Wednesday, December 30, 2009

century ride/part I

** this post was intended for october...ooops!

you just have to throw yourself a curve ball. we all know how life often does and usually those situations make you feel helpless or unprepared. and though it was not written in the agenda of the day or lifetime for that matter, it all usually works out in the end.
the same happens when you throw yourself your own, only it at least feels a little more intended.
when my brother said i should do the century ride with him i smiled and went about my day. when he mentioned it again, i smiled and tried to go about my day...only i heard myself say, there is no way i could ride that far.
i don't ride a bike, let alone a road bike, for 100 miles. i'd like to introduce you to my curve ball...it's appropriately named challenge. i'd also like to introduce you to my little brother...who calls me his little sister...and you would think that we would be little people given all the little, but he stands about 6' tall...so he's the little brother that i look up to...i'll call him mr. foot in the door.
see, he started talking about how there was a 45 miler. this sounded tremendously---dare i say it...easier? wait wait wait, i take that back...it sounded more...doable. what a sneaky cheeky fella!
something about being a brent added to being competitive, plus the desire to be an active and healthy being...made me think about it...and usually that means i'll do it. don't get me wrong, my brain doesn't stop so it's a double edged sword. the thoughts are as encouraging as they are disabling.
in wyoming this summer we had ridden about 30 miles into town; it felt a lot like trying to ride into a wild west movie, pulling a gun on tumbleweed, ok not really, but the wind had a presence. i likened it to standng next to a mob leader, not that i ever have, but it sounds intense. i also imagine not wanting to make any wrong moves or you'd be toast. the tumble weeds seemed more like refugees of the land, fleeing for a chance at a better life.
while on the road bike you are fully exposed. pebbles--which feel more like boulders, are kicked up by passing cars. cows along the fence escort you as though body guards to a star... i didn't need to roll down my window...i was in the wide open. many parts were enjoyable. the hills turned different shades with the shifting sun. feeling the earth rise and fall beneath my tire; scary speeds on the way down made me feel out of control like a raging river-yet incredibly calm. a perfect thrill filled zen moment.
blend that with the challenge of the climb. quads burning, pedals barely turning. while your body is busy cycling...your mind goes in different cycles. the good mixed with the bad...who invited the ugly...that's what i want to know.
i'm sure you've all had those moments where you hear a voice and it sounds eerily familiar...your 10th grade algebra teacher, an uncle, pesky neighbor,or that alien who stopped by for nachos and beer...no really, you know the voices. i will call them ying and yang...it's a cocktail that can be potent--good or bad-- and i will definitely have more posts about the ongoing battle with my negative mojo self talk.
anyway...my brother was full of encouragement at The Stop Sign...the stop sign was a monumental point...it was where i kept going. all kibbles and bits and bits of my being were saying, just sit down, reveal your peeled thumb to the intermittent and almost non existent traffic and unveil your wimp-ness. but that would be quitting. so, i made small goals from there on out: always have little brother in site, remember this is not a race. no joke, i wrote a novel and part of another all in 30 miles...i've heard it can take people a lifetime to do so...
what does this all mean? well, it means that as the last hill was being climbed it occurred to me that this was 30 more miles than i had ever ridden on a road bike. which assured me that i could do it again...perhaps try to go faster, less mental writing, more actual pictures being taken; but the ultimate priority is to do it again; while there were many what ifs that crossed my mind-crashing, crashing, and more crashing, nothing would compare to the what if i don't do that again...what if i don't provide myself a curve ball--that's the biggest concern of all.

quick!!

I know that very few people read my blog but in case anyone stumbles across this post...I need your help. 2010 is about to be born and I need a PROJECT or something that requires a daily if not, weekly project--that can be blogged about... I want it to span over the year.
Imagine the movie Julie & Julia...you know, Julie decides to make each of Julia's recipes in 365 days? I want to do something like that...it doesn't have to revolve around food...but if you have any thoughts PLEASE send them my way. I will be announcing what I will be doing tomorrow.