Monday, April 11, 2016

Breaking Stride, Breaking Rules

Cindi Staiger stokes tandem at the Furnace Creek 508 race.
I declared yesterday a day of restor rather, my body did. I couldn't make myself get out of my nice warm bed. I really didn't need to sleep, but I did require some word-consumption. So I opened my Kindle and devoured the conclusion of the J.E. Hopkins thriller, The Scarlet Crane, after which I segue'd into its sequel, The Saffron Falcon

Since I finished Ned Hayes' The Eagle Tree last Friday, perhaps I should to set up a new TBR category on my Kindle: To Be Reviewed!

Finding motivation in the midst of the doldrums can be a challenge. When your goals are self-set, and missing a deadline affects only your self-image, it can make it even harder to keep pushing. This is one of the ways Camp NaNo helps us achieve our dreams: a cabin full of people to be up when you are down, peppy when you are depleted, and willing to lend an ear while you complain or crow.

Even in "real life," though, these self-imposed rules can bite. The sample from Meant To Be Here today comes from Ken Cummings' story of supporting Cindi Staiger, the female cyclist who won the Race Across AMerica (RAAM) in 1988. 

By this point in the race, Cindi has been in the pink jersey (denoting the female race leader) since day one, and has been on her bicycle 20 hours out of each of eight or nine days

In Parkersburg, West Virginia, with the close-support van and the Mothership [the 20-foot RV with the kitchen and Cindi's little-used bunk in it] right behind her, Cindi missed a left turn and started to freak out. I was on the radio link in the close support van; I had to shout loudly to cut through her panic, telling her to turn left down an alley I could see would lead her to a street with access back onto the race route on US Highway 50. Cindi followed my instructions, leading her whole support procession bumping and scraping down the alley.
Later, explaining “off-mic” why she had gone off-course, she confided to me and the two other male cyclists in her close support crew that the crew-leader, a woman, and her nutritionist, another woman, wouldn’t let her have any coffee. They insisted that she drink something called glycine as a substitute, because caffeine was “bad for her.”
“No problem!” I told her. “This part of the route is straight-on for several miles. Ride on alonewe’ll get you something at a shop.” She rode off, and I reminded the other crew members sternly, “As far as anyone else is concerned, we’re only giving Cindi glycine.
A few minutes later, I leaned out of the support van to pass Cindi a tall cup. “Here is your steaming black cup of glycine,” I told her with a wink.


In any extreme event, you have to be willing to break the rulesyour self-imposed rulesand indulge yourself occasionally. Otherwise, you risk burning out before you have a chance to reach your goal! 


Word Count: Day 10 (Rest Day): 414
Word Count Total: 40,085 words

Word Count: Day 11 Session 1: 2140; Session 2: none so far

Word Count Total: 42,635 words