Saturday, September 18, 2010
This year Travis and I decided to be on a team and do the race as a relay. He swam and I rode the bike and...well we actually decided to turn our race into a bi-athlon, as we never did find a runner.
Though we didn't "finish" the race I still feel the need to mention it. It was so fun for me! After my year of surgeries it feels like big victory to me. I haven't ever ridden a bike like that before. The distance was about 12.5 miles. "Pft!" you might say. But it IS a race AND I was going as fast as I thought was wise or was able the WHOLE time AND IT WAS KIND OF HARD...but fun.
I was not as prepared as many others likely were for this race. I had not seen the route. I did not know how many hills there were, how big they were, or when they were going to come. I actually didn't even know how long the race was until I finished and looked at my odometer. When I started out I must have had a huge adrenaline rush because I immediately felt I was going to throw up. I was not quite sure what I would or even should do. Should I stop to take care of my business? Should I just do it over my shoulder? How would that turn out? Would I be able to finish the race? As I continued on the feeling subsided. I thought, "I really like the way it feels to be pedaling so fast along this shore side road in a race."
As I continued I realized I didn't quite know what my strategy should be. Should I fly down the hills to pick up speed for the uphill stretches? Is that safe? When should I be shifting gears? How fast should I even be going? How long will I have to keep my energy up and will I be able to? The feeling kept coming back to me, "I like this. It feels good."
Then I discovered another challenge. The roads sides were thickly lined with trees which makes for a beautiful ride but complicated things for me. The sun was shining and casting shadows in such a way that when I was in the shadows I could see the road just fine but when I was in the sun and a shady part of the road was coming up I actually couldn't see what condition the road was in. If there was a pot hole, or a dip, or a curve I couldn't tell. ( I would have liked to have the aid of sunglasses...next time.) Again, what should my strategy be? Fortunately, I soared along the road without incident. I did watch a couple of accidents and realized how easily that could have been me.
This experience has given me good opportunity to think about the circumstance I am in on this earth. I am on track to get back to my Father in Heaven but I am not familiar with all the parts of the course ahead of me. How much time will I have to work at getting it right here? When is it going to get harder? Will this uphill stretch level out after the upcoming curve? There may be obstacles, pot holes, curves in the rode. I may even have an accident. I am grateful for the times when my Father lets me know that I am doing a good job or reminds me who I am. That encourages me and it keeps me going. I know that I have been given helps along the way; the gospel of Jesus Christ, the scriptures that teach me about the gospel, a Prophet to guide me, and my family to do it with me. I am confident I will get to the finish line and be pretty worn out, just like I was when I finally stepped off of that bike. I merely had enough energy to take the few steps to the cement wall to sit down. But I am confident that my efforts here on earth will be worth it. I am so grateful for this bike ride and the uplift is was to my body and spirit.