Friday, 31 January 2014

Time to say goodbye

.. to 2013.

Back on January 19, 2014 I finally made the decision to say goodbye to 2013. (and yes, this blog I started back on that day...)

I have not wanted to. Too much happened in 2013 that I still have not had time to process. And too much happened that I am still not ready to deal with. And the further I move on to the future, the further I get from my past.

But, I can't be stuck in 2013 forever, so it is time to say goodbye to the year that was both the one of the best and also the worst of my life.

As I got up to go for my usual Sunday morning ride, instead of grabbing my usual Liv/giant kit, I decided that was the day that I needed to wear the kit that I needed to farwell. My Vision Crusader kit (minus the Black Milk tights) It was time to reflect on what we achieved in 2013, but also say good bye to it. It has saddened me that the wonderful people that made the Vision Crusader team what is was were all now going about their plans for 2014. I never had time to celebrate our achievements or say good bye to some of the greatest people I have ever met ... and it has hung like a dark cloud above me since I left Adelaide. So on that day, it was time.

I thought back to Brisbane and how amazing that ride was. Meeting our team for the first time and bonding instantly. To share it with Vince was incredibly special as well!! That bond I formed with our team only got stronger over the following rides. Then Sydney, the ride showed me my unbreakable spirit. Melbourne - my home ride and the one I got to share with my husband. Crossing the finish line hand in hand with him was the biggest highlight in all of these rides. And then Adelaide - the final ride that still weighs on my shoulders. I was not ready for it all to end. I was not ready to say goodbye. After 15kms, I had to stop - unable to go on. I slumped over my handle bars and I cried. I had to. And I had to do it with the support of my bike Maverick who carried me every kilometer on some of the most difficult times I have had. 

Why was I afraid to say goodbye? It was because on October 7, 2013 I learned that sometimes goodbye is forever. It was the last day I looked at my beautiful mum and said good bye for the very last time. And since that time, I have not wanted to farewell anything. I had lost my dear Pa many years early and still get sad about him not being around. I had lost my Ma 9 years earlier and was at peace with that because I got to say good bye and sit with her as she passed. But even that could not prepare me for how it was going to feel losing my mum. And my dear friends who I shared these rides with also helped me through many of my dark times since Mum has gone. After all, it was only 4 days after she passed that we shared the Sydney ride together. 

But I know, to take steps forward, I have to say good bye to this part of my life. I have to accept that the Vision Crusaders of 2013 was exactly that - and now with 2014 it is time to move on with the new part of my life. 

So, I have set myself a To Do List for 2014. No resolutions. Just a list of things that I know will bring back my smile. 

  • The 2014 Ride to Conquer Cancer - Brisbane. This will be done with my husband and sister in law as part of #ride4vince. We will be riding with the Vision Crusaders who will have a very different team make up. 
  • The 2014 Ride to Conquer Cancer - Melbourne. This will be done with my husband and again part of #ride4vince. And yes - as part of the Vision Crusaders team. 
  • Do a 5 km fun run with my family. This is scheduled for the end of Feb! 
  • Swim in the ocean. And then just float and look up at the sky! 
  • Ride without my Garmin - of which will all be done on my Brava. I want it to be about the ride and the space and not the data that goes with it. 
  • Eat new things. 
  • Dance in the rain - firstly because I HATE dancing .... but doing it in the rain just seems like a great idea. 
  • Say NO more often to others.  
  • Say YES more often to ME.
  • Go to a movie alone. 
  • Buy flowers for myself.
  • Read more books. 
  • Go on more dates with Mello. 
  • Have more 1 on 1 times with the kids. And while I am doing this, give my family more time with my kids and let them learn more about each other. 
  • Do a CX race for fun. I am not interested in doing road racing. But CX is more my type of fun!
  • And finally, raise awareness for Depression and mental illness. 
My mum suffered for many years with mental illness. I have seen what it did to her life and I know first hand how it affected me. And now, I know how hard it is as I struggle with the grief of her loss. I thought life was hard with her in it .... but it was nothing compared to how it is without her. 

So I promise to be open and honest with how I am feeling. This is the year that I will take you all on my journey and my new reason to ride. 

And with a new reason to ride ... of course there is a new bike! The 2014 Liv/giant Brava. A CX bike that knows no limits. For us both, the road ahead is unknown. There will be smooth roads, bumpy roads and lots of ups and downs. (and hopefully a bit of mud) And already on my first few rides I know she is going to help me deal with my grief. Her name - Babs. That was my Mum's nick name we gave her. 

So buckle in for my ride in 2014. Again, I don't aspire to win any races, to beat any PB's or create any records. I just want to have fun!!! 

Many thanks again go out to my bike family - everyone associated with Liv/giant and Giant Bikes Australia. Without your support I could very well be in the fetal position under my doona ... and I am sure Tontine don't want to sponsor that! 

And don't worry - Mav will still get plenty of time out on the road. After all, those dates with my hubby will probably be out on the road and over coffee & breakfast!