Today is the anniversary of the day I quit booze. Six years ago I decided if I was going to survive I needed to stop drinking. The last six years have been a ridiculous adventure, a rollercoaster of emotion & pretty much totally fucking fantastic. Last year I threw myself a pool party to celebrate my sobriety. This year I wrote a zine. If you want a copy, just go order something from my etsy shop & I'll include it for free. If you just want this zine, it's available on a sliding scale, pay what you can via paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday is my day off. It's the day I have all to myself. My boyfriend is working, my friends are usually working, my niece is at school. It's all me, all day. This Monday I decided I wanted to do my longest solo ride ever, which really wouldn't be that long. I had never even ridden twenty miles alone. Actually, my longest ride EVER was only 30.1 miles (with my boyfriend on April 17th, the 19th anniversary of my stepdad passing away - I weird yet fitting way to remember him). Anyway, yesterday... I had been thinking of riding the Perkiomen Trail because it would be something "new" yet a trail I'm familiar with since I've ridden it a couple times but not often. From one end to the other is 20 miles. I decided I was going to ride the entire thing. 40 miles. I packed a bag of almonds, two water bottles, a packet of energy goo & my courage & hit the road.
I was so psyched to ride. I got my bike out, adjusted my lights, checked my tire pressure & after using the port-a-potty, tucked one earbud in my ear so I could listen to Beyonce but still be able to hear other folks on the trail & started peddling. Five minutes into the ride, as I climbed out of the parking lot & onto the road I realized, I was way in over my head but the stoke was SO HIGH so I just peddled & peddled but kept it sorta mellow so I didn't burn out too fast. As a new cyclist (I just got my bike last May, thanks Fitness Central). I am always learning. Every ride is new & a challenge & a triumph. I actually got that first 20 miles done in a relatively respectable time. I sat down in the grass with my energy goo (a plant-based endurance gel by Vega which actually, is pretty gross) & almonds. I sat & marveled at what I had done & panicked over how I had to do it all over again. I didn't hang for too long because it was hot & people kept stopping to ask if I was ok. I knew there was a Wawa back a few miles & I wanted fruit so I got on my bike & rode another 6.5 miles. I got my fruit, texted some friends & chilled out. Not a single person asked if I was ok.
The rest of my ride was pretty intense. I couldn't get my handlebar grips in a position that didn't hurt my wrists/palms. My period started halfway into my ride. My legs ached. But I kept on & it wasn't actually as bad as I thought it would be. I took it slow. I stopped a few times. I took photos of the water & the rocks & my stupid exhausted face. By the time I got back to my car I was in tears. But not because I was in pain but because I had decided to try something that seemed impossible & I did it. At that moment I literally felt like I could do anything. My sobriety makes me an emotional mess but also so appreciative of everything. I am so lucky to be alive & present & able to achieve these goals. Life is cool.
ps: I am doing my first charity ride in September. I would love for you to sponsor me.