I had a crazy challenging ride this past Saturday with my hubby and his bro. I was planning on riding easy b/c I had ridden long the day before, but the rush of exploring new territory overtook my logic and we kept riding. It was extremely hilly, and I only had 3 luna moons to sustain me on a 3+ hour ride! NOT GOOD!
But, it definitely taught me a thing or two about myself. Riding always forces me to face things within myself that I've been trying to ignore. Like I've said time and time again, riding is my therapy. Not only physically, but emotionally and spiritually.
So...this is my confession.
Every ride for me has been full of pure joy, but also great sadness and fear. Full of joy because I am actually healthy enough to ride and am at the absolute strongest and healthiest I have been in the past three years. The sadness kicks in when I remember everything I have been through with this monster of a disease. And fear. The worst of them all. Fear of a relapse. Fear that at an instant my body can choose to revolt and send me into a downward spiral. Strip me of everything I have been working towards. Fear that I wouldn't be strong enough to race. These are the thoughts I've had week after week. I love cycling so much, and am having so much fun with it, that I can't bare the thought of not being able to do so.
But this ride changed my thoughts of sadness and fear. This ride showed me what I'm made of. It was viciously hilly. I didn't have much food. I was hitting the wall. I was starting to second guess myself, my training, everything that makes me, well, me.
But then my soul kicked in. The final hill of my ride, I was brought to tears. Because I realized that I have no reason to fear. I have been through so much, and have ultimately come out on top. I have gotten a grasp on this disease and will not let it control my life. I will not be constantly scared that I will relapse. I just won't. I'm tired of letting it control my life.
When I'm sick, I become a prisoner to the toilet. I'll be damned that when I'm in remission I'm going to constantly be scared of getting sick and having my "normal" life ripped away. No. Not anymore.
I have faith that I will stay in remission. And I won't worry at least once an hour of every day that I will relapse. Nope. I'm no longer giving this disease that much control.
So, through the beautiful suffering of my ride Saturday afternoon I was able to finally face my fear. And say it out loud for the first time. I told Matt my great fear, though it took me a few minutes to say it aloud. I don't know why it was so hard for me to tell him. He knows my darkest secrets, everything unflattering about me that one could know. But, letting go of this secret was hard. Perhaps because it shows my weakness. I don't know, but I'm glad that I got it out.
And I'm no longer scared. Because it is what it is.
I can tell you one thing, this season I'm going to race my little heart out.
I have no idea how racing is going to go this year. My first race of the season is a road race this Saturday. I'll see how I fare compared to the other girls, and will definitely blog about it! One thing I know for sure, I'm simply glad to be racing. This will be my first "real" race since junior year in college! C-a-razy!
Below are some pics from our Saturday "Soul" ride...
Are these two gents brothers or what (Note: Matt's helmet hair)?!
I noticed this tree while suffering up the second to last climb of the day. I thought it was interesting that leaves were growing out of moss...
It's not easy, but facing your inner fears, fears that lie deep within your soul is the only way to heal and get over it. Luckily I have cycling to help me get over my fears and continue to heal.