Listening to Myself

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Letting go of things

In the course of going through things in the closet, we came across a box of my cycling gear. For the last two years of high school, through college, and after I graduated I was really into cycling. At my peak I would easily ride 100+ miles a week, and I participated in a number of 50 and 100 mile events. It was something I loved, and something I never thought I would give up. For a number of years, it was a defining part of who I was, one of my favorite things to do and my preferred way of challenging myself physically and blowing off steam. I was hoping that I could someday ride multi-day events, tour on my bike, and perhaps participate in one of the big fund-raising bike rides. I was even signed up for such an event... and then I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. (It, err, happened a little faster and easier than we expected!)

After I had my daughter, intended to get back to cycling... but it never happened. Now reality is staring me in the face and I've realized how much I have changed, and how much my life has changed. And perhaps even more importantly, I'm seeing how much my priorities have changed. Cycling, at least at the level I used to do, is not something that works very well with a family (especially if you're the mom!). Sure, you can pull a trailer or put a seat on your bike, but that's more for recreational cycling than for whizzing along at 50 mph down a hill or seeing if you can break 35 mph while in the drops with a tailwind. I've come to the realization that my cycling days are effectively over, and really, I'm fine with this. Letting go of my cycling gear brought tears to my eyes (and even writing about it brings them back again), but my grief is from the memory of what it once meant to me, not from any current regret or sadness. There is no bitterness in this letting go, only an acknowledgment of how much I've changed, and a realization of how happy I am with my life and my young and growing family.

I know I still need a way to blow off steam, get exercise, and physically challenge myself, and I think I'll go back to running. I used to enjoy it in high school (although I hated running around the track in PE) and for some reason I took it up again at the beginning of the year. I've missed it all through my pregnancy and I'm looking forward to getting back to it once I lose a bit more weight. In running, I've found the same sort of enjoyment and rush I used to get in cycling, but it seems far more practical for my life as it is now. I can get as good or perhaps even a better workout in a much shorter period of time, and I don't have to go nearly as far from my house to do it. Running also allows me to stay in more populated areas and away from traffic, big pluses ever since my fear of death and serious injury kicked in a few years ago.

Now I need to figure out if I'm ready to give up my bike... I think I am, but perhaps I shouldn't get back on it before I make that decision. I don't think I'm ready to give up my mountain bike yet though!


  • *ever since my fear of death and serious injury kicked in a few years ago* - a priceless revelation, no doubt! Your family thanks you for your preservation instinct.

    This post was excellent, Amber. You're on the right track and truly geared up to enjoy the motherhood/wifehood/"thisislife" thing. I am so excited for you, Matt, and your precious children this coming year.

    Dy, who thinks she's all caught up now. :-)

    By Blogger Dy, at 5:19 AM  

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