Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Back on the Bike

Well, last night saw me get back on the bike. It had been 10 days.

Plans to ride on Monday night went out the window when I made a ‘quick’ phone call to my uncle that lasted over an hour. Ahh … family drams – don’t we all love them NOT!!!

So, Tuesday night I couldn’t wait to get back on Mince for a spin session to get the legs moving, the heart beating and to reignite my passion.

10-8-10 was exactly what I needed. A quick, high intensity workout! A warm up, 10 minutes as hard as I could go, 8 minutes recovery and 10 minutes as hard as I could go. Then followed by a warm down followed by a nice hot shower and into bed! So as I got on Mince, got the garmin calibrated to pick up the cadence sensor, found some music on my phone and got ready to start the first 10 minutes. And BANG – I was off. Within 2 minutes my legs started screaming and I screamed back to the tune of “Marry You …” (Note – sync music back on the phone. It had all been wiped when my phone died and went to Nokia hospital to get fixed.) I kept peddling and kept up the intensity and then just when I thought my legs had nothing else to give, I increased the intensity! This made it harder and more painful, but I figured I could then drop back after a minute and it would feel easier! But I just kept going! And with that, the 10 minutes was over. Time to recover. With that I looked down at the frame and the 23 names that looked back at me. And there is was – the 23 people that I am doing this ride for. Since jumping on Mav out on the road, it is these names that I have missed.

So when it was time for the next 10 minute session, I completed it with my head down  looking at these names.

Wayne – a former colleague who was diagnosed with a strain of melanoma. At the time his kids were 7 and 9. He fought as hard as he could for 2 ½ years and tried anything to get an extra day with his family. But when he knew he was terminal, he took his family on a trip around Australia. I had relocated to Hervey Bay at the time, and Wayne bought his family and stayed with us for a few days. I never spoke about Cancer to Wayne. I just didn’t realise back then that it was going to take his life. Back then, melanoma to me was a mole that you got cut out and recovered from. I had no idea that it was going to take his life! When he left – the last time I saw him, he left a voucher for us as a thanks for letting them stay! When Wayne passed, I bought something that I would always remember him by …. A wind chime. And now when it rings, I think of him!

(I am going to dig up a photo of Wayne to put here, so stay tuned)
Another name, Bill – my dear old grand-father. Around the age of 60, my Pa was diagnosed with lung cancer. He had smoked about 50 cigarettes since he was 12 years old – and his trusty pipe as well. To see Pa without a cigarette was rare! Even when he was a trainer at the footy club, he would sit on his medical box on the boundary line and smoke. You would hear him curse if anyone needed help! He would drop his ciggie, run to their aide, and hopefully make it back before it burnt to the butt! Those were the days J But when Pa got Cancer, it didn’t really register to me. I was a rebellious teen who was discovering growing up and was not really that worried about the health of my Pa. But he went on to defy odds and beat his Cancer. He had radiotherapy. But he still would have a smoke before he went in … and one as soon as he got out. Pa didn’t die of Cancer, but he sure had his battles with it. (He also had several skin cancers removed … hence I had no idea people actually died from them)  I now wish that I had taken the time to apprciate what my grandparents were going through back then and taken the time to hold my Pa's hand and tell him how much of a hero he was to me. Even now, he has been gone from my life for 10 years, but he is and will forever be my MY HERO!

(Photo of my Pa will be inserted here, so check back again)

Another name – Sadie May Billeci – an angel I never met, but know her beautiful daughter. 6 weeks ago Sadie was reunited with her husband Tommaso! Both are angels taken by Cancer. And Tash is left her on earth without her beloved parents and has seen the fight of the two people who mean so much to her.

It occurred to me during this time that I had lost my focus when I had been on the bike. Since riding Mav I had been out enjoying the riding experience. Riding for a love of what it gave back to me. But I had a feeling that I had lost my Reason to Ride. I have not focussed or had much thought for these 23 people that I ride for. And maybe this is why I found it so hard to find my motivation over the last fortnight? (That and the fact that I was suffering from fatigue)

So when I got of my Mince, I headed in to shower and made a promise that those 23 names are going on Mav. I have a beautiful charm that represents these wonderful fighters and angels – but I have realised I need their names and their stories to help me fight. They will all fuel my Reason to Ride. They will all sit in heart and my memory and push me over the hills. And when I get to the top of that hill, I will say a prayer for them …. And then enjoy the thrill and the love that everyone else rides for!

Back on the Bike – in more ways than one

Balance or lack thereof

The last week has been a true soul cleansing experience. But I am not there yet!

I went through my week last week like normal – 100 miles an hour! Proposals to draft, work to do, being a mum, being a wife, being a daughter, being a sister … go go go …. But last week was exactly what I needed. On top of my usual very busy life, I needed to add to this  2 meetings at school before I started work,  1 school council meeting, merchandise arriving & needing to be photographed and distributed and some ongoing family issues that just bogged me down.

So Friday night came and I looked forward to the moment that I pack my stuff for my Liv/giant ride. I had received a beautiful necklace during the week that was to show all the names of the people that I ride for. By taking the first letter of everyone, the piece has been stamped with MAVERICK B GHIANT. So I carefully attached this to Mav ready to hit the road the next morning. I pumped up the tyres, layed out my gear and then got into bed knowing that in 4 hours the alarm would sound to get me on my way.

But those 4 hours were spent tossing and turning, getting up to my 2 year old, more tossing and turning and more comforting my 2 year old. At 4:45am was the last I saw of my clock before I drifted into my much needed sleep. BEEP BEEP BEEP …. 5:15am … time to get up. So I did. Like a zombie who had just had a 30 minute power snooze, I dragged my sorry body out of bed. And then it hit me. What was I trying to prove? Who was I trying to impress? There was no way I was going to make it through the day if I got up now and went out on my ride. I had to be home by 11:30am to ensure I could get Sam and Amy down to Athletics and register them for the new season. This didn’t need to happen today, but it was what the kids wanted. Then Mello had to head off to work at 1pm and would not be home until midnight. That means no rest for me as I take care of the 3 kids.

So I wisely went back to bed and dozed until 8:30am which was the time the family started to wake and start there day. And then the reality of what I had done crept in. I had missed my Saturday ride. Not only did I miss my time with a great bunch of girls who seem to give me the boost of positive energy I need, but I had missed my exercise time! I had missed my bike time! Now was the time to feed the kids, dress the kids, register the kids with athletics, do shopping, do washing, cooking, vacuuming, mopping, tiding, entertaining kids, playing with my kids etc…

And there would be no tomorrow. Sunday was usually Mello’s day. He does his 21km+ run while I take care of the kids. And then we try to have our family time – which now days is only on Sunday afternoons. I had missed my chance to ride.

Getting through this weekend has proved to me that I need more balance. And balance is something I am normally good at. Give me 100 things to do and I will get them done. Give me 1000 things to do, and I will get them done! But now I know at what cost. That cost is me. I have been trying to be everything to everyone and in this process I have not been true to myself. I have not stopped and said “I need time out” I have not stopped to smell the roses and I have not stopped to enjoy the view. I have just been ploughing through at 100 miles an hour in the hope that I would cross the line.

So, where to from now??

I now have a schedule and in this schedule lies the things that are most important to me. First up is my family. My kids and my husband and all the 100 things that I need to do for them daily. Then comes work, because I have to be there 40 hours a week to pay the bills. Lucky for me though, I can get some other things done at work. Exercise – Daily. My lunch break is now my walk / run times. I also get to walk between two main offices which is a total of 2kms! Fundraising. From 8:30pm – 10pm on Wednesday night and another 2 hours scheduled somewhere, dedicated to my fundraising. Saturday morning rides – every fortnight I will go to St Kilda and the other fortnight I will go solo at home. And Sunday is family day. No riding, no fundraising … just a day to spend with my family and appreciate what I have. (Yes, this will include 6 loads of washing…. But keeping the family in clean clothes is just as important!!!)

Rest, Renew, Recharge … that is what I achieved this weekend!

Now to tackle some more mountains!!!