This is a disclaimer...I am a really, REALLY bad scribbler/drawer/illustrator (I think that's taking these stickmen a bit far though). So when I decided to do a pictorial representation of the likeness between riding up Nebo on a singlespeed and giving birth, I knew the resultant drawings would be, at best, laughable, and at worst, grotesque. I think I have managed something a little in between, so read on for more. (Note: contains bad language, but that's nothing compared to the insultingly poor quality of ilustrations)
1. The Start: Nervous Excitement.
The day starts out great. In both cases you have packed a bag and have prepared well for your upcoming adventure. Gels? Check. Maternity pads? Yep. You're not really sure what you're in for, you may be asking questions like—"will my legs hurt?" and "will I end up with an episiotmy?" (nb: if you don't know what this is then don't google it. These two are probably mutually exclusive terms, unlikely that the utterances will be interchanged between riding and birthing. If you find yourself asking the latter when riding your bike, you may need to invest in a new saddle.)
2. The Climb Begins: Apprehension Mounts.
Without knowing what you're in for, the journey becomes a bit more nerve wracking. "How long will this go on for?" you may think. Contingency plans (ie: having a spouse collect you from the side of the road or having some sweet pain relieving drugs) may cross your mind at this point in preparation for the arduous times ahead, not fully believing in your own ability to conquer the pain. (Conquering pain: applies to both situations).
3. The Midst of the Soul-Sapping Ascent.
This is the time when people can talk to you, but you can't really add two plus two together so all attempts at conversation are futile. You have the IQ of a pirahana, but doubting you can muster the tenacity of one. The hills/contractions mount on top of one another, again and again, trying to break you as your legs/insides cry out in pain. You cry out for a coke/epidural but noone comes to your aid, in line with the wishes in your 'birth plan'/'planned ride' (whatever that is...). Noone hears your cry for coke in the forest.
4. A Second Wind: Finding yourself.
Whether you come good due to finding an old muesli bar in your pocket, eating a proper nutrition plan, or being told that you're already 10cm and ready to push, the psychological bent is the same. Lets make this shit happen! You think of your competitors training and you make yourself hurt more. You think of getting the bowling ball from between your legs to the outside world and it pushes you to bear down a little harder with that next contraction. Way past the point of no return, you know there are no drugs to be had now, there is no spouse picking you up from the side of the road. You're almost there, so make that shit count!
5. Reaching the top: Goal achieved!
Congrats! You have singlespeeded up South Boundary road without walking and with minimal teeth grinding. You have punched out a baby that weighs 5% of your bodyweight through what was once the equivalent of the eye of a needle (not again for a while, mum!). You are a singlespeeding god. You are a birthing goddess-come-mama-warrior type. You reach that cafe and get that coke, you hold that bundle while someone ferrets around to find you a beer in the hospital. All in all, you conquered. You legend.