JUST A NUMBER?
Something happened on my commute today.
Between dropping the kids off at school and the studio for work, my speedometer reached 1000 miles. Of course I stopped and took a picture. And it got me thinking.
We create milestones. They are often number of miles, 50, 100, 200. We give them names that sound monumental: Century, Double Century. Wow.
Or it’s the number of hours we can last out there: 4, 8, 12, 24.
There are also personal points of significance or accomplishment on a ride. An Oak tree half way up Sullivan Ridge is a special one for Brian. Says that you’re half way there. I promised to draw it for him, I haven’t yet. I will. Milestones are markers, goals, check boxes along a ride.
Beginning to build up to Old Pueblo, I’ve been reading and thinking about how to break up the ride. How to, essentially, create false milestones to get me through the race. Chunks that I can get my mind around. Make it manageable. Apparently it helps when you’re racing solo and going round & round & round.
Should I divide the race into 4 x 6 hour sections? Or 6 x 4? Or perhaps food-based milestones: evening dinner, midnight snack, cup of tea and breakfast at dawn? Apparently a clean pair of shorts and rub down with a warm flannel is a milestone that’ll be a welcome tonic at the 12hr mark. Remind me to hire a person to come to the middle of the desert at midnight and rub my sweaty body down. Anyway, who knows.
But why do we care about these milestones? They feel important, and can even be useful, in the short term, if you trick your mind into it. But I also feel they’re genuinely irrelevant in the greater scheme of things. But putting aside the cynicism, if you have a bit of a think, they allow you to reflect on where you’ve come from and where you’re going. Suppose they can be a good thing.
Oh, and by the way, the 1000 mile mark on my speedometer was simply a milestone from the last time it accidently re-set when it popped off it’s mount as I pushed it up a hill. Can’t remember when that was, not too long ago. About a 1000 miles. Ish.
Oh well, it’s just a number, right? Or not. Ho hum. Push on.