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Suffering For A Cause

(OR Don’t Try This At Home!)

I did a crazy little challenge back in January. Because I recently blogged about the Tour of Sufferlandria, I wasn't going to post this. But I was recently reminded that it truly was an amazing feat of physical and mental ability, as well as how a simple thing can make the world a better place. And so, thought I should share it with you after all.

(Note, most of what is written was for the sole purpose of writing about my experience to submit to The Sufferfest in my application for Knighthood Status. This will make sense as you read on.)

I might just be a little off my rocker. Just slightly. I did something about a couple of months ago that sounded crazy even just reading about it. In fact, the first line in the rules about taking on the challenge I chose to do is “See a doctor. You’re not right and are in desperate need of help.”

And still, I went ahead with it.

If you don’t know by now, I’m rather sporty. Starting with running since forever, then in 2014 taking on my first Triathlon, and continuing on with it since then, it’s safe to say I’m more active than most.

It’s hard to remember that, though, when I surround myself with like-minded individuals just as crazy as I am. Crazy things start to sound normal.

I’m taking a break this year to focus more on improving my cycling skills, so it seemed a perfect time to take on a challenge I’ve known about for a little over a year now. . . a quest to become a Knight of Sufferlandria.

For the uninitiated, Sufferlandria is a mythical land in the world of cycling. The Sufferfest offers videos and training plans for the cycling enthusiast, some of the toughest, most grueling workouts you’ll find. To become a Knight is not easy. Not even close. There is nothing comfortable about any one video they offer, nevermind the challenge to take on 10 videos, back-to-back with no more than 10 minutes in between.

Yet, that’s just what we set out to do. “We?”, you ask?

Thankfully, I was not alone in my quest. I have enablers. . . . and minions.

Sometime last summer, I mentioned this idea to a fellow cyclist, Brittany Abuhoff. She said she’d also read about it and wanted to give it a try. And so, secure in the knowledge that we had each other, we set a date.

Of course that date was a week after the holidays ended, so training was a bit dodgy at best. Still we pressed on.

It is highly recommended that taking on such a quest is for more than just personal gain. So after a few discussions, Brittany and I finally settled on World Bicycle Relief. WBR is an amazing organization that not only gives those in need in African nations a bike so that they can get to school, or work, or to go get water, but they also employ the local population to build the bikes they deliver.