On Saturday we prepared for the race by buying some snacks to take with us and making sure our bikes were working properly. We cooked some good food and chilled out, something we always say we’re going to do but never do.
On the Sunday, we raced out of London into the beautiful countryside, up the highest point in the South East of England and tackled some iconic climbs. It was hard but it was incredible and we beat our target time by almost half an hour.
All the weekends of training had paid off. And then it hit me: we would never have done this if we were living our old pre-minimalist life.
Instead of spending weekends training, experiencing the countryside and the freedom of being out and about with nothing to stop us except the odd puncture or our tired legs, we would have been shopping for furniture, in an accumulation cycle (because once you buy a sofa, you need to have the coffee table and lamp to go with it).
All of these years we thought we were getting more – and we were in terms of possessions – but we were missing out on so much.
The chance to experience the 100 mile challenge would never have happened in our old life because we would have found an excuse to go out and shop and spend money but no amount of stuff can give me the feeling that I felt yesterday; the elation, the emotion of finishing, the crowds of people cheering us on, the tiredness, the drinks with our friends at the end of the race.
Minimalism isn’t about having less, it’s about having so much more than you ever thought possible and yesterday proved that point for me – it just took me 100 miles to realise it.