Moving Forward

I haven’t been myself for quite some time. I was always pushing myself to be better but I think I pushed too hard. In 2021 I had such a mediocre season and it turned me off. I had no interest in becoming better or even trying. I had extra weight on me and I hated myself. I had succumbed to living in the shadows.

When my mom died I gained more weight and hated myself even more. I slipped even further into darkness. I lost all hope of becoming the half decent athlete that I once was. I hated seeing myself in the mirror. I hated the way my clothes felt. I hate seeing that everyone and everything around me were moving forward while I fell behind.

One day I woke up and realized that life is short. I realized that my mom had spent too many years not being herself and that I shouldn’t make the same error. I was tired of self loathing. I started by losing weight. I wasn’t dieting but making healthier, sustainable choices. I started cycling for the simple joy of getting outside and breathing fresh air. I ran with the intention of improving but without any expectations.

I bought new equipment to make small gains and make up for my lack of strength. To my surprise, through weight loss and effective training, I started to improve. It was more than just athletic improvement, I was improving. My resting and active heart rate started to come down. It actually came down considerably, to the point that I have new heart rate training zones.

Somehow I managed to dig myself out of this black hole and become a person that I can be proud of. My interest in improving has become a healthy interest that doesn’t exist in the realm of obsession. I’m not the best athlete, wife, daughter, and so on but it’s ok because I know that I’m trying to be my best at all of these things. I’m working on being ok with not having more financially. The wealthy aren’t necessarily happy and I have to remember that.

Through all of this I managed to piss my best friend off and for that I’m sorry. I would like her to come back but I’m not going to force my way back into her life. Hopefully, in time, she will grow to miss me and want me back. I get that it’s hard to be around someone that’s lived in the shadows for as long as I have but that chapter in my life is over. I’m ready to move on.

I’m writing a brand new chapter in my life. I’m currently training for the Chicago marathon. The only problem with training for an event is fighting the primary urge to envelope myself in bubble wrap and enter hypersleep until the start of the event. If the technology existed and were affordable I would consider it. Until then I will just pray that everything goes well and that I make it to the finish line on October 9th.

Every mile I run towards this event is another mile I run from the self loathing person that lives in the shadows of self doubt. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Every day is another opportunity to turn it all around.

Thank you all for supporting and encouraging me especially during this extended dark period of my life. I still have a journey ahead of me but I’m finally on the right course. I hope that you all are doing well in body, mind, and spirit. Thank you all so much for reading.


If My Mom Were A Cyclist

As long as I’ve known her my mom was always a matronly homemaker that wore dresses with socks and sneakers. She had countless housecoats, she never wore makeup, and only did her hair on occasion. It never occurred to me that that wasn’t who she really was.

I know more about her now than I ever knew about her when she was alive. I had no idea that she had once cared very much about her appearance. When she was younger she dressed to the nines. Her purse, shoes, and hat matched perfectly. She could’ve been a runway model.

When I first started cycling I bought a lot of cheap crap. I was broke so I bought what I could afford. It was only when I went to Wisconsin that I felt what it was like to cycle in premium materials. Even then I wore sport ankle socks that weren’t specifically for cycling.

I started to replace my cheap cycling crap with premium gear at an affordable price. I buy good stuff cheap. Eventually my sunglasses got all scratched up and I replaced them with designer imposters. I ditched those mountain bike shoes and replaced them with top of the line carbon shoes and road specific pedals. I stopped wearing those thick ankle socks and started wearing thinner, more breathable cycling compression socks. I’ve always kept my tech up to date. I change my cycling computer and running watch every couple of years. I have all the coolest gadgets.

When my mom passed I started realizing that I won’t be young forever and that I should enjoy putting outfits together. I look forward to my weekend ride. After getting through the work week it’s very special. I pick out the kit I want to wear, choose the helmet that closely matches it, and I try to pair it with fun socks. The road is where I let myself shine. I put a good amount of thought into my weekday rides but it’s just a different feeling.

I wore the same designer imposter sunglasses for a couple years before realizing that I really like them. If I like the knockoffs I knew I’d love the name brand pair even more. I ditched the cheap imposters and bought the real deal. I absolutely love them!

So now I pose the question: What if my mom were a cyclist? Well, if my mom were a cyclist she would’ve been the most glam woman on two wheels. Everything she wore would’ve matched and she would’ve had such a sense of flair and swag. She’d have all the latest tech and kept up with all the latest trends. More importantly, she would’ve been tough. She would’ve gotten right back up if she fell. She would’ve taken pulls at the front and waited up for riders that fell back. She would’ve shared gels and food with anyone that didn’t bring enough to eat.

I realize now that I’m much more like her than I ever thought. Because our personalities often clashed, I fought tooth and nail not to become like my mother. I guess it escaped my attention that she had so many other amazing qualities. I’m proud to say that I’m very much like my mother and if my mother had been a cyclist then she pretty much would’ve been me…..