TOMORROW marks the start of what will be a sleepless few weeks for a lot of people, as we all attempt to stay alert enough to experience The Holy Grail of cycling, the Tour De France which is closely followed by the ultimate stage for international sport, the Olympic Games.
But the sleepless nights, and the coffee-infused mornings attempting to stay awake, is nothing compared the physical, mental and emotional roller-coaster these athletes will experience.
But one particularly extraordinary athlete that comes to mind is Cadel Evans.
Hailing from Armidale, Evans spent most of his primary school years here.
Evans is now considered one of the greatest cyclists of the 21st century following his victory in the 2011 Tour de France.
This year he will attempt to defend his title.
If this feat alone was not enough, Evans will then head to London to spearhead the Australian road cycling team.
It got me thinking… what is it that makes us do crazy things in pursuit of sporting excellence?
This week I have heard stories of athletes from Armidale travelling all over New South Wales to train with their various representative teams.
last weekend, as I struggled to deal with the piercing cold, people all over Armidale were stripped down to shorts and T-shirts to play their various sports, irrespective of the sub-optimal weather.
At 6.30am last Saturday morning, plenty of kids took to the pool at The Armidale School to learn to swim, and despite the early morning, they were having a great time.
Even I have done my fair share of crazy.
But surely, no one does these sorts of things just to stay fit.
What is it then?
What gets 80 per cent of Armidale up and playing a variety of sports all year round.
We are not all heading to France for Le Tour, or London for the Olympics, but surely we must all be out trying to achieve our own sporting Holy Grail, whatever that may be.
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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.