Since officially announcing the challenge I’ve already had one virtually sleepless night, where I wake up thinking “how the hell am I going to do this?” and toss and turn analyzing and strategizing until morning. It’s par for the course, especially on big logistical challenges, of which this might be my biggest since 2000.
2000 featured more hard days, and was all in all physically burlier, but I also wasn’t working and could focus on it full time. Now I work. A lot. And while much of this challenge is tied to my workday it’s going to take a shift in focus and efficiency in order keep up with the day in day out volume. I can’t afford an off day, or to get sick or injured. I must say that I’m looking forward to it but with as knackered as I often feel at the end of each day currently, I’m not sure where the extra energy will come from. Thus, ya know, the word challenge.
Then there are the weekends, where the actual physically unknown lies. Like 2000, nothing on the list seems out of the realm of possibility (unlike many of my single push efforts). But the cumulative breakdown, which got the better of me in 2000, is what will hang over my head like the Sword of Damocles. I don’t see a realistic point where I’m past the hard part or can relax. It will task me to the end.
I like to write up a pre-challenge assessment of where I see the cruxes coming and how I view my chances. Rarely does a challenge end without some failure or, at least, re-shuffling of the schedule, so it’s good to be able to look back and see what I could have done differently that would have affected the outcome. Here’s what I’m anticipating over the next 8 weeks.
Nothing here is super hard but the schedule is ambitious. The goal is self-improvements and, much like school, military boot camps, and the like I’m hoping this is just a matter of rolling up my sleeves and digging in. I feel like I’m busy now (don’t we all) and it’s nothing compared to how hectic things are about to become. We can always push more than we think we can, in theory at least, and I love testing theories.
This is the most Beachbody-like part of the challenge; it should resonate with many people. It’s why we’re having a contest, to add motivation to what is traditionally a low-activity time of the year. Over the course of the challenge I’ll blog about everything on this list, which should add valuable tips for your own transformations. I hope it’s helpful.
Santa Barbara 53
A beautifully-aesthetic weekend but represents a huge chance of failure right out of the gate. Climbing at the Owl Tor is very specific (which I haven’t trained for) and simply ridiculously hard and sandbagged. Looking at grades, even if you understand climbing, is meaningless. As Phil stated during his challenge, “there’s no hiding from the Tor.”
I’ve never done the second half of the weekend, which is also brutal, and also haven’t had time to train for it. It will be my longest and hardest ride of the year, by far, on climbs that have beaten me before.
This day is filled with unknowns. Haven’t had a volume day like this (30 or so pitches of climbing, which is relatively easy) and heaps of on-sight route finding (crux for sure), along with sheer numbers volume make it difficult but I have no idea how hard it might turn out to be.
Doing two fun days back to back should be okay, though I’ve never done two days like this back to back so I don’t know. In the desert there are always—ALWAYS—unplanned issues. It’s another that I think I can do but will have no idea until I try.
5 First ascents supported by bike
This kicked my ass last year but with better weather I’m hopeful. Really looking forward to this, at least right now. Will see when the weather gets bad.
Josh’s Birthday Challenge
He’s yet to plan anything but it will certainly be very hard. Doable, probably, but with big time breakdown.
530,000 pounds in a day
I think I can do this, even though it beats my best by 160,000 pounds (sucks getting older). The question is, again, how much it will break me down and allow moving on
An option that would be hard as it’s 25 hours of mountain biking. Of course, I could just do a few laps and go to sleep but if it’s happens I’m giving myself a baseline of 15 laps (200 miles) before I’m allowed to cash it in.
World Fitness Champion
This is a test to see how things shook out. I can do this, for sure right now while I’m rested, but in the back of my mind I’m thinking of doing it twice back to back should I recover as well as I hope. That may seem about as likely as a push-up contest with Sasquatch when the day comes around.
Doesn’t look so bad on paper. Probably how Floyd Mayweather’s opponents feel before the bell rings for round one.