Sometimes you read stories about amazing athletic feats and feel inspired. That happens sometimes for me.
And then there are the stories that come across your newsfeed that make you think, “No way, not me, not that!”
I have that reaction to x number of marathons in x number of days stories. Nope. Never. Not me. Not that.
Now I’m not a runner. My knees make running impossible. But I also have that reaction to some cycling stories. Like this one!
How many kilometres do you fit in each week? How many can you fit in each week? Whatever that number is, it’s fewer than Czech cyclist Katka Rusà, who finished 2021 with a quite frankly ridiculous total of 50,105km, an average of almost 1,000km per week.
Somehow, she did all this – more than 2,000 hours of riding and 341,167m of elevation – while working full time as a proofreader for an online news company and had no days off. She also plays scrabble competitively.
To put that distance into perspective, Annemiek van Vleuten recorded the most distance of any professional woman on Strava and she only did 30,352km, the next behind her was Erica Magnaldi who did 25,471km.from https://www.cyclist.co.uk/news/10441/czech-cyclist-rides-50000km-in-2021
In interviews about her incredible distance achievement, Rusà says, ‘Everyone’s day has 24 hours and there are seven days a week. We all have the same amount of time, it’s up to you what you do with it.’
You’ve seen that message before if you’re active in the fitness world at all.
Here’s the Beyoncé version of it.
It’s true in one sense that there are the same number of hours in a day for all of us. But it’s not true in another sense, given our various commitments and life circumstances we don’t all have the same 24 hours
Here’s Graeme Seabrook responding to the meme on Medium, “As I come more fully to terms with the way that my life and my schedule can best support my mental, physical, and emotional health — and the impact that has on my business I have had to focus constantly remind myself that comparison is the thief of joy. I don’t have 24 hours in my day. I don’t have 40 hours in my work week. I cannot simply “hustle harder” — well, not without ending up in a hospital. And when I add up all of the hours spent keeping myself sane and relatively healthy, all of the time and energy and boundaries and hard conversations and reading and talking and learning and therapy and journaling and meal planning and introspection and growth and tears and work that it takes for me to be a little more me every day I do wonder whether I am worth it. I do wish that I weren’t quite so expensive.”
In We don’t all have the same 24 hours, but I understand why some people believe it Alice Snape writes, “Can a single, working class mother-of-three, grafting away in a low-paid job to support her family really achieve as much in a day as somebody born into a well-off family who can afford to work in a part-time job? Who has better social connection and has been educated in a more favourable school? Can someone who is just trying to keep their head above water with minimal opportunities in a small town really be compared to someone who has exactly the same dreams, but for whom money has never been an issue? What if you have unconscious bias and racial gaslighting to contend with? As writer Evie Muir puts it: “I have the same 24 hours as Beyoncé but I spend most of them advocating for my own mental health against ableist, racist workplaces who make me cry and give me panic attacks. We are not the same.” When you ask those questions, the answer seems obvious.”
Here one the blog we’ve written about scaling back when our life circumstances require it. See Tracy’s Life Happens, Plans Change, and That’s Okay and my Death Changes Everything and Rough Times, Tough Choices.
I’ve also written before about finding time to exercise and the things I don’t do. I might need to update the list!
This year I’m aiming to ride just over 1/10th of Rusà’s distance but even there I’m prepared to scale back if I need to. So far I’m at 695.4 km. Wish me luck!
I’m also curious to know your response to the “same 24 hours” thing? Is there any valuable take away lesson in it for you?