I love it when I watch something on TV that interests me. Songwriting is one of my hobbies. Another hobby of mine is bike riding. I love to ride my bike. It is fun. I have been on many organized bike rides. I have ridden on the BAK (Bike across Kansas), GOBA (Great Ohio Bicylce Adventure), and RAGBRAI (Registers Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. All of these are rides where you ride between 40 and 70 miles a day for a week. At night you sleep in a tent or in a gymnasium. ?Does that sound like fun to you? Id does to me.
Sarah Cooper is a 45 year old mother of four who does extreme bike riding. She won first place for women in the Race across the West. Race across the West is a 928 mile race that takes about two and a half days to compete. In 2018 she entered and won again. This time she won the Race Across America. It is a 3069 mile race that ran from the west coast to the east coast. She completed it in 11 days, 18 hours, and 56 minutes. To understand how extreme this ride is you need to compare it to the Tour De France. The Tour De France is about a 2100 mile ride completed over 22 days. About a 1000 more miles but done in ten less days. What is the difference? No sleep or very, very, very little sleep. She got to sleep about two hours a day. I take naps longer than that.
I loved a couple of quotes about bike riding on the documentary. One of my favorites was - The higher I go, the stronger I get. These were the words her crew and friends told her as she was climbing the mountains of Colorado. We all need encouragement. Another quote I liked was advice a friend had given another rider. Go out a little slow, but don't slow down. That reminds me of the old saying, Hurry up and wait!
At the beginning of the show the question everyone wanted the answer to is why. Why do you do this? Why ride 3000 miles in all types of weather with hardly any sleep. I liked her answer, Why not? I believe we don't always know why we do what we do? But we do it.
I write songs. I have been writing songs for years. Almost all of my songs have been written in the last twenty years. I spent my hobby time before songwriting learning to play the guitar. Guitar playing and songwriting are the perfect fit. I had no intention of becoming a songwriter. It was something that happened over the years.
I believe part of the answer to Why I do it is- I love the struggle, or the challenge. Learning to play guitar was a challenge for me. I worked and worked and worked at it. It has been the same with songwriting. I know what it is like to be terrible at something but to keep on trying. Not quitting. Hanging in there. I might not write a lot of song like some songwriters but I keep on writing. I have a new song every month that I play at our monthly NSAI meeting. That is my goal. It keeps me writing. Keeps me looking for song ideas, Keeps me motivated to get better. Keeps me from quitting.
My encouraging words today are Keep going. Don't quit. It is like the biking quote- the higher I go, the stronger I get. Keep climbing higher. You got this.