I have written before about my fear of bike riding. Not only does my bum hurt, but I am terrified - I mean TERRIFIED of falling off. I have equilibrium issues (I guess) as balance has never been my strong suit.
Today, I had a choice to make. I was tired from our camping trip, my friend I was going to ride with ended up with another event happening and we couldn't afford a sitter for Erik to go with me this time. SO - I either had to go ALONE or not go at all.
I was so sad and discouraged (initially masking itself as FEAR) that I was really planning to blow it off. Deciding it wasn't THAT big of a deal. Surely I could make it up another time.
Once I finally admitted to myself I was really AFRAID, I started to cry. I couldn't stop. I could barely choke out why I was crying. He did what he usually does when I am freaked out, he calmly looked into my eyes and said, "Jenn, you need to do this. I will take care of the boys." I kept crying and went and got by super-spectacular-everyone-wishes-they-had-a-bum-the-size-of-mine bike shorts on, and my cycling shirt that shrunk in the wash and got ready to go. I kissed my little guys good night and went out to the car.
He calmly (as he most often is) showed me how to load my bike on the rack attached to my car, I loaded up, kissed him goodbye and left. I made two calls on my way to the starting point of my ride. My friend Leslie who is my designated cheerleader for all things athletic (and many other things) and my Dad. I had to leave a message for Leslie and Dad prayed for me and I was still crying when we hung up.
I tell you about this FEAR thing because so many of you say you are inspired by me and that is great. But, I am no different than you are. Many of you think riding a bike is no big deal, but it is to me. It is the longest part of my triathlon and the thing that scares me the most. FALLING and CRASHING, and FLAT TIRES, Oh My! (You get it don't you? Lions and tigers and bears! Oh My!)
I get to my starting point and get on my bike. I just started riding. BIG headwind. Felt like it was 20mph, but I have no idea how to measure that! I decided to look around. Birds dipping around me, vacationers zipping by on the freeway, wind rustling the long grasses, grasshoppers bouncing around, and the first mile, second mile, third mile, they just kept going by... and I kept riding. I kept looking around. I kept enjoying the gorgeous evening before my eyes, with me, right in the middle of a life making moment!!
Within the first couple of miles, I decided to flip my second pedal around to try to get my toe in my new toe clips. I can start riding with one toe in the clip but have not successfully gotten my second toe in. I flipped the pedal, lost both of them, and then wobbled a bit... my heart rate went a bit wacky as I struggled to at least get my toe in one clip again without falling off or stopping. I kept riding and felt like giving up. I flipped my pedal around again with the toe clip part up (usually it is down - with my foot on the other side of the pedal).
I whispered a prayer, "God will you help me with this please!" I took a breath and slid my second foot into the toe clip! I yelled "YAHOOO!" right out there in the middle of the Centenial Trail! Why not!!?? It was awesome!
The really crazy part, I often want to stop and take a breath, or let the circulation return to my "nether regions", except that I didn't want to take my feet out of the clips! I kept riding... for seven and a half miles. When it was time to turn around, then I slid my feet out and stood up. AMAZING!
Then, to make it even more incredible, I started riding back towards my car and my feet practically just jumped into the toe clips!! I squeeled with delight! And rode all the way back. Without stopping.
The last mile - mile 14 - I praised God LOUDLY! FEAR had to die today for me to find VICTORY!
O, that we would embrace our fears and push past them for the most amazing and unexpected victories! I remeber even Bashful blushed with delight when Snow White finally noticed him and kissed him on the cheek.
Today, my God kissed me on the cheek. He knew I was scared. He orchestrated the day to position me for victory when all I really wanted was defeat. He surrounded me with people who believed in me more that I believe in myself and He drew me gently into success without trauma. That is what a God who really KNOWS us can do. So often we think it always has to be the "hard" way. Today, He just gently put me on the path He was asking me to "ride on" and gave me what I needed to accomplish the task at hand.
I blush now with the big fuss I made fearing the ride that I did today.
It wasn't a big deal. But it was.
I am so glad He loves me.