Sunday, January 12, 2014

Practicin' What I Preach (subtitle: Right, Left, Don't Freak Out)

I have a new mantra.
It goes something like this: "Right, Left, Don't Freak Out."
Imagine me pedaling away on my new bike. "Right, Left, Don't Freak Out."
Imagine me hearing a car come up behind me. "Right, Left, Don't Freak Out."
Imagine me seeing a small crack in the road, a lump of something that looks suspiciously like a hardened cow pie, a stop sign, a weed, my friend A disappearing far into the distance. You got it: "Right, Left, Don't Freak Out."
If you remember my 2014 Intentions blog post, you'll remember I encouraged myself and YOU, dear readers, to try something new this year.
Well, today, I went for my first bike ride on my new road bike.
Fortunately, my friend A went with me, as my fearless leader. She was hungover and it was cold and windy, but you know what? I don't feel that bad. It was her idea for me to get a bike in the first place and start doing triathlons. ;) (Just kidding, A, you know I love you and I did feel a little bit bad.)
Here we are before the ride:

I was scared out of my mind for so many reasons, including:
1. I have not ridden a bike in 10 years. At least. Is it really like riding a bike? Or is it more like trying to do a back flip on the trampoline?
2. People are terrible drivers around here. On a bike, I am one of them. I am a terrible bike driver.
3. I cannot turn my head to look for traffic without my bike swerving wildly into the middle of the street. (My mom is probably reading this, thinking, "Oh, my God, please save her!")
4. If I get run over by a car or a stray cow, I will leave my children motherless. My husband will probably find a new wife with bigger boobs than me.
5. I have never ridden with shoes that clip into the pedals. I picture myself hitting a pothole and being launched, bike attached, into a ditch, and breaking my neck. And leaving my children motherless (see #4 above).
6. I am not sure whether I can make a good turn without crashing. If I crash while making a turn and a car runs over me I will die. And leave my children motherless (see #4 above).
Good news: I survived.
Look, here I am. You can see the anxiety in my posture.

My legs are tired, my arms are rubber (from the death grip I had on the handlebars), my neck is stiff, and my crotch is sore, sore, sore.
But I survived.
And you know what? It feels good.
So when you're trying something new, and you're filled with fear (whether it's fear of failing, fear of tumbling ass over teakettle into a ditch, or fear of leaving your children motherless), just put one foot in front of the other - "Right, Left, Don't Freak Out!"
We're 12 days into 2014. What new things have you done this year?
What new things are you planning to do? Rachelle and I would love to hear about them!

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