It's a very slow process - two steps forward, one step back - but I'm inching in the right direction. - Rob Reiner

February 23, 2011

Um, Pardon Me, but there's something in your leg

Can you say OUCH???  Who is that?  That's Cyclist Azizulhasni Awang (say that three times fast).  And he finished his latest race with that splinter stick through his leg.  Not only did he finish the race after crashing and having that thing stuck in his leg, but he placed Third!!!  Unbelievable.  That's some serious dedication.  Want to know can read the full story here.

As endurance athletes we all have varying levels of of dedication.  But we are all dedicated.  Many of you (us) get up in the wee hours of the morning  - hours before the sunrise.  We run in the rain, the wind, the snow.  We cycle in hail storms.  We have crashes and the road rash and battle scars to prove it.  We swim in lakes that are full of floating trash and unseen sea monsters.  But would we - would you - do this?

Some of you out there would be just like Azizulhasni.  You would finish a race no matter what.  You would crawl to the finish line!  You would do anything in the name of your sport. Last summer I rode my bike through a major hail storm.  It was crazy!  I'm not sure if I would call it dedication, more like stupidity.  I was with a group of two other people.  We really wanted to get our ride in.  The sky was pitch black, but we thought we could beat the storm.  And we did for awhile, but then we turned this corner, and you could see the rain up ahead - you knew you were riding right into  it and it looked scary.  There really was no place to take cover, the best thing we could do was keep riding and hope we got back to our cars as soon as possible.  First the wind started blowing hard, I could hardly keep the bike on the road.  Then came the stinging rain, and then it started only a few pieces at first - HAIL.  Then the hail really started falling; it felt like someone was throwing rocks at me.  I look down at my arms and legs and I had small red circles all over my body.  By the time we reached the car I looked like I had measles or something.  Later that afternoon I developed several small bruises as proof of my insane ride through the hail storm.

So what drives you to keep going, even when the going is tough?  What's the craziest thing you have ever done for the love of your sport or because you just weren't willing to quit?  How do you define that fine line between stupidity and dedication?


  1. I did a century one year in Santa Fe and actually rode through a hail storm like yourself. And you are right it hurts!

    I have ridden through many a crazy rain storms. I have trained through snowstorms. That is why everyone calls me crazy, at least the ones that don't understand!

  2. Craziest thing was probably an 18-mile run in the rain. I was on business in Seattle and my training plan called for 18 miles. I was training for my first marathon so I felt obligated to see it through. It was Nov. of '09 so the temps were in the low 40s and it was raining (shocking!) when I set out on my run. It never warmed up nor did it let up, but I got through that okay, my first ever 18-miler. Would I do that again? I ran another 18-miler in the rain but it wasn't alone.

    I'd say stupidity would be to run... or bike/swim/whatever... with a clear injury. Maybe during a race is different but if you're hobbling around the house and have bruising on your foot and you still go on a run/whatever, then maybe that's a bit excessive.

  3. I had quite a ride in hail once but I didn't get any bruises. We were pretty covered up, though, as we were expecting nasty conditions. I do remember that the hail hurt so bad when it hit my chin - so I would stick my tongue as far down my face as I could, because it didn't hurt my tongue as bad. Weird.

    We also had a cold rainy ride once that was so bad, we dropped about 14 riders at the 1/2way point. At the end of all 45 miles ONLY THE WOMEN WERE LEFT :D

    I sat in my car afterwards and cried for 15 minutes straight because I was so cold and hurt so bad from the hills and well, I still couldn't feel my feet to drive away, so what else to do but let the emotions of the day out...

  4. Wow. That "splinter" looks painful. Riding in hail doesn't sound fun either.

  5. I am feeling sick just looking at that picture!

    I can't think of one thing that I've done that I'd consider crazy .

  6. I live in the most temperate climate in the U.S., so I RARELY battle the elements. That being said, what keeps me from never blowing off a run is simply the goal that I set. I simply choose-in to the training plan and don't waver from it.

  7. I haven't done anything crazy yet - but then again "WHAT IS CRAZY". Everything I do, I do because I love it - regardless of whether some one may decide to call it crazy or not. I can there I DO :)