It’s a new year… most of us are setting goals we want to accomplish in the next year. In college, I realized I was selling myself short. My “resolutions” seemed trivial and faded by midyear. So, I decided to change the way I looked at the new year. I wanted to reclaim my self doubt, self-consciousness, and self-negativity. I wanted to go from an “I could never do that person” to someone who proved their judgements about who they are wrong. Since then, I’ve had the same New Year goal every year: To do something I previously told myself I couldn’t do. In the years since, life has been a hilarious mixture of success, trials, and learning that while I may be able to do something, that does NOT mean that I can do it well. I’m looking at you, bass guitar.
Regardless of how well I completed my goals, I worked hard and accomplished them all! So far, I have learned how to cook and play bass, I’ve climbed mountains and run half marathons. I’ve become re-engaged in a sport I love (figure skating) and moved to a new city, learned a new language (still in process), and traveled. All of these things have empowered me to be better. They’ve brought me closer to myself.
This year, my goal is to complete a sprint triathlon: 1/2 mile swim, 12.4 mile bike, 3.1 mile run. I’m laughing at myself as I type this because I have not swam since I was maybe 7 and on a neighborhood swim team for a summer . And, until yesterday, I hadn’t been on a bike in over 10 years.
When the thought of doing a triathlon came to mind a few months ago, I talked to some of my triathlete friends about it. One of those friends invited me to a holiday party at her tri club, Endurance House. At the end of the night, they raffled off a free year membership. I didn’t win it, but the lady who did offered the membership to me, and here we are.
On the first day of 2017, I hopped on my brand new bike (Polly) and rode 18 miles to the Davidson Mesa scenic overlook.
It may not have been fast or pretty, but it was empowering. My friends stayed with me and encouraged me up hills, when I was struggling. I cussed a few times on the last hill before the overlook… but let me tell you, those hills were worth the view!
In addition to the cussing, I almost fell off my bike a few times. Note to self: don’t try to check your Garmin or drink water while cycling. You are not that talented… yet. I had to get off the bike a few times to give my legs a rest. I actually ran up one of the hills with my bike next to me, instead of on it. Whatever gets you up the darn hill, I guess. I also had a bit of trouble changing gears. Had no idea what each of the gears did, which made for a few very interesting hills. These gears are much more difficult than the ones on the Walmart bike I had when I was ten. I clearly have a lot of learning to do! Please let me know if you have recommendations for resources on understanding gears and how to use them.
Cycling is a whole new world that I will have to get used to, but I’m open, ready, and eager for the challenge. Thanks to my friends, Meredith and Jennifer, for accompanying Polly and me on our first ride! No doubt I would not have gone as far or pushed myself as hard without you guys next to me.