Sunday, March 10, 2013

following a dream

I still remember the first time I flipped through a magazine at the thrift store and saw an ad for a bicycle ride across America as a fund raiser.  It started a dream in my mind. From that moment, I knew I would someday do just that...bike across America.  I hadn't biked in years.  The bike I owned was a cheap Huffy  10 speed from the 80's.  It fit when I was 9 inches shorter.  I mentioned to a friend of mine who was a biker that I wanted to start riding and he said, "The harder you pedal, the faster you'll be."   I dusted off my old bike and took it out for a spin.  The first few minutes were easy but as the ride stretched out (I'm talking more than 5 minutes), I could feel my legs not being happy with me so I chanted his words to me over and over in my mind the whole 5 miles.  I was dead when I got home.  I was entirely out of shape!  But I was not deterred.  I wanted it more than before.  I joined a gym and worked out 5-+6 times a week for 3 months straight.  Then I decided I was ready to try a bike ride again.  It was so much easier than the time before.  I have never looked back.  


Biking has helped me to set goals and to work toward them like when I wanted to do a century (a 100 mile ride in one day).  I worked on my mileage and endurance, slowly building up until I could do.  It taught me to take one step (or pedal stroke) at a time like when I encountered a hill so steep that I didn't dare stop pedaling because I knew that I would start rolling backward before I even had a chance to set my foot down ...and I made it to the top without stopping!  It taught me that sometimes dreams can take a long time to come true but that doesn't mean you should give up...because the journey to it is just as wonderful as what you hope will happen once you reach your goal.  But aside from what it has taught me, it has helped me in many ways.  It's been my therapy when I was going through dark times.  It has helped heal one of my knee disorders.  It has given me freedom.  It has helped me develop a sense of healthy self-esteem.  It has taught me to take the highs with the lows (though I sometimes do much better than others).  It has taught me that I need to back in the saddle when I fall.  

On one particular ride, I was feeling so good.  I was feeling on the top of the world.  I stopped and took this picture.  

Less than 10 minutes later, I was in an accident that gave me 4 wounds that had to be cleaned out at the ER and took months to heal from (this is from 3 months later).  

The accident happened when I was going about 30 MPH when I came on a very tight turn.  I made the turn, but my bike didn't.  It was about 6 months before the swelling in my hip/thigh went down enough for me to get back on my bike.  I had panic attacks every time I had to go down a hill but even more so when it had a turn in it.  It took two years, but I finally got rid of the panic attacks.  I still feel a little uncomfortable and am more cautious than I used to be but I think that that's pretty normal.

I haven't reached my dream of crossing the country by bike.  I have no idea if it will ever happen.  But that doesn't matter.  What matters is that I am enjoying the time I do get to spend on my bike and I savor the times I get to go touring.  I am learning to have joy in the journey regardless of how it turns out.  


6 comments:

Andrea said...

That was a nice post! (I remember when you mentioned your bad accident before (or maybe you've had more then 1...) How life can change..from the moment of your jubilant picture to the accident! I bet your old huffy was one of the last made in America! My one son loves running like you do biking! The spirit of freedom is wonderful! We all need to retreat from the strains of the world in some way ....to life up our spirits! I need to be outside more close to nature.

Heather and Thomas Mann said...

wonderful post! i am glad you were able to find something you love so much! and those are wonderful lessons to have learned. you amaze me, honestly!

Valerie said...

Awesome thoughts! And I love, love, love that photo of you before your accident!

Andrea said...

Hi! I enjoyed reading all of your comments! You are right...the amount of work soon to happen outside in our yards...it is daunting...and you have such large gardens now. Your landscaping is so nice.

A neighbor of mine actually took in a rabbit and bottle-fed it. Then let it loose. It is a good thing you found the nest...because this rabbit was much too tame from being in their home, and would just come up and visit my rabbits...we saw it for a year and then no more..probably was eaten due to it being too tame.

Well, eat well now as long as you can, and worry about the future when it comes. I am mostly a fruit person, but my husband just mentioned to me that fruit has all those sugars. So I guess I should try more vegetables! Have a good day!

Andrea said...

Hi! well any old china is fun to have, to think of past generations using it!

As far as letting spring air in...even having a fish tank needs new air! ha...not just dogs. We never noticed our fish tank smell, until we've been away for a couple of days and open the door and smell the fish.

Right now, I feel sorry for the people out west who are getting snow!

Andrea said...

Hi Tiff:o)
I can't wait to see your gardens this year! I just read how to make sauerkraut (so easy) and I thought of you and how you posted on fermenting once.

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