Here I am out at 7AM on my first solo training run since my bike accident 4 years ago.
I’m finding that intuitive eating is really intuitive living. I’m learning more than just how hungry am I for food. I’m also discovering the inner hunger I feel daily to be myself and to be seen. Imagine my surprise when I found out that the person who MOST overlooked me in life, was me. That’s right, Brave Companions, I overlooked myself every, single day. This occurred when I let what other people’s expectations rule my actions. It also occurred when I let fear stop me. I stuffed down my own nature and my own feelings so regularly, that I really didn’t know what I wanted. I only knew that I was rarely happy.
Today I wanted to go bike riding. Mark and I are going to do a 50 mile route on a bike race in November. It will include hills. This means that we need to train. Training means getting on the bike regularly. I used to do solo morning rides fairly often, because that is when my energy is best. But all of that stopped four years ago when I was found unconscious in the road near my home (even though it was during an early evening ride that time, not a morning ride). I have no memory of what transpired. All I know is that I was riding a bike, then I briefly awoke in an ambulance, then hours later I was in intense pain and confusion in intensive care. All Mark knew is that the paramedics called him from my phone, asked if he had a wife and wanted to know my name. I didn’t have my ID on me, but I had Mark’s cell number listed under Mark – Husband – ICE (In case of emergency) on my phone. Imagine his feelings about getting that call.
Fast forward to today. I wanted to go riding. Mark has a foot injury that is keeping him from joining me. I wanted to go back out on my usual morning route. Mark is scared. I am too. But I feel that I am up to the challenge and don’t want to continue to be afraid. I make sure my tires have the correct pressure. I make sure I have my ID AND my phone this time. I make sure my headlight and tail light both function. I take water. I dress in reflective clothing. I time my ride so I can see the road, but before traffic will be bad for the commuters. I take a deep breath and do what I like, even though the terror is my husband’s as well as my own.
If you think my bravery was my ride, you’re mistaken. It was in choosing to ride after considering Mark’s feelings, my own feelings, and my preparations. It is so rare that I would take an action that I perceive as causing pain to another person, let alone my beloved. At least not on purpose. But to not ride when I felt I was ready, and when I considered my physical abilities, my equipment and my preparedness, I would be putting his feelings before my own.
Now many may feel I was selfish to make Mark worry. I would have thought so. But I needed to ride today. I needed to give up the fear my accident instilled in me. I needed to learn how to be true to myself, to take considered risks, to be in my own skin. I have done this ride hundreds of times before. But today it felt like the very first time.
PS, then I went home and had the VERY BEST blueberry pancakes, because I love them, I’m alive and they tasted so good. And I left some on the plate because I realized I was full and content. I was finally satisfied.