Monday, May 26, 2008

I Scare Myself

It's been a weekend, people.

First, there was the Open Water Swim on Saturday, where my fright levels were at (what I thought was) an all-time-high.

After which I went to the bike store, and bought a bike that you need SPECIAL SHOES to wear.

And took it home ... then out for a few crashes. That's when my fear levels reached new highs. I've known how to ride a bike now oh, for 45 years or so? And all of a sudden, I find out that not only can I no longer ride, but that I'm actually TERRIFIED of getting on the bike.

Take the open-water-swim fear, multiply by 1,000 and that's how scared I am of my purty new bike.

And my group had a ride scheduled at 9 a.m. this morning at Hain's point, a part of D.C. popular with cyclists, runners, golfers, fishers. Which means it's busy pretty much all of the time.

I told Number One Daughter I couldn't do it. I was pretty sure I'd have to take the bike back, it was impossible, I WOULD NEVER LEARN to clip in and out. The rest of the night I spent asking myself who was I kidding with this tri-stuff. I'm such a poser. Etc.

Way to pump yourself up!

So of course you all know the ending to this story, because you've read it here oh-so- many-times before. I went this morning, practically frozen with fear, got on the damn bike, clipped in, clipped out, and JUST. DID. IT.

Fifteen miles in 1 hour. And of course, you all also know exactly what I'm going to say next: That I loved it.

Maybe some of you don't know yet that I struggle with anxiety anyway, daily, just going to work, just living. I know it's very chi-chi these days to have "social anxiety" but I've had it for years, and it's a real thing.

So when I say that I'm afraid of something, I mean the I'm-having-a-panic-attack-and-can't-breathe kind of fear.

It ain't pretty.

Yet I keep putting myself in these positions of doing things that evoke exactly that response.

Why? And why, despite all my success stories, do YOU all know before I do that I'll really be OK?

Well, I guess we'd need to drag out the psychiatrist for the answer to that, cuz I dunno. The obvious answer is I have so little faith in myself.

Number One Daughter's BF asked me the other day if I pat myself on the back for any of my accomplishments, and I said, "What accomplishments?" Like seriously, I had no idea what he was talking about.

I guess that's one reason why I need to blog about what I've done. For ME. So that I can remember how scared I was and that I did it anyway and lived to tell the tale.

Maybe one day I'll learn.

(And yes, I'm totally thrilled that I went on this ride this morning. And stayed upright.)


I got some good stuff in the mail this week.

First, I got this:
Outside of card

Inside of card, which included three photos from last year's July 4th 5k, PLUS a pic of my bike, revealed it was from non other than D.C. Spinster!

When you have friends out there finding the Patron Saint of Bicyclists for you, you really have nothing to be afraid of! Thanks, Peter!

Next, I got this bag of WHITE POWDER in the mail:
No, not cocaine! It's protein powder! From 21st Century Mom!

Both 21st and little miss runner have been independently telling me about the virtues of protein powder for weeks now. So 21st sent me a sample, and I gotta tell you: This stuff is great. Blend it with fresh strawberries and soy milk, and you no longer want to gnaw off your arm mid-morning.

Bloggy friends rock.


David said...

So what did you do with your formerly-owned-by back-from-the-dead Finally Running Again Sorta bike?

You need to crash that new bike once just to get a scratch on it and eliminate that panicky feeling that it should never be harmed.

21stCenturyMom said...

So there's this post I've been meaning to write about my 'word'. And when I write this post you are going to say Hells Yah! That IS the word. That is OUR word. Because it is. Stay tuned - I'll get it done one of these days.

15 mph is a very nice speed, by the way. Very nice indeed. I told you you'd love that bike.

(ps- if you search my blog for 'afraid of my bike' you might find an entry or 2 - but that's not "the word").

LBTEPA said...

omg YOU DID 24KMH !!!
Sheesh (feels inadequate)
Mate I FEEL your pain - I got my my clipless pedals the day before my first triathlon!!!! So not only was I clearly going to crash and break my arm, I was going to do it in front of people with single-digit body fat. I was nearly in tears of terror - but we couldn't get the pedals off to put my old ones back on! I had to do it! And (as you experienced) it all went very well. Not 24kmh well though :P

Rainmaker said...

Wow...the post office must love ya...sending powder in the mail. ;)

Congrats on rocking the new bike. One trick to getting used to the pedals is doing it on a trainer (over and over again). Failing a trainer...just hang out next to a wall and practice clipping in, switching sides over and over.

Rae said...

Way to go!!! You are going to be a tri goddess this year!

And I can't believe the post office didn't take your white powder! HA!

Phil said...

For all of us too scared to get in the water for a race, what you've accomplished is amazing.

Susan said...

So much good stuff, Jeanne! WOW! I like the whey, also.

Vickie said...

I know the anxiety problem. I have it mostly on the bike. I wonder if they have medals for the patron saint of bicyclists? I might feel better wearing one. Protein powder? Been using it since the 90s when I ran my first marathon. Not only was I constantly hungry, I was falling asleep everywhere, especially driving and at my desk at work. Once I "dozed" off only to find I had hit the "z" key and it was busily zzzing away on my screen! I don't know how to help you conquer your fears other than doing just what you did. Keep it up.

Deene said...

i still will not go in open water. that's just too plain scary for me, so for now i only look for tris with swimming pools.

BettyBetty said...

Well, according to a Real Simple "study" ...those that try new experiences are generally happier people.

Jade Lady said...

I'd say you are a mighty brave soul - I still can not muster the courage to get clips. DC Rainmaker offered some good tips about practicing - something I will think about. Thank u for sharing your fears about the bike - it helps people like me think again about a fear that they have ...maybe I too can do it... Sounds like you had a great time on your new bike!

Dori said...

Way to go, Jeanne! Mastering clipless pedals--you give me hope. I've avoided my new bike for a month now, after my first crash, because of fear of falling. I told myself I can't risk hurting myself right before the marathon. That leaves next week...

ShirleyPerly said...

I can totally relate about that bike fear. The very first day out, I fell over on my brand new bike as soon as I stopped because I couldn't clip out. It took me probably about 6 months to get used to them and another 6 to get used to riding on roads with cars whizzing by.