Not a Mountain Biker…Yet
I woke up on Tuesday morning with pain in both of my forearms. My shoulders were creaking and my glutes were sore. As I dragged myself out of bed to go on a run, instead of thinking about the 1 million things on my to do list, I thought about what I had accomplished the day before that made my body hurt. Monday was the 4th ride on my new mountain bike. This ride was different from the other 3 rides because I went to the trail by myself. No friends to encourage me or to call an ambulance if I hurt myself.
I got nervous driving to the trail alone and even more nervous getting out of the car. Once I got on my bike and on the trail, I took a spin on the easiest loop to get my bearings. I circled back around thinking that was a little too easy and went on a harder loop because after 3 rides, I’m almost a professional. That’s where I realized I might be in over my head. The blue trail turned to black and I could feel frustration and fear creep in. The bypasses helped calm my nerves and I walked anything I wasn’t comfortable riding, which was a lot. I made it out with only falling 3 times. That 2nd fall hurt a bit leaving a large bulging bruise on my forearm, but I got back on the bike and finished the trail. I ended up riding 6 more miles until I was completely sweaty and felt like I had accomplished my goal of not hurting myself too badly.
2018 has been the year of challenge. Along with working at the shop 6 days a week, I’m enrolled in an intensive business development program until August, and going to bike mechanic school in October. Taking up a new sport at the age of 41 that intimated the hell out me wasn’t something I planned to take on this year, but I’m glad I took the plunge. It’s a sport I have to focus on when I’m doing it and doesn’t allow me time to think about anything else. I can leave my phone in my pocket and my computer at home and challenge myself physically and mentally.
The part that most surprises me is how much I like it. I love my bike and the way I feel when I get done with a ride even though it’s really hard. If we don’t challenge ourselves, how do we know our limits or what we are capable of accomplishing?