I don’t know who started it, but naturally, ‘he did it first’ is likely both of our answers. I am encouraged to keep pedaling my bike through the Mohican State Forest training for a 100-mile mountain bike race by the thought of my brother Michael. Specifically how he looked during the marathon leg of the 2013 Louisville, KY Ironman triathlon. He was miserable, hurting and looked like shit, BUT he was moving. I told him he looked great, had plenty of time and to focus on getting some nutrients consumed while he walked a bit before starting a run again. Of course, all of this was a lie, but that is what brothers are for.
What followed was amazing; he went from on the verge of collapse into a second half run of inspired determination to meet his goal. He crossed the finish line at 10:35pm, August 25, 2013; 140.6 miles and 15 hours after beginning. Still the greatest feat I’ve personally witnessed.
These are my thoughts that keep me pedaling, walking and moving forward on this training ride and will sustain me again during the 100-mile race. It also gets me thinking, what drives two brothers to ‘enjoy’ suffering like this? Michael is again training for an Ironman triathlon August 2, 2015 in Boulder, CO. This is my third 100-mile mountain bike race; my last was ten years ago on a full-suspension bike with 27 gears. This year I will be on my ridged single-speed, because I ‘wanted’ a greater challenge. Why?
I've heard ‘Misery loves company’ and I believe we embark on these challenges together in an endless brotherly game of look what I can do. I hope one day to combine these talents in an adventure to be shared together on the same day/location. Until then, we will suffer and inspire each other from a distance.