Bringing your body and your brain to the place to output maximal efforts physically while remaining completely calm in your head and remaining technically efficient is to me the ultimate challenge.
What I expect of myself is the best that my body and brain can give. There is nothing like being in the skating position and having to put out effort.
It’s difficult to describe what it feels like. You are basically hurting at a cellular level.
The first seven laps are very, very hard, but the race really begins with five laps to go. It starts feeling like there are razor blades in every cell – not only your legs and your lungs, but every muscle fiber of your being. And with three laps to go, you even feel it in your eyeballs. There’s pain everywhere and that’s the point where I see myself. Now I have to get lower take it longer and stronger and I have to pick up the pace and there’s something inside of me. I bring myself to such a point of extreme pain and discomfort that I become numb to it.
Somehow I’m able to get to another level. To shift to another gear and to put myself through even more pain. I think that’s what I like about it. It’s the ultimatum of “are you going to fight? Or are you start thinking about this race being over?” I love getting myself to the point where I have the guts to go a lot deeper. To get stronger and longer and hopefully faster toward the end.
Clara Hughes has what I’m searching for.
Bonus Canadian points: Stealing fire from the gods – podcast discussing the search for excellence / higher consciousness through sport