I love riding my bike. I love getting into a pedaling rhythm. I love going fast and the sound of the wind as it rushes by. The adrenalin rush when I am speeding down a hill and the see that I am getting close to 30 mph is INTENSE! (Now, I know for those who have been riding for years that may not be so fast, but for me…whooooo it is super fast!)
I love the changes in me that have occurred in the last year. I love that I feel healthier and stronger now than ever before. I love that I am more confident in my physical abilities and I love the confidence I have gained mentally as well. And….I’m gonna say it….I love my legs. My legs are muscly, sleek and tan.
I have found two things that I don’t like though. First…I hate, hate, hate riding up hills. I mean really…I hate it. When I approach a big hill I instantly want to cry, get off my bike and stomp my feet while refusing to climb the hill.
The other thing I don’t like… I fall. I don’t fall speeding down a hill. I don’t fall when the wind is rushing by me. I fall when I am going very slow or standing still.
The first time I fell was the first time I rode clipped in. The second time I fell was the same day as the first time…It’s very important to remember your feet are clipped to your pedals.
I fell again when Don and I were doing a practice ride in preparation for the Tour de Cure. I was standing at a stop light, waiting for it to turn green and just. fell. over. Really, standing perfectly still. I could feel it happening, but because my foot was clipped into my pedal I was powerless to stop my descent.
I did the entire Tour de Cure without falling. Except for the very end…You know, the part where you dismount your bike. Took one foot out and then leaned to the other side. The nice guy directing riders to the bike corral thought I was having a diabetic episode. I assured him that I was just a huge klutz.
I’ve been doing good though. I haven’t fallen in quite some time. Then Monday night came. I went for a ride by myself. I parked in a lot near the bike path. It was a fantastic ride…the first time I’ve ever rode solo. The ride left me relaxed and feeling at peace with the world.
I unclipped early as I approached the parking lot. ~I always unclip early because of my tendency to fall.~ I got a little distracted by someone getting out of a car near my truck…a girl has to stay aware of her surroundings. I was almost stopped when I got that familiar feeling. I was leaning away from my unclipped foot.
You know what happened, right?
I fell. Then I laughed. I don’t know why I think it is so funny to fall. It hurts…it’s not funny…but I laugh.
A nice woman with her “too cool” son (he rolled his eyes at me and seemed irritated that his mom stopped) pulled over to make sure I was okay. I said I was and that I had just leaned the wrong way. She was kind enough to inform me that it was the pedals that caused me to fall.
I have discovered that my muscly, sleek and tan legs must have some kind of visible injury at all times. As soon as one skinned knee gets almost healed I fall on the bike or slip getting into the tub (big bruise and scrape) or burn my leg on the concrete climbing out of the pool. Below is a pic of my newest injury…view at your own risk…
I know it doesn't look all that bad in this picture, but in real life, it's pretty gross and my calf is all scratched up.
When I ride, I am determined to do what I must to reach the end of the road in front of me. If it’s a hill I must climb, I’m going to do it. No matter how big, long or steep the hill…I’m going up and over it and I am going to enjoy the super exciting ride that awaits me on the other side. When I fall on my bike, I will get back up, brush myself off, ignore my bruised ego and keep going.
In life there are challenges…gigantic, intimidating hills that I have to attack and climb. I will climb and fight my way up and over that hill and scream with excitement when I get to the other side. And if and when I fall, fail or have a set back in life, I will get back up, brush myself off, ignore my bruised ego and keep going.