The hill that beat me.......
Well today's ride was a set back - notice how I did that, what I really wanted to say is that it was a failure, but I'm working on negative self talk, so I changed it. This is the hill that did it - Looking at it in the pictures it isn't nearly as intimidating as in person, but believe me - it was really steep and really long and I didn't make it up it - I only got a little over half of the way up when my legs just stopped working. There were tears. There was lots of negative self talk. There was talk of giving up completely and never riding again. Duane and the girl stuck by me though. They encouraged me to walk to the top of that hill (which was a challenge in and of itself), get back on my bike and finish my ride. My goal was to ride 8 miles today and I did in spite of having to walk up this hill. Still I feel as though I failed.
I learned something though. That little self destructive voice that I've been working my whole adulthood to quiet is still there - it has less power than it used to, but it's still there. My first instinct, even after all the work I've done on myself, is to put myself down, call myself a failure and want to quit. Ultimately, I've made progress because I've learned to listen to that voice, really take a honest look at those words, and make a decision to move on without believing them. I didn't give up - that's the real progress and the next hill was hard, but I chanted in my head "I think I can, I think I can" like the little engine that could, until I realized that I didn't think I could, I knew I could - that chant changed in the middle of that next hill to "I know I can, I know I can". And I did.
Ultimately, I realized that my flash point of negative self talk is self destructive and I can not and will not believe it. Honestly, was I ready for that particular hill? No, I wasn't, but that's all right - I'm still training. I've only been doing this a couple of months. My first ride was 2.15 miles and was on a bike trail off road - today's ride was 8 miles on the road - that's a huge accomplishment and that's what I have to focus on, not the one hill I wasn't ready for. My body is changing and getting stronger with every ride I take - that is what I need to remember when the negative self talk starts.
This is a lesson that bleeds over into the rest of my life. There is less negative self talk in my head then there used to be, but I realized that I still do it in subtle ways. I need to be better about my self destructive tendencies and focus more on the positive. I'm a beautiful, powerful creation of the Universe and I deserve to be happy, healthy and loved. That starts with a better understanding of myself and stronger self love.
Today was just a reminder that I'm still a work in progress and that is okay. I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be doing the work I'm destined to do. It's about the journey, not some preconceived destination. My journey is mine and it is beautiful.
Oh, and I will complete that 10 mile ride on September 10th because I won't give up.