My lack of planning led to a slight conundrum today. This probably will come as a shock to no one. But if it weren’t for my lack of planning ways, I might not have done what I did. And I don’t regret doing it. It might be right up there with my craziest moments and my most proud. Let me find where it all began.
I think it’s this breakup. To quote Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”
Never have I felt so low. Yet never have I felt so emboldened and empowered to make my life everything I want it to be. I’ve always been a dreamer and a go-getter, but something about being in a relationship made me comfortable, complacent; it took some of the urgency out of my plans. Now there is a fervor thrumming through me that doesn’t seem to go away even in sleep.
In the past few days I was coming off of a cold that seemed to sap me of all my energy. Once that happened my workouts went by the wayside. With the absence of my loyal comrade, endorphins, I fell into a bit of a slump. I found myself missing my ex (I haven’t been able to refer to him as that until now) in the most visceral gnawing way. I felt like a sad sack of aimlessness not knowing what to do with myself but drift about in and out of memories and weep.
When I woke up this morning to see that the wind was blowing and the sky was gray, I knew it was the perfect day to attempt my 20-mile bike ride. It seemed that getting back in the saddle was the perfect way to beat my break-up blues. After breakfast I immediately put on my Polar watch and heart rate monitor so I could track how many calories I burned and where my heart rate was at. I grabbed my blue backpack that holds two-liters of water. I put a bandana on. Grabbed an iPod and was out the door.
My goal would be a park 12.5 miles away. If I biked there and back, I’d total 25 miles, beating my goal of 20 miles and being only one mile away from getting to a 26-mile ride.
The first couple of miles I felt crummy, probably from being away from my bike a few days while sick and it being my first time on my new mountain bike, sparing my pink cruiser the mileage. But once I was seven or so miles in, I hit my stride and was feeling fine. It felt like I had been biking for an eternity when I finally reached the park.With euphoria, I sped in, circling around the paths in excitement over having made it, when a thought struck me that maybe I shouldn’t turn around at the park. Maybe I could go further.
I blame this radical idea entirely on the fact that I am reading the book, “Wild,” a memoir about a woman hiking hundreds of miles by herself on the Pacific Crest Trail, the Appalachian Trail’s westward sister. So my mind began hatching a plan not just to go a couple extra miles and turn around. No. That wouldn’t have been sensical enough for my liking. I decided to go into the next town out which I presumed (wrongly) was 25 miles away from where I started (it is actually 33 miles away).
Why I all of a sudden thought I could bike not just 25 miles, but double that is a testament to my crazy. But my mind was made up and I pedaled out of the park and back onto the road, happy with my decision.
For as long as I have been giving myself workout goals (since college), I have always picked a challenging destination, telling myself if I made it to such destination I could … (fill in the blank).
Like when I started training for my first 5K and could barely run a mile. In order to get myself to run a mile I would say to myself, if you can get this one mile in, you can make it to New York City. I repeated this all the way until I could run the mile. And I also happened to make it to New York City. Coincidence? I think not.
So today, I plucked this sentence from one of my favorite Marianne Williamson quotes which says, “We are powerful beyond measure.“ And this became my fill in the blank, my mantra. I began to tell myself if I could get to this one spot, this small town with the one flashing yellow light and a bridge over a river bank, 25 miles out, I would prove that I was powerful beyond measure. I knew this break-up couldn’t break me and I’d be OK.
To be Continued…