Climbing THE FIG (Mount Figueroa) in Solvang is a commitment in itself, regardless of your individual specific goals on any set day. It’s a serious climb, 9.3 miles with an elevation difference of 3086 feet. It takes physical fitness, serious bike riding skills and above all, a certain mental toughness each time the climb is tackled.
Dana Platin, Founder of The Warmi Project and a first time Solvang camp athlete, set out to ride ‘The Fig’ as part of our Spring Fling Camp 2017. You always wonder what goes through another athlete’s head as they face a big challenge. Did they have concerns, doubts, were they confident, what were their real goals? Dana’s write up of her climb up The Fig, shows the value in embracing new challenges as an opportunity to grow. Thank you Dana for this great read, it’s motivating stuff!
There Is No Comfort In The Growth Zone – by Dana Platin
I lean in, push down my right pedal, breathe deep as I pull my crank up. I drop my head down as my eyes fixate on the road ahead, the pain has set in my lower back as I work the incline on Fig mountain outside Solvang, California. I have a 9-mile climb with about 4,800 feet of elevation gain with little to no flats along the way to recuperate. I have never ridden up this climb before, do not know what to expect, was told there is a section with 17% grade. Need to take it steady so I don’t run out of my mental fuel half way up this beast of a climb.
I have been an avid cyclist since 2008, regardless, each time I am on a new route it’s as though it is like the first time I clip into my pedals. I still get a little nervous, I have the tendency to question my ability, and I usually stay within my comfort zone, hence, I hold back.