By Carlene Sawyer
“I can’t keep up.” “I’m never going to be as strong as they are.” “What’s wrong with me?” “Why can’t I do better?” These words played over and over in my head on Day 2 of Bike MS Bay to Bay 2019, not only robbing me of the joy and feeling of accomplishment from the day before, but also stopping my from appreciating the strength and effort everyone else was putting into their ride.
I was not prepared for the additional hills at the begining of this new route, physically or mentally. I was tired from the day before. I did not sleep as well as I would have liked. I was probably dehydrated still. A perfect storm for an emotional beating.
As Danna and Linda took off up the hills with ease, I struggled to keep my breathing in check and force my tired legs to keep pedaling. I could pick up some speed on the downhill but continued to fall behind. All the while kicking myself for not being better, faster, stronger.
Little did I know that while climbing Torrey Pines, the longest climb of the morning, a lady was being inspired by my determination. She didn’t know me from any other rider. She didn’t know the beating I was giving myself emotionally. All she knew was that I had MS because I wore my “I Ride with MS” jersey that day. And that was enough to keep her going.
When we reached the top she thanked me for helping her reach the top. “Wait what? I helped HER up Torrey Pines?” How?? The whole time I was focused on 3 feet in front of my bike, telling myself,
“Don’t look up to see how much farther. Just go the 3 feet in front of you.” Somehow that was enough, not only for me, but for this wonderful woman. Her husband came up a few minutes later and gave me a big hug, thanking me helping his wife up the hill, stating that she wasn’t a strong rider and I had been a huge help to her. She told me at the next rest stop that she watched my back all the way up and told herself, “If she can do it, I can do it, too.”
We are all wonderfully imperfect!!!
My journey is not the same as yours. We all have doubts and negativity at times. I may never be as strong or as fast as I would like to be, but I can keep going and continue pedaling. A wise person posted this on my Facebook…. Remember, it’s not always the end result which is important but it’s the effort one puts in to achieve their dreams. I hope others see that and are inspired to do the same.
www.aquamotionfun.com is a great place to start. Please check us out if you want to get healthy. Our free Aquathon is on November 9th, 9 am -noon at Shamel pool if you want some fun in the pool and a chance to meet all our team.