Friday, April 27, 2012

Excitement, Anxiety or a Little of Both

I can't tell whether I'm just plain excited or a little nervous because for the last few mornings I've been waking up with an uneasy feeling in my chest and butterflies swimming in my belly.  A few nights ago I had a textbook anxiety dream that was similar to that classic, you know the one where you are about to take a test, but you didn't study.

 I'm way behind in preparing for my trip, but yet I'm the star performer in a musical stage play.  I don't know my lines or the words to the music.  I've never been on stage before and don't have the confidence to pull it off.  The other performers are nonchalant and tell me not to worry,  that I can make up the words as I go  along."  

My dream tells me two things:  I'm  wondering if I can "pull it off" and my fellow riders are telling me "not to worry,  just go with the flow."   Dreams like this are very helpful because you can analyze their meaning and gain strength from them.  No need to doubt myself.  Everything will be ok and I will go with the flow.

My beautiful blue and white Trek Madone is now waiting for me in New Orleans.  In the meantime I'm riding my Bianchi which I bought in 2004 when I graduated from a hybrid to a road bike and felt like I was always riding with a tailwind.  But with much heavier tires and wheels than my carbon-fiber Trek, my Bianchi now rides like I'm pedaling in molasses.   The Trek has a women's specific design which means that with a shorter reach it's more comfortable for me to shift gears and apply the brakes.    A few weeks ago when I did the metric century and was slowly winding my way up a very challenging 9-10% hill in my lowest gear, a passing rider called out to his buddy "Hey, man, will you look at the low gears on that woman's bike."   Breathing deeply with not much air to spare, I yelled back at him, "Hey, fella, I'm 68 and I am NOT stupid."

It's really great that I have close biking friends going on this ride with whom I can discuss this and that and ask questions.  Even though my close friend Debbi from San Rafael is joining us in Iowa and only riding the last two weeks, being able to share this experience with her is very special.  And my friend Penny from Honolulu was here for a day before taking the train to New Orleans.    Reminiscing about our many super on-and-off-the-bike trips together,  Penny and I went shopping at REI to buy last minute needs, like a whistle to scare off angry dogs on the loose, a brightly colored vest in order to be visible on the road, and Deet wipes to ward off the biting mosquitoes we have been warned about.

A few days ago a reporter from my local newspaper came over to do an interview and take some pictures.  We hope that this story about my ride will provide inspiration to others who might consider doing an epic bike tour.  (see link below for story)

This is excellent publicity for Womantours.  I wore my bike store tee shirt and hope it's good PR for them too.  I have many people to thank -- most of all my supportive husband, Bruce. Thanks also to my Diva girlfriends, my friend and bike mechanic Preston, my Pilates instructor Joseph, my astute physical therapists Garrett and Carol, my massage therapist Jeanette, Dr. Roh at Stanford who "fixed me", and the best bike store in the world, Bicycle Outfitter who packed up my bike and shipped it to New Orleans.

One week from today I start pedaling.  The countdown begins.........

1 comment:

  1. The thing about the anxiety is that as you ride each day, it becomes more of an accomplishment. You are going to have a wonderful time!!