To summarize my days before and in Costa Rica. La Ruta is a serious competition where world athletes get toghter and bike and have fun for four days. No matter what anyone would have told me or explained ahead I could never understand what to suspect I realize now today. Three days before our start we went out on the course training. I have to admit, I got a big shock. When climbing this insanely steep hill, I was thinking; How could I ever train and prepared for this by not being here before and seen it, I have had to bike up- & downhill Gästrappet in Åre to get this incline ten times a day. And how could I ever explain this for my friend. That combined with the heat and humidity was parts of what made me worried. Not just mentaly worried but also pyhsicaly, I had never put my body under such heat and stress pressure before for such long time as three days. Dehydration is easy to avoid if you just drink right amount of water every hour. But if you drink to much you lose a lot of salt and minerals when peeing. That way you dehydrate yourself of minerals and salt insted. Witch is the real problem. People usually don’t think about that. Food is not a problem, we have enought of fat reservs in our body to make it four days. Include all risks of being infected through crossing rivers in the jungle, be covered by mud and dirt for hours with small cut on your legs this could easily led to infection. Just some mud or river water on your waterbottle can get you diarrhea. Ofcourse I had plenty of cuts on my legs after banging in to my padel hard a few times... This things plus that I been sick for two weeks before the race, not have I had a bike or any proper gear either just until two days before depature. (I can just blame myself for this) Changing my way of eating five days ahead of the race made my wonder how I would react to Costa Rican food? On top of that, the five days before, I felt completly inactive, I gues I have never been so still for such long time in years. That’s what it felt like. This stressed me out. For the first time in my life I felt real stress and how it effect my body and mostly my stomach. I and my body work this way, I need to control this thing, and I usually do when it comes to this things. Because then I can effect and handle my future and where I want to steer it. And when I can do that, that gives me confident. So when race day 1 came up I was relieved. I could finally do what I was there to do, digg in to myself and just racing. Earlier in my blog I mentioned what attract me to do this race was, a comment on their website said it’s a personal growth journey. All kind of adventure races are that, one way or another I would say. Dosen’t matter if you do it for one or seven day, the journey just get a little differnt. And it’s different for all of us even if we do the same race, that reflect both positive and negative ways. My gues is also that business people get out the same adrenaline kick of closing a big deal and make a lot of money like I get out of biking through a contry or swim and run through the Stockholm arcipelago and be totaly exuasted and crossing the finish line. It’s a type of satisfaction within your self when you accomplish and reach your goals. We like that feeling so much so we are out fishing for it over and over again, through different things I also strongly belive in moving or pyhsical activity as one of the best medicines, this with a special way of thinking (that I get when I’m training, because I’m in motion) help me through many hard and tough things here in life. So did it this time, everything just let go when the the start shot went of on november 2. I was finally laughing, biking and running through mud up to my knees without being blamed when coming home all really dirty, going as fast as I could downhill on beautiful ridges along gravel roads and singel tracks, hiking through the jungle being so wet and humid I felt like I was melting like an ice cream a hot summer day. Climbing this steep hills, being so tyerd without knowing when you will reach the top or how much futher you have to go. Crossing strong rivers, with it’s cold water cooling down your chins, Walking on ledges with direct drop of’s next to you with you bike on your shoulder. Biking over active vulcanos at over 3000 meters (9000 feet), first be drowned with warm tropical rain reaching the finish line late afternoon down town and hours before freezing high up by cold rain and thick fog, almost not able to see where you where going. Be souranded by banana trees crusing gigantic felds towards the ocean. Power walking over rail road bridges and bike along railways, through small old and tear towns. See school kinds cheering us on behind fences, singing, smiling and even living through this circumstances showed us pure happines. Knowing thay are our future and believing in it. Mentaly push yourself even when feeling really tyerd and find more energy you thought you didn’t had. AND meeting new great friends along the way and get to adventure with them! When all that and more came to me, it all made sence to me agian way I do this. I felt free and total happines!
To qvote what Dan said to me on our way back to San José yesterday evening; ”This can never be explaind Staffan if someone asks. You can just tell them: You go down to Costa Rica and do La Ruta, then you come back home and tell me how it was.” This race is more than a personal growth journey, specally for me if I look back today. For me I have done other things that made me grow more but this gave me something else, for me something more giving this time. I got to experience and know new people, kulture, nature and enviorment! The growth for me was learning how I react to stress and that experience.
I got a comment sent to me from a friend this morning through sms/text: It siad; Congratulation Staffan, you just don’t have a strong and big heart that can support your body with enought red blodcells to take you through a race like this exceptionaly well, it’s warm, welcoming and friendly to! That made me happy!
Thank you all sponsors again for helping me to make this reality!
Blake´s LotaBurger, Stadium Sweden AB, POC Sports, Enervit – science nutrition, Cykloteket and Peak Performance.
And last but NOT least, all and everyone of you readers, Thanks! =)