I hope your interest is in expanding and growing your capacities. I am a baby boomer and I want to stay as young and healthy as possible for as long as possible. That’s what today’s post is about.
My wife and I did some road biking in Colorado last week. On the last day of our trip, I did much more than I am used to, something I think of as a stunt. I like to do stunts and I recommend you do them too.
We had been biking in the Keystone area of Summit County. On Saturday another couple joined us. We had packed up to go home. Mark and I rode our bikes to Frisco, about fifteen miles from our condo. Our wives drove the car to Frisco, and the plan was for us to ride from Frisco to Copper Mountain, about twelve miles and a seven hundred foot gain in elevation. They we’d coast back to Frisco. Except for one person in our group. Mark was determined to ride on from there to the Vail Summit, elevation 10,662. That would be roughly a thousand foot elevation gain in another twelve miles.
I am an old geezer. I haven’t been training. I didn’t think I wanted to try the Vail Summit leg, but when we got to Copper Mountain, I felt pretty good. I was surprised at that, and thought, “Well, this is a chance to try a stunt.” Mark had charged on long ago, and I’d been waiting for the wives to show up. They caught up with me and we discussed my options. We agreed that I’d try the summit leg, and if I hit the wall and wanted to turn around, they’d pick me up at the Copper Mountain service station. Otherwise I’d summit, coast down the other side and they’d pick me up at the East Vail exit from I-70. That would make a fifty mile day, more than I am used to, and a lot of elevation gain.
I bought a power bar and ate it for my lunch and started out. It started to rain, but I pushed on up. For an hour I kept pushing, and although it was steep, I just bore down. Mark called me once, saying he was ready to be picked up and was surprised to find I was about two-thirds of the way to the summit.
At the end of the day, I had ridden a beautiful and challenge fifty mile route, gained a couple of thousand feet in total elevation gain through the day, coasted down the other side and generally had a wonderful time. I was surprised I could finish it.
Try an occasional stunt. The next day, my legs were fatigued and I could barely walk the dog, but I was deeply satisfied that I had set a big goal and achieved it. Mastery of a challenge contributes significantly to happiness.
What is some stunt you could try? My wife could enter a water color in a juried art show. My son could submit a short story to a magazine. We all have some area where we could try something that we are interested in but beyond what we usually do. Give it a try. It isn’t finishing first, it is trying the stunt, finishing it, and enjoying the process of stretching ourselves. And it doesn’t need to be a stunt to anyone else. Serious road bikers are snorting. “Fifty miles? Two thousand feet of elevation gain? Ha!” But comparing myself to them is not the point. It is comparing myself to what I thought I could do.
Here’s a YouTube video I found about that ride. They are riding down the Vail Summit to Copper Mountain trail. I rode up:
Here’s another video with eleven minutes of a two hour ride in the area:
Create a great memory. Try a stunt for yourself.