Scaling my first “mountain”

Today, I got in the saddle on the Brompton for the first time in a while. It was time to begin “training” for this dream! 

The bike had had its first-ever tuneup the other day, so the ride was extra smooth. I headed up Mt. Tabor, the extinct-volcano-turned-city-park in my neighborhood. I was pleased to discover that the gears—which go lower than those on my “everyday bike” 1979 Free Spirit—made the climb feel entirely reasonable. When I got to the summit, I found many other bicyclists and pedestrians—car parking is partway up the mountain, so one must use human power to get to the top—enjoying the beautiful late-summer, late-afternoon sun. I imagined how many beautiful public parks I will encounter all across the country when I make this journey.

It’s early in my visioning stage, and I’m still brimming with excitement. Yet, there are always internal obstacles to be aware of, and to do my best to navigate consciously. For me, today—as with many days in most of my life—I struggled to find the motivation to get going. I was “attending” a live-streamed musical event on my computer until 2:30, but I had told myself yesterday that I would get out and get on my bike no later than 3:00. In fact, I had originally had another destination in mind: a suburban park that would probably take me about two hours to reach. Given the waning daylight this time of the season, I thought I should leave by 3:00 to make sure I had enough time to enjoy it, and to enjoy the return trip during daylight.

But for two hours today, I found myself feeling antsy, and finding excuses not to leave the house. I checked Facebook. Then Instagram. Then Facebook again. I had a snack. Then another snack. Then checked FB and IG again. I felt my own familiar frustration with myself: “Are you going to do this again? Are you going to sabotage your perfectly reasonable plan? Why do you do this to yourself?”

Finally, at 5:00, I was disappointed with myself for having apparently indeed sabotaged my plan. But, I realized that not all was lost, and I could enjoy a closer destination. I put down the laptop and phone, and headed out the door… and thus began a lovely couple of hours.

And, maybe I could do my original plan tomorrow.

Does this sound familiar to you? Do you find yourself sabotaging own your plans at times? When you do, are you able to be flexible, and take some smaller, more manageable steps if the original plan feels too scary at first? I am appreciating my willingness to be gentle and patient with myself at this time. It’s a stressful time in the world. And, I have time to prepare for this journey. I can do this.


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