Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Casting Off My Chains of Fear

YES! I did it!!!! I faced my fear, I pushed back the self doubt, and I just got on and did it! No longer am I a slave to the Silver Bullet. The Silver Bullet is now a slave to me.... muuhahahaha. Ok- soooo maybe we are equal partners..... ok maybe 70/30 Bullet. Yes, that is what I have named my shiny new bicycle. Mainly, because well, he is Silver. And because my nickname in my glory pool days, was well- the Silver Bullet- because of my shiny silver swim cap and smoked goggles...well and because of the comparison "you swim like a bullet in the water" ...but if you think about all the movies and tv shows you see where someone shoots a bullet into the water- they tend to lose velocity upon entry fairly quickly...and then spin a bit and sink. So we'll just use the name the way it was meant to be understood.

I'm not gonna lie- I was very afraid. As I was going to sleep last night, a mini-panic attack came over me. I allowed my brain to start forming the unending "what if" scenarios- like "what if I cant ride a bike.. then what do I do- how would I even TELL everyone that I had to drop out because I can't ride a bike." "What if I fall and break my leg and it wont heal in enough time to do the triathlon" What if I lose motivation and end up not doing it. What if I train and train and train and still I am just not good enough to even consider competing. All these stressors coupled with this crazy depressing book I'm reading for one of my classes let my sleep fitful at best. I overslept this morning, totally missed the pool - I know- big GRR- especially considering how much anxiety I already have!

Long story short- I got home and I said- LOOK HERE BIKE! :insert Clint Eastwood Esque High Noon Showdown Music:
We need to come to an understanding....

So, I took it out of the garage.... sat on it and balanced for a few minutes, gradually rolled and braked down my driveway getting used to the hand brakes and the response on the bike and then I was off! Wind blowing in my hair- free as a bird.....

until I came to a corner. Yeah- corners you do not have on a stationary bike.... I'm definitely going to have to relearn corners. Also, I think for now it is probably wiser for me to NOT ride in neighborhoods and take my bike to the bike trail instead. For numerous reasons...

- Huge blind spot... totally cut off a truck turning down a street- apparently these old ears aren't as attuned as they used to be either.

- Corners- these are quite trouble some. I swing rather wide and rode over a few peoples lawns. Not a problem now because well who is worried about their lawn at this current point- but come sunnier weather and all these Stepfords will be out obsessing over ever strand.

- Sudden lack of and eventual resurgence of sidewalks. I had planned to ride a big loop around the neighborhood- do the same trail essentially as my jog trail, except where I usually turn back and head towards home I turned instead and continued to make a large loop along a road and planned to do about a 2 mile square around the neighborhood when lo and behold- the sidewalk just ends. Eventually I;m sure riding in the grass and gravel wont be a big deal, but considering it's my first day back in the saddle - haha no pun intended!- I figured I best stick with solid non giveable surfaces. So I turn around ... which lead me to problem numero quatro

- I have absolutely no sense of direction. I ended up lost in a maze of streets that essentially were only about a quarter mile from my house, but I was stuck in a maze of houses and culdesacs and never ending streets that only pushed me further and deeper into the depths of the wrong subdivision. I eventually found my way out to a main road and then could regain my bearings.

When you are a child riding your bike- or even one who has never stopped riding a bike from childhood to adulthood, I'm sure don't notice things like, bumps. But I felt every single last one of them. I started to purposely ride in the street so as to avoid going up and down the curbs. Gotta love jello butts- they can not tolerate any kind of shifting or jolting.

So, for now- a BIG woohoo! to me from me for grabbing the bull by the horns or...the bike by the handles as the case may be- and getting back on that old horse again. :) Facing fears feels so good !

~Millie :)