Reality Bytes!

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A glimpse into Nathan O’Neill’s Diary

July 19, 2005 – Woke up this morning to pouring rain and freezing temperatures. At 3,000 meters when it rains, you are lucky if it doesn’t snow.

It turned out that today was a really tough day. Around 30 riders retired from the race, including one of our guys. I think I would have pulled it as well, but I just kept telling myself that tomorrow will be better. There were moments today when I thought about my own mortality. I was alone on the road in this high altitude wilderness, and not a soul in sight. Really scary.

July 20, 2005 – Turns out that today was the exact same weather as yesterday, except for one thing. I was nursing a good dose of diarrhea, and had been up most of the night. All I wanted to do was finish the stage today and hopefully get better overnight for Thursday. Unfortunately, I found that I was really drained from the night spent in the bathroom. I knew that today was going to be really tough. I felt very weak. At about 30km into the race I drifted back to wait for Cesar, who had just suffered a rear flat tire. Almost as soon as I heard this, I heard Ed say on the radio to us that Cesar was out of the race–a motorbike marshal had taken him out. What?! I wasn’t sure if I had heard correctly or not, but I guessed that I had. Cesar was out, and he was more than likely the race favorite. Trying not to think too much about it, I started to make my way back through the cars, when I felt the sudden oncoming urge of more diarrhea. I was near our car at the time, and I shouted to Shane our mechanic for some toilet paper. I was going to make a pit stop. Well by the time he handed me a few paper towel sheets, it was too late. I didn’t even get the chance to stop. I stood up on the pedals, and my plumbing just let go.

Reality Bytes! is a feature covering racer blogs in which we sift through thousands of blog entries to find real-life situations that when prepared for, you can handle more competently. We encourage you to visualize yourself in these situations and how you would deal with them if they were to occur. Repeat these visualizations until they become an established part of your mental skills.

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