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Have you ever met that person that goes out on the weekend and runs a half or full marathon and you wonder why they enjoy endurance events?
What makes people go beyond their comfort zone?
I asked myself this question today as I am riding the optional 100-mile loop instead of the normal, 80-mile route. Why am I and many other RAGBRAI riders choosing to push ourselves?
The answer is complicated.
Life for those living only 100 years ago was not easy. People were the machines. Their days were filled with physical demands.
Whether it was the woman carrying water to wash clothes or the man breaking the ground to grow a crop, every day was a physical challenge.
Nowadays, women and men work, but with fewer physical demands. Instead, we sit in an office or even work from our homes. Life is a challenge, but it's more of a mental one.
So now, just as they did 40 years ago when the first RAGBRAI toured across Iowa, people took on the challenge to ride with a smile.
What was once a life of labor has turned into a life longing for physical challenges.
That brings me to today. I and thousands of other riders took on the challenge and put forth the extra effort to go 100 miles (or a Century ride in cycling lingo).
It won't be easy.
But with every hill climbed and each mile endured, we will think of all the hard work and effort that has come before us.
Tomorrow, I will find some pie for my reward!