I have booked a flight from Bordeaux to Nice for Friday so I will be there when the others finish their journey. The other girls are excited that I’ve made that decision, but I do have very mixed feelings about going to meet them in Nice.
There’s no doubt that I want to be there to see them finish. I know how hard they have all worked. I feel privileged to have been, for a short time, part of a group that is so supportive of each other, they could get each other to the moon! I have also joked that I cannot let my bike get to Nice without me. But I’m anxious about how I’m going to feel, having not completed the target I set myself all those months ago. I’m hoping that I have already exhausted the tears of disappointment that never seem too far away.
I’ve been following the others’ progress so I can see the strains of putting in long days on the bike, unpacking and repacking every night in a different hotel, looking after your bike, your kit and yourself. Despite it being a fully supported ride it is still a challenge, mentally and physically. I know I had the mental toughness to do it. I know that I was physically fit enough to do it …. but I didn’t get to prove it to myself and so I am stuck with that word, a fail.
This has been about the journey for me. Getting back on the bike and regaining my fitness after breaking my back. The trouble is, what if you can’t actually complete your journey? It feels like unfinished business. Something I hadn’t considered before I started – as (naively) I never dreamt that I wouldn’t make it – it’s much, much harder to fail than to succeed.