The bike… my bike… something that yes provides a means of getting from one place to another, also a means of completing a workout (especially when injured and can’t run), but also a frightening memory and a symbol of a failed attempt. While coming back from spine surgery the bike was a means to forward progress. A chance to build strength and a way to share with friends the fun moments of training. I enjoyed the bike but enjoyed more the feeling of being an athlete again. Progress was made and soon the bike was replaced with my Newton’s (running shoes). I once again felt the freedom of my old self, the familiarity of understanding and dealing with life, and the feelings of overcoming one of the hugest obstacles I have ever been faced with. The sound of my shoes touching the ground beneath me, the comforting feeling of the breeze in my face, and the overwhelming sense that I had become whole again. The bike was pushed aside and the running shoes were of highest priority, for they symbolized achievement over doubt.
I feel I have been given a bigger gift that the ability to run again, but a gift of determination, perseverance, and toughness. I am not easily defeated by what is placed in front of me. I won’t give up!
But it’s partially because of the bike, I too need to make peace with this 2-wheeled beauty that sits and stares that me. For it is not only a fear of the frightening flashbacks that replay in my mind but a fear of not being good enough… I need to utilize the bike as a means of enjoyment, time spent with my riding buddies, without the pressure of being the best. Expectations in all aspects of life can feel like a thousand pound brick crushing your soul, they can hurt in more ways than one. It’s at these times you need to focus on YOUR goals (running/coaching/inspiring others), passions (running, training, hanging with my supportive and amazing friends), what makes you happy (achieving the highest level of performance, racing, training, motivating others), and the people that stand behind you. Success is a journey with street signs of; happiness, fright, courage, huge accomplishments, frustrating set-backs, unforgettable memories and memories you wish never occurred, good relationships and bad relationships, bruises, words that hurt, and a never give up or turn back attitude. Success is keeping that positive attitude and will power that triumphs all other feelings.Each person can achieve this, it is the choice that make within themselves.
While the bike might be the another obstacle to overcome; running is my gift, my passion, and my ultimate path. It is what makes me feel whole and it is what makes me feel like I can conquer what has been placed in front of me.
The bike, a symbol of something that has caused pain in my life but also a symbol of something that I can return to with that same positive and attitude and will power that helps me while running. A casual ride to clear my head, a weekend ride with training buddies, or simply a means from one painful memory to another positive accomplishment. Yes, the bike is my friend, it has taught me a lot about life and will continue to help me overcome the bumps along the way.