Friday, March 29, 2013

Monday, March 25, 2013

Snow Day!!!

Nearly 8 inches of snow gave me the elusive snow day I've been pining for. And the only thing to do on a snow day is build a snow person, so that's what I did. Lovely Beautiful Daughter arrived home from work when I was finishing up and laughed, asking, "Where are the boys? Why aren't they helping?" That's okay. I enjoyed doing it myself.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

From 48 and Sunny to 33 with Wind and Snow

Here we are, March 24, and the snow is falling, the wind blowing. Nearly all day. This after yesterday with temps near 50, a slight breeze out of the NE, and lots of sun. This after being able to get 33 miles in--33 lovely, wonderful miles.

I'm officially over winter. While I love winter and being able to slow down, collect myself, I'm tired of being cold. I actually went to the thermostat today and kicked it up five degrees because I just couldn't get warm. I'm the one in the family who usually runs warm and can't stand anything over 65 degrees. Not so today. Shivering, even wrapped in a cozy sweatshirt, I punched it up to 69 much to the surprise of my family. I didn't hear any complaining happening.

Yesterday's ride did put me at the 10% mark for the number of days I'm hoping to cycle this year. My goal is 200 days, and I am now officially at 20 days. Slowly but surely I'm making a dent in the mileage I want to reach as well. My goal of 7000 miles is looking lofty with only 161 miles to date, but there's a lot of year left. If this darn snow and cold would just give it up, I'd be able to get more days and miles in. It is nearly April for Heaven's sake.

On the bright side, maybe, just maybe, I'll get that elusive snow day tomorrow. The snow is supposed to continue through the night. I can hear the wind as I sit here at my desk. Maybe, just maybe . . ..

Friday, March 15, 2013

Off the Trainer, On the Roads

A last minute decision made today. I was headed out the door to go to work, during my spring break mind you, when I received a text from Hubby telling me to ride up to the lake and see the house he's been doing some work on. I stopped and said, "That sounds way better than going to work." So I hustled about the house, changing clothes and gathering up my cycling gear, and within 20 minutes I was on the road.

Sometimes the work just has to wait.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Overcoming Fear

I've been reading At Home in the Muddy Water: A Guide to Finding Peace within Everyday Chaos by Ezra Bayda, and one part in particular has spoken to me, made me say, "Yeah, I'm that person." Bayda tells about how during a talk, he told the group he was going to ask several audience members to join him in front of everyone and have them sing their hearts out, like they do in the shower and while in their car. Bayda goes on to relate how
the tension in the room very evidently went up. He suggests this happens as a result of what people perceive as an "assault on their cherished self-image." When I read that, I went straight back to 6th grade, when I and every other sixth grader had to get up and sing the "Star Spangled Banner." Solo. I sang it with gusto, just like I did so many other things in life as a ten-year-old. When I finished, one of my classmates looked at me and said, "That was simply awful." The rest of the class laughed. Needless to say, my singing career ended right there and then. To this day, I still don't sing. Ever.

That moment in my life determined how I present myself and how I want others to see me. My self-image was carefully tailored from that point on. I wasn't going to have people laugh at me ever again. And for that not to happen, I played it safe. I did everything so as not to draw attention to myself. But like Bayda goes on to point out, living like this isn't really being free. It's living trapped by fear.

I've been working bit by bit to move beyond the fear. While I still don't sing (maybe this is something I will tackle one day), I choose something to do everyday that is directly opposite of what I would have done in the past. Whether it be what I decide to wear (I now have five dresses in my closet--I've not worn dresses in decades and the first day I wore one, I certainly drew a lot of attention to myself) or speaking in front of groups (I've done more speaking engagements since August 2012 than I've ever done before), I'm not afraid to let people see who I truly am.

And that's why I put signs on my cruiser. In the past, I wouldn't have put signs on my bike. That would have drawn way too much attention to me. Now, though, I want the attention because I want people to see I care about those living with MS. I want people to stop for one moment and think about who they know who is living with MS. Maybe in stopping and thinking about that person, they will take the next step: calling to say hello, visiting to bring cheer to that person's life for even just five minutes, or taking that person out for lunch. Those little gestures will make a great impact.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

MS Awareness Week 2013

Tomorrow kicks off MS Awareness Week 2013, so I spent time today fashioning a new bracelet to wear. I made three, took apart those three because I wasn't pleased with them, then finally created one I know I will wear. I combined the MS Society colors along with the initials from Bike the US for MS. The ends are bike chain links, and the Hope charm finishes it off. Of all the bracelets I've made so far, this one is my favorite.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Deep Snow Ride

Though much of the snow dumped on us Tuesday has melted off, many areas on the trail are still covered by a deep layer. At times, I had to hop off Old Faithful and walk. Once or twice I wished the city would see to it that the trail was cleared with the same zeal that is taken to make sure all of the city streets are cleared when it snows. I tried an alternate route on the way home, taking the sidewalk along Main Street, but it was just as tough to manage as the trail. Apparently pedestrians and cyclists aren't a concern here. That's sad.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Planning My Summer Ride

Part I: Self-Supported Ride to Meet Up with BTUSFMS Northern Tier Group

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