The start of any journey begins and comes from desire, but requires mindful and diligent actions.
The movie Ride the Divide, created an aspiration within me to experience the joy and magnificent journey of bicycling along the scenic Continental Divide. It is a 2,700 mile route that begins in Banff, Canada, traverses five US states and ends at the US/Mexico border. Typically this route is a race, but my interest is just to ride (tour) its entire length in 2015 (it will be the summer preceding my fiftieth birthday). To complete the ride in a reasonable amount of time, I’ll need to be able to ride a minimum for seventy miles a day for thirty-eight straight days.
A little over a month ago I purchased a bicycle. I had not been on a bike for 25+ years. I started by riding a short distance to and through a park near my home, a round trip of nine miles. The inclines along the roads I live would have no impact on an experienced rider, but were daunting for me. I constantly ran out of breath and gasping for air, I walked myself and my bike up those hills. Then I had the brilliant idea after just five rides to bicycle a route of nineteen miles on open roadways. Of course I was not ready for such an endeavor. My mind thought, “It will be no problem; just take your time.” My body screamed, “Are you kiddin’ me?” [My mind and body conflict each other often.] But I had to know and test my current limitation(s). I completed the ride, but the result was a knee injury that kept me off my bike for a week. All-in-all it was a small inconvenience that gave me time to rethink my approach. I had to start over again; more slowly.
Last week I rode nineteen miles without injury. My body felt great (with the exception of the numbness in my butt; smile). After the ride rather than collapsing in exhaustion, I actually sat at my desk and worked for two hours. Admittedly I did briefly ice my knee. There was no need to take ibuprofen after the ride, or the next day.
I’m amazed that just after six weeks and thirteen rides; I was able to ride hills that I previously had to walk. I was able to control my breathing, pedal through at moderate speed-levels and smoothly transition my body position during the ride. This is also a huge achievement since I am not only new to bicycle riding, but also seventy-five pounds overweight (full “fat-girl” journey to come in future post; smile).
In this way life is analogous with my bicycling experience. Everything starts with desire but success is more than desire. An individual must start out, be deliberate and steadfast, and wisely know how to push themselves to the next level. The journey will not always be easy, but it is important to relax, be consistent, and let it unfold. Small accomplishments such as increasing my distance by just five miles every week brings me such personal pride and these steps (miles) brings me closer to realizing that my dream is possible. I want to shout and encourage everyone that is struggling with personal fitness or trying to realize any dream that they can do it too. If you want to walk, walk four times a week for fifteen minutes, then the following week twenty minutes and increase by five minutes each week. If you want to start a new business make a plan and execute it. If you want to learn a new craft take some classes. Whatever your personal or professional goal(s) -- Make a plan! Start! Keep at it! Keep moving!
I am preparing for my first milestone celebration in a thirty-five mile ride in the American Diabetes Association’s TourdeCure ride in Asbury Park, New Jersey on September 21, 2013. The conditioning and preparation for riding the Continental Divide will require much more effort and experience, but I’ll continue my mindful due diligence and celebrate small triumphs along the way.
To learn more about the riding the divide and the movie, Ride the Divide (including trailer preview) visit: http://www.ridethedividemovie.com/
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