Sunday, October 27, 2013

it's good to have a goal

it's good to have goals.
some people give you all kinds of rules for your goals, such as that they be measurable, written down, specific, attainable, and that you can explain why the goal motivates you.
I find that when a goal is important enough to me, it's enough for me to hold it in my head (and heart) and quietly work toward it in the best way I know how.
I often set goals for riding miles each week, or to make it up a specific canyon so many times during the summer, or similar events.  and today, I reached a goal that I've had since oh, about august 27th.

after my accident last august, I was off my bike for 6 weeks.  many things change in 6 weeks, including  fitness level, ability, muscle strength, and endurance.  when I began biking again I constantly had to remind myself to be patient.  constantly.  
I wasn't very fast, and it didn't feel great.  in fact, it was hard and it hurt. (the muscles around my ribs and scapula lost most of their strength and have become the first place to ache as I ride.)   but I wanted to get back to what I knew I was capable of, I didn't want to let that crash take away everything I'd worked so hard for.
so I kept riding, trying to accept whatever I was able to do on each ride.  I obeyed my physical therapist and (mostly) rode only every other day.  I tried to add a few hikes on my off days.  I got a little faster, and I reached a point where I could ride for two hours without exhausting myself.

back before I could really get out and ride again I knew that--more than anything--I wanted to be able to ride up Big Mountain before the fall riding season ended.
none of my rides told me that I was ready for that.
the furthest I went was to the beginning of the switchbacks, which is about 2.25 miles from the top.
then last weekend I rode my mountain bike 4 days in a row, and did a strenuous hike as well . . . and I felt okay.

and today, today, I rode up big mountain.  without stopping.   woo hoo!
on august 25th I had two large-bore chest tubes removed, on august 26th I was discharged from the hospital, and today, october 27th, I rode from home to the top of big mountain and back.
I met my goal.

there've been many days I thought it wouldn't happen, or that it would take me forever and I'd have to keep stopping along the way.  I was never certain I'd make it, but I knew I would give my all to make it happen.

it's good to have goals.
it's awesome to accomplish your goals.
and it's especially good to keep a little woo hoo in your heart as you reflect upon what you've worked so hard to achieve.  so do.

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