I rode up emigration canyon last saturday, not having done that for the past 43 days . . .
I missed it.
but I couldn't tell you how many things have changed in that environment, because I spent more than the usual amount of time watching the road in front of me. big surprise, isn't it?
I've ridden my bike on the road three times now, since my "spill," and I find that I am cautious, slower, watching incessantly for anything that might make me unsteady, wobbly, or flat on the ground again.
I'm slow because I'm cautious, and I'm also slow because I'm not as fit as I was 7 weeks ago.
my first day on the bike outside I just rode around my neighborhood, 13 miles in total, neighborhood streets, not much traffic, not much up and down. lots of looking at the road.
the next day I rode up emigration and to little dell reservoir, my favorite daily ride: it felt darn good.
the third day I rode up emigration again but had to stop once to stretch my back: it did not feel great.
each time I was glad to be back on my bike, loving the movement of air against my skin, the warmth of the sun and the chill in the shaded hollows, the smell of outdoors. but I found myself, especially on my first ride up the canyon, focusing on my performance entirely too much. gosh I'm slow, I usually do this faster, boy my heart rate is high, gosh I'm so much worse than I was, wow I'm slow.
I wanted to smack myself!
the healthy thought pattern would be: wow, I'm back on my bike again so soon! gosh, it's amazing how well I'm doing for not having ridden in 6 weeks! wow, look how fast I'm going . . . yeah, this is hard, but of course it is! I've been in the hospital! my body's been through the wringer! this is terrific, I'm awesome, wow this feels great! I am so so grateful to be out here, riding again.
yep, that's what I should have been thinking.
so yesterday I worked on my thinking and thought better thoughts.
this is one of my challenges: to be kind to myself, to not be so demanding, to be gentle with me.
I tend to forget this, and expect more of myself than is necessary and--at times--realistic.
so yesterday I started, and today I'm going to continue, being nice to myself and being grateful that I'm doing as well as I am.
being nice to myself, hmm.
maybe you should try being nice to yourself, too.