I was flipping through photos of this years Tour de France the other day. One particular picture stood out in my mind as I clicked (Pic Here). It was a photo of Thomas Voeckler during one of the tours mountain stages (Stage 16 to be exact). What struck me about the photo wasn’t the obvious look of pain on his face, but rather the fact that he doesn’t have a computer on his bike. There is no speedometer, no powermeter there is nothing on the bike to provide feedback about his effort. Voeckler is trusting in himself that the effort he puts forth during the stage will be enough to give him the win (which it did).
When I first started riding my bike years ago I always wanted to go 20 mph. It was an arbitrary number I picked out of the air, no real rhyme or reason behind it. I was much better suited for 15-18 mph rather than 20 mph but my stubbornness made me think myself capable of this speed.
During the bike leg of my first ever triathlon my bike computer stopped working. I remember looking down to see my speed and saw only a blank screen staring back at me. After a failed attempt to fix the computer by mashing all the buttons multiple times, I panicked. I was petrified on riding too slow in my first ever race so I did what every other panicked cyclist does; proceeded to bury myself.
I rode the bike like Jens Voigt that day. I pedaled until my calves cramped up and my quads melted down. With no computer to tell me how I was doing I turned myself inside out to get a decent bike split.
Later in the day I checked my split online. I had ridden a 19.9 average, not bad considering that my previous best training ride had been an 18 average. The lack of feed back made me push myself deeper than I thought previously possible.
We need to view our faith in the same respect. Let us all look at in a Voeckleresq fashion, one where we are not constantly checking an arbitrary screen for feedback. Let us all ride with out a computer and be willing to bury ourself doing God’s will in our lives. Let us all work ever harder to proclaim the Word of God here on Earth and when the race is over we may just surprise ourself with the effort we made.