So Close, Yet So Far Away

So Close, Yet So Far Away

There are so many things in life that when done come up short.  You might enter a running race hoping to win, and you come in second or third. You might study hard during a semester or school year hoping to get an A, and then end up with a B+. Or you might set out on a bike ride in February when the temperature outdoors is 22 degrees hoping to cover a 100 kilometers in distance and in the end you figure you only did 99 kilometers because you were just too cold to go that extra 1 km. So close, yet so far away.

I’ve been fortunate so many times in my life. Rarely does the so-close-yet-so-far situation smack me in the face. I set goals and often times attain them. And when I don’t attain them, then I usually fail miserably. The failures I usually chalk up as necessary evils that must exist to keep life interesting. If I always got my way, then life would certainly be boring. And for me, boring is bad.

Over the weekend a few of my riding buddies entered a 200k randonneuring event that started in upper Bucks County, PA. They also happen to be involved in the Metric Century Challenge (MCC) that I’ve been participating in this year. If they had ridden 200k during the event, then they would have gotten gotten credit for two metric century rides in the MCC. Unfortunately the course in the event wasn’t actually 200k, but instead was 197k. Ouch! So close, yet so far away.

I’ve ridden more than my share of 100k rides this year. 97 so far in fact. But I only got that many by not wasting a 97k ride. Back in February or March there were two of my rides that I started when the weather was cold, but clear. Two-thirds of the way through the rides it started to snow, and by the time I finished the rides there was 3 inches of snow on the roads. Yes, they were very heavy snows in order to create 3 inches of snow that quickly. But I overcame. I had attitude that I was going to finish what I had set out to do. I could have easily finished those rides at 97k and gotten no credit. Or I could have put out the little extra effort and gone over the 100k mark as I did.

It’s one thing to come up short because you just couldn’t do better. It’s an entirely different thing to come up short because you quit. I feel sorry for the ones that tried but failed. I don’t feel sorry for the quitters or slackers.

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