My second key to surviving an endurance ride? SING OUT LOUD. I often tell my athletes they’re body tells them what to do on a long ride: If you’re cranky - eat a calorie. If you’re woozy - drink electrolytes. If you’re happy - sing out loud.
HERE are my notes from the ride five years ago:
Somewhere in the crowd of the first 20 miles, I heard Jen say that she was going to sing for every church she passed. It was a Sunday, after all. And, although she announced this to some roadie in the pack, I figured eventually I'd join along.
Sure enough, I played the game. We passed a zillion churches. I already have a love for little country churches and their marquee signs but adding songs to each one (some based on their marquees) was an entirely new venture. We sang camp songs. We sang old-school Christian “rock” songs. We sang senior youth club songs:
We even sang
(Inspired by a Mother's Day sign. Plus, it mentions Beelzebub.)
Little did we know:
In All Four Counties. Were at the top. Of. A. Hill. It gave depth of meaning to the song We Are (a City on Hill) by Kari Jobe (see video below). By the time we reached the church at the crest, we were too winded to sing. It was NOT a joyful noise. Plus, some of the hills were so long that by the time we hit the top, we had forgotten what song we had picked to sing! I was disappointed that when we reached a Presbyterian church a the top of a hill and could not remember the words to the
!! The song that I had sung nearly every Sunday for 18 years (that over 850 times) was lost at the top of that hill.
I found my breath and the lyrics about a mile later and when I did, I sang them like I meant them. Full of gratitude for the blessings all around me. I imagined the angels singing with me, drowning out my off-key tune. I was suddenly focused on being grateful and forgot about the next hill and the one after than and the head wind and being hungry and cutting the ride short and getting sunburned and.......that's how I survived the last 23 miles.
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.