When was the last time you did something truly difficult? A time when you pushed yourself to both mental and physical fatigue, discovered that you could push past your limiting beliefs, and learned something powerful about yourself in the process?
Hello there, fellow Spinning® enthusiasts! My name is Alisha Lopez, and I work for Spinning® as the Sales Director for commercial locations. I had the honor of cycling 545 miles for AIDS/LifeCycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles June 4-10, 2023, and I'm excited to share my experience with the Spinning® community.
So, you're probably wondering what prompted me to ride my bike 545 miles. There are a few reasons for this. For one thing, my good friend America asked me to accompany her on this inaugural ride. Two, I was looking for a new Misogi Challenge to take on this year and three, I love riding bikes.
What is Misogi? It’s a Japanese philosophy that suggests you do something so challenging once a year…that it has an impact on your life the remaining 364 days of the year. -- Jesse Itzler
I took part in the AIDS/LifeCycle about 15 years ago, when I was in my early twenties. Now, in my late forties, preparing for this type of riding day after day, I needed to act quickly and devise a strategy…
My training consisted of both Spinning® and cycling outside, and I was able to log many miles both indoors and outdoors. To be completely honest, being a mom of 9-year-old twin boys made it much more difficult to log miles on my bike, but my PRO™ Power bike provided the additional preparation I needed to crush it day after day on the road. Even though the ride was extremely difficult, my power workouts that I designed using the knowledge I gained from our SPINPower® Certification, helped me tackle the large California hills and many miles on the bike each day.
|I can't emphasize enough how important it is to understand your metrics if you want to get fitter and perform better. When you are physically and mentally prepared for an endurance event of this magnitude, you can relax knowing that you have put in the effort to thoroughly enjoy the experience.|
A Riveting Ride
Aids/LifeCycle consisted of seven days of riding a total mileage of 545 miles. Here is what our week looked like:
- Day 1-82 miles
- Day 2- 109 miles
- Day 3- 66 miles
- Day 4- 88 miles
- Day 5-44 miles
- Day 6-89 miles
- Day 7-69 miles
The scenery down the coast consisted of beautiful ocean views, farmland, forests, and some spectacular homes. Although I assumed most of the California coast would be flat, each day we tackled a good amount of hill climbing. These long and steady hill climbs had both your quads and lungs burning and begging for mercy, but I felt strong and confident because of my training.
As I previously mentioned, due to my busy mom schedule, while I was training, I was unable to travel far from home and take on any significant hills, so I had to make do with one day per week of hill repeats at our local hill and two to three other days of climbing on my Spinner® bike, utilizing our SPINPower® Crank and Zwift.
|Therefore, if you are considering taking on a local cycling or endurance event in the future, I am here to let you know that a Spinner® bike can help you get in shape needed for any race or event.|
Building Grit Through Obstacles
There were numerous obstacles on the ride. Long periods spent in the saddle led to a sore butt and heavy, exhausted legs. We also spent every night outside under the stars, frequently on rocky and rough grass fields. To be well rested for the next day, you had to make every effort to acquire as much rest and recovery as you possibly could. The fact that the sun didn't shine much, and it was typically cold, made the weather another significant obstacle to be conquered. We required medical blankets from one of the pit stations on the third day because it was raining so fiercely that we couldn't keep warm during the 88-mile day. I continued saying to myself that day… “One pedal stroke at a time, one pedal stroke at a time…”(as my hands and feet started to go numb).But faced with discomfort and hurdles made me feel alive.
Amazing Memories with all an All-Star Team
This ride created many amazing memories. A week spent traveling and camping each night over great distances with my three closest mom friends (Team Mamacita Chingonas), America Islas-Rodriguez, Marisol Tejeda-Salgado, and Bianca Monreal. We ate from farmers' fresh fruit stands, consuming cherries, strawberries, and peaches. We made new friends from the US and all over the world. Most importantly, we raised nearly $14 millionto help those in need of services to help combat Aids.
Since we are all busy working moms with two young children, finishing this journey was important for not just us individually but also for our families. Since we all support generational health, Aids/LifeCycle gave us the opportunity to motivate and encourage our families and children throughout this journey by demonstrating what is possible when you challenge yourself.
Even though I knew it would be extremely challenging, this is one of the main reasons I chose to ride Aids/LifeCycle. When we go about our daily lives in the same way, we might grow so accustomed to it that we frequently lose sight of how unique and valuable our lives are. I recommend taking on your own personal Misogi as a great way to build grit, perseverance, and the incredible feeling of being alive and enjoying one's life to the fullest. Are there areas of your life where fear or discomfort are preventing you from moving forward even though you're ready to? Perhaps it is time to move outside of your comfort zone and embark on a journey to challenge your own self-limiting beliefs.
Aids/Life Cycle opened my eyes to what I can accomplish, and my wish is that you can do the same. Keep training, and push your own limitations both in class or on your own bike. You got this!