Disclaimer – I didn’t not create that name, nor am I stealing it. Rather, I’m paying homage.
I came across HU on FB and while I am not the first to jump on anyone’s bandwagon, I saw their shirts and commenced to obtain all sorts of splinters and scrapes. But it wasn’t until their latest email offering up their, IMHO, epic shirt that it would resonate so well. FAIL (First Attempt In Learning) I love love love a good play on words and let me tell you, this is the epitome of being an athlete. Myself and hundreds of others this weekend undertook tests of our training and even though we’d done them before, there is nothing like that “now or never” moment.
My FAIL moment came during my 58 mile bike ride. See, where I live, it’s flat. Oh you MAY catch a slight roller but that’s only due to a bridge or overpass. No humps in these thar hills but Richmond, VA is notorious for their hills and I found out the hard way, just how disadvantaged my hometown is.
See, I can’t practice hill riding, so I had to Nike the entire thing. I had my nutrition down (every 45 minutes) my hydration down (H20 every 15) but nothing prepares your legs for hills, when you haven’t trained on them. I was making good time but then, there was this hill. I won’t even call it a hill. More like a steeple with an angled slope that had a long crest at the top. There would be more, lots more, the entire ride in fact. Oh, down hill was great but it was cold, so my first FAIL was (#1 – need to buy toe covers and wool socks and a cycling jersey). I wasn’t freezing but I don’t like my arms to be cold. Yeah, I was layered up but that wind can be biting.
My next FAIL was cramping. Now, I have never cramped on the bike, ever. Never, ever. It was the hills, so I chewed a few fruit bits, sipped water and it slowly worked itself out. Note to self, always keep more fruit bits.
The next FAIL was my compression. I’ve ridden with and without them before but never will I ride with them on hills again. Nope, unh uh, not doing it. I’ll get me some leg warmers. All in an attempt to be fashion forward.
All in all, my FAILs provided me a wealth of information. Sure, I’d ridden before, and even did a few slight hills but this FAIL showed me I’ve got work to do in the hill department. The funny thing is, I passed some and I was passed by some. I didn’t and never will care about people passing me. Lady with a basket with flowers and food passed me and I almost crashed laughing so hard. I later found out, she passes most people. Hills are her thing.
I can’t wait to order my FAIL shirt and wear it proudly at my next race. For me and my fellow athletes who were out giving it our all, we all, hopefully learned something that day. We should all remember, that even when you FAIL, it not necessarily needs to be epic, so long as it’s educational.
Congratulations to M. Hicks. I. H. and the rest of the athletes that competed the PPD Beach 2 Battleship 70.3 and 140.6 and those who completed IMMD, and all those who completed races and events in a city/state near you. We all showed just how Unlimited we Humans are, when we put our minds to you. Thanks HU!
What ails ya?