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Getting fit to ride: It turns out that the greatest challenge is yourself

As Esteban dives into training for the Sydney to Gong ride, he discovers that the greatest challenge is yourself. And, sometimes, life gets in the way.

Optimo Home Loans’ Esteban Mesa learns he needs to learn

At he headed into Week 2 of his training, Esteban realised that he could do all the physical training he wanted, but that it might not always work for him. Having been a national athlete in his home country of Colombia (which is a story for another day!) Esteban knew that if he didn’t train right then he might end up in a worse position.

By now, he’s been doing longer rides a few days every week, and commuting on his bike. What he discovered was that he was being really tense during his rides. It became most obvious when he was riding really fast downhill, on what is one of Adelaide very beautiful - but reasonably dangerous - roads: Norton Summit Road. It’s dangerous for a cyclist at speed, because of the hairpin bends.

Being tense on his bike meant that Esteban was not only less able to react at speed, but it was making him sore! And as you might remember from the last post here, his lack of fitness was still following him around.

So, there were a few things Esteban has had to add to his training. One is learning to relax on his bike. The other, proper technique.

Filling gaps in your knowledge helps you surmount your challenge

Whenever you have a financial or loan challenge, there are some gaps in your knowledge that you have to fill in so you can take the next step. This is exactly what Esteban’s been finding as he cycles through Week 2 of the this challenge.

So, how has he gotten through this? Largely with the help of YouTube.

‘I’ve been watching some videos on how to position myself on the bike, and how to do things like go downhill safely,’ he said. ‘And also how to use gears for efficiency. It’s a big learning process! But learning helps me to be careful with my bike and with myself, so I don’t get injured.’

Just when you’re in your stride, life gets in the way

When you commit to a significant challenge, especially one that grows you as a person, life tends to put obstacles in your way.

This week’s training was no exception. Just when Esteban was into Week 2, and excited about training over the long weekend and the days to come, his children fell ill. He had to spend more time with them, which carved into his training time, and reduced his time on the bike.

Changing habits is hard work, and not being able to stick to them makes them even harder! But like the easygoing guy he is, Esteban took it all in his stride, used the time to think about his strategy, and used the opportunity to learn.

Join Esteban as he continues his training through October - and please donate!

The road from Sydney to Wollongong is a long, hard, and beautiful ride. Over the next three to four weeks, as Esteban trains for the ride, he is recording videos, taking photographs and reflecting on the journey.

Optimo Home Loans is aiming to raise $750 in donations during this time. Please spare some change and donate to help the MS Foundation continue its truly amazing work.

Follow Esteban’s journey as he prepares for the ride! Follow us on Facebook so you don’t miss an update.


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