Saturday, October 4, 2008

Comfort Zones are for Ninnies!

It was a solid six weeks ago that I saw the signage go up at work for today's AIDS ride. I knew I was capable. I knew it was my weekend off. I knew I should do it. But it was uncharted territory for me. I've never participated in any type of charity walk, run, ride, swim or even talk-a-thon for that matter. What if I did it wrong? What if I showed up grossly mis-dressed? What if I accidentally expanded my horizons?

As the days and weeks passed, I stopped thinking about the ride. Until work on Thursday when a few folks were buzzing about it. And I made some mamby-pamby excuse to the effect of, "Oh, we'll see what I have to do for the kids that day." And pretty much knew I wasn't going to participate. Then Friday morning I realized that my Saturday fitness regimen would either be running eight miles or spinning eighteen, I started to feel silly about not playing along with my kinfolk at Hope. But alas, no working bike. And what about not riding outdoors since I was 12? That certainly deserved to be a factor. It wasn't until about 10 p.m. last night that I finally concluded I would do it.

I. Had. So. Much. Fun!!! I woke early, ate my favorite breakfast, snagged Neighbor Teri's bike, borrowed Emily's helmet and found my way to the trail. It was an absolutely perfect morning. About 60 degrees. A light breeze. My dear friends from work. My dear surprised friends from work. I registered, got my number and hung with my homies while we awaited our start. First the 35 milers went. Then my group riding 18. And last, the 10s. There were a couple of times on the trail that I felt lonely and assumed I'd lost my way, but at our half-way point, I found Super-Nice-Maintenance-Guy John and we grabbed a bottle of water then made our way back onto the trail. It was a challenge. Very different from spinning. I haven't decided yet which is harder.

And just as I thought I might be lost again, I saw a tent, a barbecue grill and kids passing out water and bananas. I'd made it. The ride was no outrageous physical feat, but overstepping my ridiculous mental boundaries was worth celebrating. I spent another hour or so chatting with my friends and noshing on a veggie burger, savoring my small yet profound accomplishment.

Let's bring back the lesson portion for today's post. . .

1. If Audrey can ride a bike outdoors, I should be able to as well.
2. Benefit participants aren't going to point and laugh even if you do something incorrectly.
3. Just do it!

And one big shoutout to Sam. Thanks for your support.

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