Then I thought about it. I asked a couple friends if they wanted to go with me. They turned me down. I looked at the weather report and it called for rain, rain, and more rain. I don't have rain gear. I was invited to my grandmother's 80th birthday party the same day. I would most definitely be late to arrive. The course description for the 25 mile ride said to expect slight rolling hills. Jenny only has 7 gears and she's not so easy to maneuver up any steep hills and in my neck of the woods, "rolling hills" usually means "minor mountains". All of a sudden, I saw obstacles appear before me to pursue what I was originally excited about doing.
Here they come. Here come the self doubt, negative self talk thoughts again. I have no idea what I'm doing for an organized ride. Never done it before. And no one will go with me. What if I can't make it? What if it rains all over me? Do I really want to be soggy wet and miserable? What if I can't make it up the "rolling hills"? What if something breaks on my bike and I don't know how to fix it? What if I make a complete fool of myself? What if I stick out like a sore thumb because I'm surrounded by a bunch of northwesterners who live a bike life? You know the ones, the people who wear their full bicycle gear with their aerodynamic helmets, matching spandex outfits, and clicky shoes to the grocery store. What if I'm the only non bicycle obsessing freak there and they all point and laugh? What if they're all snooty eastside housewives who have private bicycle trainers and hire nannies so they can ride their bicycles with Mr. Rock Hard Abs?
But....there's the other side of the brain that started calling out the sissy in me. RIDICULOUS! What if I choose to stay home where it's warm and dry and comfortable? How proud am I going to be of myself? What about the money I spent on it? So what if it rains? Hello....I live in SEATTLE. It rains here. Big deal. So what if I do it alone, I'm a big girl. Since when have I ever been worried about being judged before? No need to start now. What if it will be fun? What if it will be one of those tiny little opportunities I've committed myself to take advantage of? What if I allow myself to chicken out?
Guess who won the argument?
|Cheerleaders...and I didn't steal any pompoms|
|See the bell? I got a bell....finally. Love!|
|Funny. I couldn't go that fast if I was full speed down hill.|
|My flower. We all got flowers at the rest stop.|
|Soaking wet from one of the torrential rain showers|
|Just a flowery house somewhere|
|Look for the W with the directional indication so as not to get lost|
|Not sure if he was part of the ride volunteer staff or if he was just a cool guy beating drums under a bridge.|
|What if I finish the thing?|
|I ended up with a basket full of flowers because I picked up all the ones that others dropped|
|Notice the derby helmet, Via Spiga rain trench, and poka dotted rubber boots aka RAIN GEAR. I made do with what I had. I got soaked anyway but it was soooooo worth it.|
This ride was by far the most challenging yet. I'd never done 25 miles before. I'd never done an organized ride before. I'd never ridden with traffic before. I'd never ridden by myself before. I'd never ridden in the rain before. I'd never done so many hills before. I'd never been so proud of myself for doing what would have been so easy to avoid before.
I can't even imagine missing the opportunity to feel about myself how I feel after having done this.
What if you face your fears and end up getting everything you ever wanted?