Tuesday, April 28, 2009


"Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving."
~Albert Einstein

As you have already read, we rode 27 miles on Sunday (4/26). It is the furthest we have riden at one time. It was a nice ride even though it was in the heat of the day. We rode one lap, refilled our water bottles and headed back out. We wanted to ride further than the slightly over 23 miles the 2 trips would provide. Even though this as not on a mostly flat greenway surface we've riden around our house, we felt we had it in us. We decided to ride back into the trail to add miles. Afterward our celebration clouded how the last miles really went down.

My hands hurt horrible, my butt (well I won't go there), my shoulders ached and my back was tight. I was low on liquid on mile 25, jaw hanging low and shoulders tight.
Tammy just as perky as can be said "Hey! How far is a marathon?"
"26.2.", I grumbled.
"Ok cool!", was her reply.

My mouth was dry and I was out of water (Tammy had a few swallows to spare) as we begun mile 26, my hands tight on the drop downs. I could only at this point focus on the paved trail ahead. No scenary, though smelled breifly the lilacs as we rode by, that eased the discomfort for a few seconds. 26.50 Tammy fell silent (I didn't know her seat had gone wobbly because a bolt was loose), She said "hey Ra, let's turn around." (not realizing her seat had turned into a sit-n-spin) I replied with, "no I we're going to the marker". I had gone into my zen meditation, counting my exhaled breathes, pulling into myself and finding the energy I felt was lost. There is a hill just before that marker, I dug in and felt all the muscles in my back tighten as my legs cranked around. Tammy scoots up beside me cussing at me (because I didn't realize her saddle was in sit-n-sping
mode). We reached the marker and turned around.

I was still in zen meditation counting and reminding myself to keep moving forward. That if I stopped I would lose balance and fall over. Reminding myself with each revolution of the pedals that it is not just about me and my health, it is for a another purpose.

We got to the car, I slowly pealed myself off the bike. I stretched my body and remembered to bend my back in the opposite direction that we had just spent the last 2 hours. There was the grittiness of salt on my face and a feeling I still quite put a word to, but can explain what I was thinking.

There are two funny pictures that Tammy took of me holding onto the bike rack at the end of the car. One I am inhaling, the other photo my cheeks puffed out as air exhaled. I didn't share this then cause I was to exhausted to speak coherently, but I was pausing in that moment, to thank my body for being able to do what I just did. So many people may never find what it feels like to push their body to the limits and to recover. To push your body past the piont when you feel can't or you should just get off the bike. Mine is by choice, people living with cancer don't have the choice when to choose that time to go beyond their limits. So for that moment between tears and happiness I was grateful for my exhausted, sore and thirsty body.

I was moving forward and keeping myself balanced, because I can.

Keep on, keeping on!

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