Saturday, June 11, 2016

Getting back to being brave

Before my bike crash a couple of years ago, I would hop on my bike solo, go ride down to the river or to a trail, pack my bike up and go on a group ride knowing that I would see someone I knew or meet some new cycling friends. I didn't need to have someone to ride with me, I didn't need to know the pace of the group in advance in fear of getting dropped. I was perfectly okay riding and just getting it IN. Until that fateful day, when I went out on a solo ride in the 'hood and ended up in the back of an ambulance with my head split open. I've never been able to get my mojo back. The anxiety has been far greater than I have admitted to anyone. Anxiety about falling, anxiety about getting left alone, anxiety about riding solo, anxiety because of... the anxiety. But today, I made a huge step toward getting my mojo back. Today I ended up being the brave Tri Becca I used to be.

I signed up for the Patuxent River Rural Legacy ride. I invited folks to join me, but got no bites. My coach had it on my plan and I was committed to getting it done, even if it meant going alone. I had a sick tummy this morning, I got a late start, I considered not going, I got there and considered riding the 22 mile route instead of the 44 mile route as planned. I was ALL OVER THE PLACE! I pulled up and saw Tedd and Lynette. I started out riding with them, but ended up leaving them on the first climb. I met up with 2 other girls, who I ended up leaving on the next hill. I kept finding people and then leaving them when I realized that I had more in me to give on the bike. I rode with these 2 women for awhile that challenged me to keep up. They decided to go to the rest stop, but I had hydration and my legs were feeling fresh, so I didn't stop at the rest stop. I caught up with another group and hung with them for awhile before I realized that I could push my pace more. As I took off, this tall piece of man candy with  Getting It IN cycling took off with me. We pushed each other and chased each other up and down hills. My bladder started to hate me, so he held my bike while I hit the bushes. We made a quick stop for hydration at the next aid station and pushed off again. I past SO many people today! I've never said "ON YOUR LEFT"... and gave so many words of encouragement as much as I did today. I thank John at 90+ cycling for the help with hill climbing. His classes kick my ass every time and I am always one of the last to finish a climb, but I can see that it's helping me to get stronger.

I did the damn thang today! I went out there, not knowing if I would see a familiar face or if I would be riding solo because I got a late start, but I decided to be brave and get it done. I did it! I completed the 44 mile route and discovered a new cycling group to ride with. I was BRAVE today and for that I am extremely proud of myself! Last year, I was too afraid to get outside to ride.  I spent countless hours on my trainer due to fear. This year I hope to get back to the brave Tri Becca that I once was and become a stronger and faster cyclist/triathlete. This year I will get outside more and just do the damn thing! This year I will train for an Ironman again and hope to change my name to "Iron Becca". Nice ring to it, huh?

the very BRAVE  and PROUD Tri Becca