When I was eleven years old, I got my first bike. I remember being super excited about it because that meant I could explore the neighborhood and travel far with my new bike. I loved riding my bike everywhere when I was a kid but what I remember loving the most was speeding down hills. The wind blowing through my hair and the thrill of the ride always put a huge grin on my face. I was a kid and I was living in the moment. Then one day, as I was traveling down a big hill and speeding along, a car driving down the street suddenly appeared on my right side. I quickly turned my bike to the side, hit a curb, somersaulted in the air and landed on my hands and knees. The driver of the car came out to check if I was ok, though I quickly brushed him off because all I could think about was how my mom was going to be upset with me for scraping my knees again. I told the driver, “don’t worry I’m ok!” and rode my bike home. Once I got home, I snuck through the back door and into the bathroom to wash off all the blood from both my elbows and knees. Then suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my left arm and I couldn’t stop crying because the pain was unbearable. My mom, hearing my sobs, came into the bathroom. I looked up at her with tears in my eye’s apologizing to her about scraping my knees … again. She looked at me and hugged me. She helped me cleaned the blood from my knees and elbows and took a look at my arm and told me that I may have broken my arm.
I’m sharing this childhood story because after I fractured my arm, I didn’t ride a bike for a long time. As I got older, I would ride along the strand, but I would never push myself to go too fast. A couples years ago, I met my boyfriend, who happens to be an Ironman triathlete. He loves biking so much that he bought me a beautiful bike. He’s been such a great influence in my life that I told him that I wanted to train for a 1/2 century bike event in Solvang. The past couple of weeks, he’s been pushing me to work on speed intervals and hill training. This has been scary for me because our outdoor training sessions have many hills and cars. Though with the help of both Classpass and my boyfriend’s training I have built up a lot of strength, endurance and speed. While these attributes are significant to my training, I believe the most important accomplishment they both helped me achieve is the confidence to overcome my fears. Don’t get me wrong, I still have fears of falling off my bike, but sometimes as I’m coasting along, I can’t help but be present in the moment and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.