My last blog post was on December 31, 2017. In that post, I stated “With the new year just around the corner, I suppose I should set a new goal. So for 2018, I will focus on getting stronger.” I went on to explain that I wanted to lift weights to get physically stronger. Unfortunately, the Universe decided to test my strength in other areas.
Shortly after the New Year, the organization where I work began to go through some difficult changes, necessary, but still difficult nonetheless. There was a tightening of budgets, a reduction in force, and reorganization of departments. All things that have been commonly discussed in the news for many types of companies.
I am pretty good at adjusting to change. I appreciate opportunities to grow and learn new things. However, this most recent round of professional changes were some of the hardest that I have dealt with in recent years. Thankfully, I am still employed, but witnessing my organization’s growing pains was a learning experience that I don’t care to go through again any time soon.
As the weeks began to tick by in January, I kept thinking that I needed to write a blog post. Actually, I wanted to write a blog post. While swimming, I would search for topics to write about, searching for some humorous things that I could share, but what I found was that I had lost my writer’s voice. I kept waiting for my voice to reappear. January passed, then February, March, April, May, June and still no voice. Well after my adventures from last evening, I found my voice. Sit back, relax, and get ready to chuckle.
In 2015 I rode a bicycle regularly, but in early 2016 I broke my ankle and found a place where I could go swimming instead of riding my bike. Last night I decided that I would dust off my bike and take it for a spin. My sweetheart, being a supportive partner, put air in the tires and made sure that the bike was mechanically sound. I put on my helmet, grabbed bottled water and my cell phone, and went out to the garage to go for a ride.
I walked up to the bike, raised my leg up to get it over the seat, and STOPPED. My leg muscles were so tight that I couldn’t get my leg over the seat. I tried again to no avail. My sweetheart was watching and said try it from the other side. So I changed sides of the bike, lifted my leg up with confidence, and stopped. That wasn’t working either. It’s a girl’s bike, so I decided to put my leg through the lower section, except that is where I had my bottled water and cell phone mounted.
At this point I was getting frustrated. I was GOING to RIDE that darn BIKE. My sweetheart held onto the handle bars (he gets an award for not bursting out in laugher), I swung my left leg up and over the seat it went. There I stood with my cold water bottle sweating on my shorts, so I hopped up on the seat and began peddling out the driveway and into the cul-de-sac. I was as unsteady as a new born foal. I wobbled and teetered for about a minute, before I got my balance. I can only imagine what the neighbors thought.
After I got comfortable, I took off riding through the neighborhood, thinking “I’ve got this!” I chose a path that was relatively flat, peddling in first gear. I was riding my purple girl’s bike, feeling happy, going from street to street, getting further from home…and then the fatigue hit. I have been swimming and lifting weights regularly for two years, but I had NOT been riding a bike.
Right then and there I made the decision to just stop riding, to call home and ask someone to come pick me up with the truck. The only problem was that if I stopped the bike to grab my phone, how was I going to get my leg over the seat to get off of it? Now I know you are sitting there thinking, “Just lay the bike on the ground.” Well it was 89 degrees, I was hot, tired, and at this point very cranky, so I was not able to problem solve. My only option (that I could come up with at the time) was to keep peddling. I arrived home about 20 minutes later.
As I pulled into the driveway, there stood my sweetheart. I yelled for him to come help me. He arrived just as I stopped in front of the garage. He grabbed the handle bars so that I could easily dismount. Or so we both thought. My legs were so tired that the only way off the bike was to lay it on the ground. I stepped over the downed bike, climbed the three very large steps (yea, normal size steps, but they felt big at the time) up into the house, and collapsed on the sofa.
So here I sit, about 20 hours removed from my genius idea to go for a bike ride, and all I can say is “WHAT was I THINKING?” That effort was truly a comedy of errors from beginning to end, but I did it. And in the spirit of Tinkering With Success, I have decided that I WILL ride my purple bike again tonight.
Since I’ve decided to “get back on the bike”, what is something that you’ve been meaning to do but have been putting off? Make a plan and give it a try. However, be sure to stretch first!