I was uncharacteristically brave this weekend and completed two things that I have been afraid of doing for literally years. Here is story number one.
Dave and I use to ride our bicycles frequently. Dave participated in the MS150 ride for fifteen years and once even rode across the state of Washington with his Dad and brother.
When our oldest daughter was an infant, we were transferred to California for a year and every night after dinner we would get the bikes out, strap Kindra into the bike seat and cycle all over our little town of Tracy.
By the time daughter number two arrived we had moved back to Missouri but continued our biking tradition by getting a second bike carrier. We usually stayed pretty close to home but frequently took family bike rides. One day I was riding with Kayla who was about 18 months old and for some reason I was on the sidewalk instead of the street. I accidentally rode off the sidewalk into the grass where a homeowner had recently edged the lawn. The wheel of my bike hit the trench and down Kayla and I went. I was fine but Kayla had a huge lump on her forehead (yes, she had a helmet on). I am pretty sure I was crying louder than she was.
Since that time I can probably count the number of times I have been back on the bike. My arthritic knees and hips did not help motivate me and neither did the fact that Dave’s bike has not hit the street since he bought a Harley. We have been talking about getting back on the bikes for awhile but there was always an excuse.
Well no more excuses. Last week Dave got the bikes down off of their holding racks and checked the tires and gears. We rode around the neighborhood for about twenty minutes. I must say I never really had a fear of falling before my incident with Kayla, but I sure did this week. I am usually my own worst enemy and let my mind dream up crazy scenarios of things that can go wrong, like falling and dislocating my new hip.
On Sunday of this past weekend it was beautiful morning, about 65 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. I decided it was time to face my fear. We loaded the bikes on the car, dressed in our biking gear and drove out to a wonderful biking path very close to our home.
Two hours later we had completed a 11 ½ mile ride with a couple of stops for water. Although we passed several other bikers and walkers, much of the time we were riding by ourselves listening to the morning sounds coming from the heavily wooded trail. It was wonderful!!!
The path was relatively flat, for which I was thankful, although there were just enough small hills to allow me to practice shifting. It felt so great being back on the bike, knowing I am physically capable of doing this, but also because I faced the fear of falling and gained considerable confidence in my biking skills. I cannot wait to tackle a new bike trail next weekend.
Now for story number two, don’t worry this is a short one. Can you guess what other fear I overcame this weekend? Here is a hint.
If you guessed that I got back on the Harley and rode with Dave, you are correct! I had not been on the Harley since before my hip replacements, when getting on and off was just too hard. I am definitely not ready for a ride to Sturgis (not sure I want to ever be ready for that) but I think I could actually do this again.
Fear is often a barrier that holds us back from getting and becoming what we really want. Try something that scares you. It will be worth the effort.
You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt