous time. Whew!
So this week I’m pacing myself with only two course runs, and giving myself a mental break by remembering this is my first year pushing my body to this para-athlete level. Not bad for a sixty-three year old woman who’s re-designing her life. I like the way things are taking shape.
So here’s to life and all the joys and surprises it brings. I can’t wait to see what else God has up her long dolman sleeve. Stay tuned!