Friday, February 19, 2016


I succeeded.  My hike, the one that I felt defined me, is over and I accomplished what I set out to do.  Way to go ME!

I am beginning to see differences with 6 months of bike riding.  It started subtly. Activities that made me feel out of breath quickly, now aren't as difficult as before.

Clothes are fitting differently.  I am not at all near 'buy a new wardrobe' but I am at 'those pants that were uncomfortable are now easy to wear'.  

My face has changed a bit - it's interesting.  It's something I see every day so it's hard to notice.  One day I looked in the mirror and I noticed the difference. Almost like it had happened overnight.  

My legs.  That's a big difference.  I began feeling what they could do differently about 3 months in.  At the same time I began feeling the difference in how they felt when I walked or flexed for some reason.  I couldn't see it.  But the muscle was definitely noticeable to the touch.

This week I actually saw the changes in my legs.  There's a visible definition that wasn't there before.  That shocked me.  And made me smile.  

Perhaps more importantly, I am noticing changes inside me.  Inside my head.  I look back at all the things I was afraid of doing.  The challenges before me that I never believed I would accomplish, so I pretty well convinced myself to not even try.

I rode 3 miles, but was positive I wouldn't be able to ride 5 miles.

Now I ride 8+ miles for all of my rides.

I rode at 9 mph.   I was convinced that I would never reach 10 mph.

Now I am at 13+ and I even saw a 14 once!

That's what conditioning has given me.  I have built myself up and improved on myself.  

Here's where my mind, my head, has begun to change.

I started out by walking my bike up hills.

Now I have added sections to my ride that have hills.   I cringed when I added the first one. Truth be told I flat out whined when I added it.  But I did it.  My most recent hill addition kicks my ass EVERY SINGLE TIME.   I have to talk myself into doing it when I decide on my route in the morning.  And sometimes I talk myself out of it.  I have to say, though, that when I do make it up that hill, I feel elated.

I avoided going fast down hills.  I rode the brakes as hard as I rode the pedals for the up hill portion.   I was so scared of losing control.

Now, there are three hills that I look forward to flying down and I am scouring Strava after the ride to see my top speed (I have hit 30 mph!!)

We spend so much of our lives defining ourselves.  Making a box around who we are and saying "this is me".  

I am not a box.    

I don't have a limit.   

This is my most recent self revelation.

I know myself well enough to know  that I will still struggle with that.  It will be easy to slip back and say there are limits to who I am and what I can do. 

My only limits are in my head. 

I hope I can keep coming back to that.

This year 238 miles
Overall 792 miles


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