Self Discovery

I was feeling particularly down. Yesterday had been a painful day for me with my repetitive motion issues with my arm/shoulder and a few other things.
I was battling myself and my own person by questioning decisions I made and feeling a lack of confidence.

Memorial Day, was a random Monday off for me and I wasn't sure what I was going to do. Many families spend the day together, doing outdoor activities if the weather is favorable. Travis was working, my friends already had plans, and I would be left to entertain myself. I had the option of doing whatever the heck I wanted to do.

I figured that unless it rained, the paved trail would be a highly trafficked area today, as many people who ride with their kids would choose that over the mountain bike trails. I also figured that the mountain bike trails might be busy as well, due to the beautiful weather and holiday weekend. Well, the only way to find out was to pick one of two options and "just do it."

I wasn't going to go a day without riding, especially with the rain chances in the afternoon.

I waited until about noon, figuring that individuals may be out eating lunch or perhaps having picnics or grill-outs. I pedaled my way over to the trail I'm most familiar with-Iowa Public Television otherwise known as IPT or IPTV.
I wanted to ride the trail by myself. I needed to prove to myself that I could do this, especially if I were going to be out there riding with my girlfriends.
Plus, mountain biking is a huge deal to me. It is something that challenges me to my very core and brings up some of the scarier feelings I have inside. When I mountain bike and come to an incline or a downhill-the feeling in my gut, the adrenaline, and the "Oh crap!" feelings come up full force.
It's me working through my relationship with my bike. Working out the kinks, building trust, and coming to the conclusion that we are good for each other.
The trust you have to have in having the secure knowledge that your bike will do its job. That you know what you are doing, how to sit back, lean forward, pedal, burst, coast, brake, and everything else that comes with riding.
A solo ride is riding by yourself, with no one ahead of you to give out advice, a heads up, or any feedback/encouragement. You are out there, alone, doing your own thing, and trusting yourself and your bike.

I had a great conversation with someone I know at the Co-Op, he told me that it takes awhile before a person fully trusts their bike to do what it's meant to do. He also acknowledged that it's difficult to accept that going faster in some areas is a good thing-because of the whole "trust your bike" thing as well as being sure enough of yourself on your handling skills and confidence.
"We all start out the same."

I told him my secret of sorts, that I'm getting to where I need to go out and try the trail I'm familiar with. I need to do it by myself, I need to prove to myself I can do it. I need to show myself I have what it takes to do it!

So I did.

I rode dabless through IPT but had to put a foot down when I went up Gunnar. I lost traction and spun out, eventually I got myself up the turn and rode the rest of the trail dabless. This time I didn't have Travis to focus on, which usually helped to distract me from wanting to look over the edge. I ignored that damn edge and kept going. I focused on looking ahead, seeing what was coming up. No surprises for me. I made it over the tricky root section and up the steep climb to the top where one could go off and ride the pines. I wasn't sure if I'd ride the pines, but decided that it would be a good thing to do. I didn't ride them hard or fast because I had tears welling up. My heart felt like it wanted to bust open and burst forth...a feeling of elation that I have been so looking forward to feeling!

After the pines I went back down Gunnar, dabless, mastering the curve that has tricked me before and went back through IPT. I stopped after I finished the ride and let myself cry tears of joy. Then I went back and did IPT again, the short section of North 40, and back through IPT. I decided, just in case it rained, I wanted to try Gunnar one more time. I wanted to prove I could ride it dabless, both ways, on a single ride. I accomplished my goal! I was thrilled. I rode through IPT and rode home with a huge weight lifted off my shoulders and a feeling of joy and accomplishment.

My head didn't ache nor did my arm hurt. I'm so happy that I had this day to show myself that I can accomplish more than I think I can.