I went for a ride today with some women from here. I rode with them before I left for my big ride and could not keep up with them AT ALL. That ride was no fun, embarrassing, verging on miserable. I wondered how it would be to ride with them again. I actually thought about them a few times while on some hard bit of the big ride.
Today I had my chance.
I did pretty well. I was not the very last one. I managed to keep up for most of the time. There were times when I had to really give myself a boost, a "come on come on come on" rally. At one point I was saying, "catch up, catch up, catch up" out loud to myself. I put out a bit more effort and caught up. It IS much easier to ride when you are right behind the rider in front because the drafting thing works and you get sucked along a bit.
On today's ride there was a wind and that got me at one point. And there was a time when I was feeling pretty weak and annoyed that there they all were, getting farther and farther ahead of me. There was no catching up. And even more frustrating was watching them and getting the impression that they were not expending any effort at all. That's probably not true, but it sure seemed it.
I am really not competitive when it comes to this riding thing. And I was riding with a bunch of women who actually ARE. They race. They win. Today was their "easy" ride but it was a big deal for me.
On the way back we started up a hill that has been a VERY hard one for me and I DID manage to go right up it so that was good. And we passed a single rider who caught up and rode very close to me, admitting that she was using me and us as motivation. That kind of made me ride a bit harder. It's funny. I do not want to race and I do not want to win or beat anyone and there is not a big, "I've got to be first!" bone in my body. But I also don't want to be last.
I guess I like being strong in myself, but it is only a comparison to myself, not to anyone else.
And now I am sore again and have spent the afternoon finishing putting bee hive pieces together. At some point my bees will be far enough along that I will need to bring these new pieces up to my apiary and will need to add them to what is there. The bees just work. I have two hives and one is quite a bit ahead of the other one but they do not pay any attention to that at all. Why do I?
This week I will work on putting together the video of my ride for the presentation I am doing in Washington in July at the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance conference. I'm the closing speaker. A big deal for me. Very. And it looks like there is going to be a bike ride just before the conference. Maybe we'll turn this into an annual ride. This will be the first. A ride for ovarian cancer awareness.
I have been aware all day long that this is my 21st anniversary of finding out I had ovarian cancer. A 45 mile ride and putting bee hive components together seems to be a good way to celebrate and to honor being alive. That and writing more. So here you go. I'll be in touch.