The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Monday, March 12, 2012

Expectations



This weekend marked my re-entry into an active lifestyle. The bike club's season got started this weekend with a new member orientation ride on Saturday and a full selection of rides on Sunday. I helped out on Saturday. On "new member rides," there are usually a few people who are very inexperienced and don't fully understand how and when to use their gears. Having someone ride behind them to help them with that and getting them over a few hills is very reassuring. But it can be difficult to ride that slow, even for me! Plus it was a cold afternoon, and with all the stopping and starting and slowness, I never really warmed up. But it was 11 miles, and you have to start somewhere. More importantly, all my body parts were compliant and I was able to propel my bike forward... so I decided to lead a ride on Sunday, a very scenic 20 miles over the hills and around the reservoirs in the northern county. It's been 3 months of inactivity and an overall lack of energy and motivation, and I paid the price. The hills......... I remembered the 2 big hills on this ride, and I was (at least) mentally prepared for those, but I forgot about the long slow burner and the rollers and the smaller but definite climbs. I even told my group what to expect, a slow but challenging ride. Then why did I expect something different? Later on in the day my husband and I were driving to a party and I was complaining about feeling so out of shape especially when climbing, and it all became crystal clear. After 3 months "off," I have no right to expect anything different. Yes, time for a reality check. I'm going to have to work to get it back. It's not free. I have to earn it. Starting at the bottom can be discouraging. Many of my cycling peeps rode consistently through the very mild winter, and I can't keep up with them. I must admit there was also a tiny kernel of fear being on the roads with cars and trucks. I was glad I always had someone behind me. But happiness was the main ingredient..... to feel that special freedom on 2 wheels, visiting one of my favorite places (the Croton Dam) and being with some of my favorite people. Much more happiness to come.

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