Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Back in the Saddle Again

The first ride of the year is always humbling and exhilarating in equal measure. This one was no exception, and my muscles strained against demands long forgotten. My sleek tri bike has been indoors on the trainer all winter, and I've done a better than usual job of getting on it, but there are laws of physics on the open road that simply cannot be tested in one's living room while watching Downton Abbey,  Bloodline, and The Americans.

Hardly daring to believe the warmth in the air, I overdressed and was sweating as soon as I left, just after sunrise. The air's softness, the fresh smell of spring, the wind on my face as I cruised down the first hill, shit-eating grin broad across my face--all balm to this winter-weary soul. My senses came alive as I settled into the ride, my big body adjusting to the rhythm of the road. I made it to Rockland, up Union and down the middle of deserted Main Street, early morning sun creeping in. It smelled of donuts and mulch and the sea.

Honestly, I had a hell of a time getting out the door. Like, it took me two months. No really. I wanted to get out that long ago, and I just could not. I've been stuck. Since about November. Let's just say it's been a long, cold, lonely winter in which I did more than my share of wallowing for no good reason other than it was all I could manage.

If you're stuck too, maybe take heart? You only have to do one small thing to get unstuck. Don't choose the hard, impossible thing. Choose a thing you know you can do. You know what mine was? It wasn't "Ride 16 miles at 5:20 a.m" I wouldn't have made it. Hell, I didn't make it, because that was actually my goal in March.

Instead, it was a small thing. One day it was "Just find the good bike tire." Another day it was "watch youtube video about how to change the shitty bike tire into the good bike tire." Then it was "find your gloves and light and that bag that goes on the front thing." One by one, the little pieces--the little stumbling blocks-- melted away. And finally, it was here. A beautiful day, almost enough sleep, all my shit finally together and a training plan that said Go. It still took me half an hour extra to actually get out the door. But I fit the whole hour in on the bike. And just as I knew I would be, I was really damn glad I did.

Trying to make change? Bite sized pieces. Change your habits, one baby step at a time. Then do the thing you'll be gladdest you did.


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