It’s not about the bike, to quote the iconic Lance… or maybe it is. This past year I finally got my hips to cooperate and started running again, which I love so much. Then a run up Diamond Head back home in Hawaii in November did something weird to them again. Sadly, after a trip to my ortho doc, who said get on the bike, get in the pool and NO RUNNING… I pouted, was grouchy to my loved ones, then decided not to be my usual hard headed self and stop running for a bit. So I decided to take a spinning class… not just any spin class but Charlene’s (one of the finest and toughest spin instructors in Los Angeles). Loved the class and the workout ,but hated being indoors. I already do so much inside – yoga, pilates and what I loved about running and hiking is that it is outside.
Now, how do I start road cycling out of the blue… I mean, I knew how to ride a bike but if I wanted to get a cardiovascular workout in I needed to cycle. Los Angeles is dangerous, lot of traffic… clipping in? Hmmmmm… I called David Brinton – cycling coach extraordinair, .ex Olympian, stunt man, beyond pro, pedigree so redic and so incredibly proficient, professional and humble. I knew after our first conversation he would be a great guide for me. He is so passionate and OCD about cycling and equally gifted as coaching pros as he is with beginners. One thing I am pretty good at is being a student so I listened, studied, bought my first bike, geared up and by our 2nd session was clipping in and out (of course crashing too), LOL, and jamming up 25 miles up to the observatory out of the saddle. No biggie if you’re a cyclist, but for a person that didn’t even know how to clip in a week ago it was like drinking kryptonite.
6 weeks later, after pedal technique sessions, 25 mile speed rides, riding in some of the toughest on the road scenarios and feeling comfortable, I did a 60 mile charity ride for diabetes. The following week – 70 miles… oh my gosh, I am in love… but why I am diggin’ this so much? I know, it’s a new physical challenge, mentally pushing – pilates on 2 wheels, a new sport, empowering bla bla… no, something else, what is it? Couldn’t quite put my finger on it initially.
Then the aha moment… a return to my true authentic self. Omyyy – this is ME, I am that girl that jumped outta airplanes, rock climbed, scuba dived and for the last 14 years have put that all on the side. I FORGOT this is ME… (tears in my eyes).
Now some of you parents out there are starting to nod… So proud and feel so good about my priorities and responsibilities to my beautiful daughter. Life changing, incredible, indescribable, every single step. Maybe last year coulda done without some of the steps… kidding. Those of you who know the 7th grade struggle we had, know what I am talking about. So glad I have made safer choices and to be honest, juggling a non stop blossoming business, parenthood, personal life, family life, left no time for my own life.
WOW, first time in a long time that I am doing something that is my own version of FUN. Stepping deeper into one’s own authentic true self and truth is so powerful on every level. Even something like activities or sports that are truly and authentically YOU, fills your spirit far and above beyond. The gifts are everywhere, even when something seems broken (like my hips). If you are open to being broken open, even if its painful, something more astonishing and extraordinary always emerges.
Who KNEW that I would take to cycling like a fish to water! Who knew that I would gift myself this extraordinary walk back to my true self! Who knew I would be having so much I can’t even describe it! I know not everyone thinks 70 miles watching your speed, cadence and heart rate are fun but hey, that’s what its all about, finding the FUN for YOU.
My coach was so funny to call me out. When I first started, he asked me “what do you want out of cycling?” I said “You know, no ego when it comes to sports at this stage, just wanna be out here, enjoying the beauty of this planet, grateful, safe, good for my heart, body, spirit”. Then couple of weeks in I said “hey, I am gonna do a 60 mile charity ride do you think that I will be ready?” and he said without hesitation, “of course”!
After my first 60 mile ride with him, I said, “okay I coulda rode 80 @ that speed, and heart rate “. So, after we do Mount Wilson towers – 20 miles of nonstop climbing – 5000 feet elevation, one of toughest longest climbs in So Cal, I will do a century. He laughed and said, “hey what happened to just for FUN?” That’s the good thing about authentic FUN and truth. It just keeps expanding on your own terms, and Lance is so right…. it isn’t about the bike. No boxes, no boundaries…..