I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it here on this blog before, but I’ve been thinking about getting a bike for the past several months. I always had a bike growing up, but one fateful day in college (the only day I ever left it unlocked) my bike was stolen. As a result, I haven’t had a bike for the past 3 years, and I’ve missed riding!
However, as with any decision, it has taken me a good long while to find the motivation to actually go out and shop. Now, I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m the kind of person who shops in a do-or-die fashion. For instance, if I need a new dress, I will go to the store and I WILL come home with a dress. It may have taken weeks for me to get to the store, but it is very unlikely that I will not leave with a purchase that meets my need. This is, of course, because I don’t particularly enjoy shopping, and I like to limit my pain to necessary trips.
So, two months of thinking and two hours of trying out bikes later, I left home with a brand-new TREK bike. It’s a WSD, which means that it’s engineered specifically for women. I like the look and the feel of it, I like that it fits in my tiny car (once I take off the front wheel, which is simple), and I like the lifetime maintenance plan that my local bike shop offers for free. Plus, I only paid a little bit more for it than I was expecting. I intend to take very good care of my new bike, and to start riding anywhere close enough to a) improve fitness and b) save on gasoline!
So, after the trip to the bike shop and a few more errands, I had just enough time to grab lunch before meeting Lydia for our running date. Just to see if I could, I actually biked to the gym! It’s about two miles from my house, and most of that is through neighborhoods. I was pleased with how quickly I arrived, and the relative ease of the trip (excepting that one evil hill, which is great fun on the return trip). Combining my 4 miles round trip and my 2.3 miles running, I’m pretty proud of my 6 mile fitness distance today!
When I arrived home after the gym, I had a real sense of empowerment. I can get from point A to point B, just by the power of my own body (and the mechanical advantage of wheels and gears). I’ve run that distance before, and I’ve gone from home to the gym many, many times. But I felt really accomplished that I biked there and back.
I’ve also been feeling generally empowered to do things myself, or at least get things done FOR myself. This is in stark contrast to my recent feelings of helplessness, that I was sort of “lost in the woods” of the world. But now I feel like I’m back on track. A great example of this is that I’ve started cooking again, but before that I had been making VERY simple meals, or just eating out.
I think that along this journey, I’m bound to have times where I’m “on track” and other times where I’m “stuck in the woods.” While I hope to spend most of my time “on track” I have to realize that when I’m stuck, I’m not a total failure. I have to give myself a break, realize all the things I’m NOT doing wrong, and take stock of all the good things. And mostly, I need to find my purpose. At the moment, that seems to be a) getting my finances under control b) getting my house clean and c) getting in shape. I’ve worked toward all of those goals, and once I’ve gotten where I need to be, then I’ll be able to move on to “bigger” things.