I am in the midst of a 16 week training schedule to increase the amount of power I can attain on the bike. So yesterday I was instructed to maintain a 92 rpm cadence for 1.5 hours at a heart rate between 125-133. This seemed like an easy enough task to complete. I decided to ride around the Columbia River as it’s easier to keep a consistent cadence on flat terrain. This was a good plan except for the wind. Depending on the direction I was going the wind would push me forward, blow me sideways, or push against me. However, with such specific parameters given to my by my coach to ride within I found it relatively easy to ride in the wind. For the first time I actually enjoyed riding into a headwind.
I discovered that riding for time instead of distance makes all the difference in the world. Because I was riding for a specific period of time I didn’t worry about my speed. In fact, I simply concentrated on maintaining the cadence at 92 rpm. When my heart rate would drop I would increase my effort and shift the gears as necessary to the amount of effort needed to maintain my cadence and heart rate. Wind became a tool for me to train hard. I found it easier to pedal at the necessary cadence against the wind than in many other conditions.
In John 3:8 we read, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” When I was riding against the wind the sound was deafening. This was always a distraction to me until yesterday when I appreciated the wind for what it provided me – a great training ride. My ability to ride was increased because of the headwind. If I’m only focused on my destination rather than the journey along the way, I can get frustrated with the wind.
Perhaps we need to embrace the challenges in life as a gift from God to maintain our fitness level and even experience more power as a result of the journey. It’s so easy to always want a tailwind, but that doesn’t increase our strength and power like a headwind. Are you experiencing a headwind? If so, lean into it and enjoy the ride. You never know how strong it will make you.