Listening to My Heart…Pedaling with My Feet…

Two years ago…I was getting ready to go on a two-day bicycle winery tour…just out of Winston-Salem, NC…in the Yadkin River Valley…and to celebrate my 56th birthday…

Something about a biking vacation…really intrigued me…so…I did what I do best…I Googled…and found…Carolina Tailwinds…a bicycle touring company…they had several tour packages…for different levels of cyclists…different lengths of time…and…different amounts of money…seems as though…the two-day package was the one that fit me the best…the wineries sounded neat…even though I rarely drink…

As with some of my endeavors…especially on the bike…I was probably crazy to even attempt it…first of all…I had broken my arm in mid-March…and…had not been able to train nearly enough for the forty some odd miles I would be riding in the North Carolina hills each day…they called them hills…I called them mountains…secondly…I’d only ever ridden in a group once…mostly I rode alone…occasionally with one other person…thirdly…I wasn’t a spring chicken…or…a speed demon…

But…it was one of those things…I had to go…I really didn’t want to go alone…I asked a few cycling friends…but no one could make it…but…I had to go…so…I sucked it up…and went…anyway…

The trip was wonderful…one of the most awesome experiences I’ve ever had…mostly because…I proved to myself that I could do it…I was usually the last one to the rest stop…but…I made it without having to catch a ride in the van…oh…and…they gave me a birthday cake on my birthday…

I won’t say riding that much…was exactly comfortable…especially when I hadn’t trained for it…and…I had a lot of discomfort in my arms…which I thought was from not being properly fitted on my bike…I later found out…that it was from the Chiari I Malformation and Syrinx…the condition that was diagnosed later that year…

At the time…I wondered…why…I was compelled to go on this trip…what was I proving…and…who was I proving it to…Bertha…said…not to worry about it…if it seemed that important…just go…

The final rest stop!

So…I did…and…thankfully she went…too…in fact…I think she pushed me up that last hill…yeah…the one that was two and a half miles long…yeah…she pushed…a lot…

But…after all was said and done…I was happy that I had gone…I came home stronger…more self-confident…ready to tackle anything…especially on my bike…and…I pretty much did for the rest of the summer…logging over 1000 miles…and some pretty tough hills…

Until…the pain in my arms…and legs…sent me seeking answers…and…I found them…not ones to my liking…leading to brain surgery…and…a lot less time on my bike…in fact…almost none last year…and…we’ll see about this one…

Bertha…points out that I learned a valuable lesson…when something really seems important…and…it’s coming from my heart…that I should listen…there’s a reason…I just always know what it is at the time…

Jane