Why we want to suffer

Do you know the feeling when you are four hours into a race, not even having reached the halfway point yet? You are exhausted thinking about the long, long miles ahead of you with plenty of climbing. You curse yourself for starting too fast spending unnecessary energy in the beginning. You are behind on eating and drinking just waiting for that hunger flat.

It is hot. Shadows nowhere to be seen.

Your gaze has turned from looking up to a constant stare to the handlebars. Your pedal stroke has changed from circles to squares. Your bibs are becoming uncomfortable. You are checking your rear wheel for flats. Your speedometer seems not to function anymore. Why are the miles turning so slowly?

You are in a state of suffering. Serious suffering. Your body gives you a clear signal. Why the heck are we doing this?

Your mind starts playing games with you. Will you ever reach the finish line?

You are at a decisive turning point: succumb to your current physical and mental state or raise above the challenge.

The finish line has become more than just a white line across the road. It stands now for success, for accomplishment and for conquering the little devil in you that wishes you failure.

You know that body ache, the mental fatigue, the exhaustion, the dehydration, the misery are just temporary. The pain of failure forever.

Your mindset changes. Today, there won’t be anything that holds you back.

You can anticipate the flood of emotions overcoming you at the finish line. That feeling of immense accomplishment, achievement and success – a feeling that is hard to re-create in “normal” life.

You know you have to go through the lowest of the lows to reach the highest of the highs.

It changes you. It shows how much willpower you have.

This day, this challenge will be forever remembered.

It becomes part of you.

And you want more.

You sign up to the next challenge. To a bigger challenge.

You want to go through the next immense test of willpower.

You want to suffer.

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