This is how the week I turned 30 ended and where my new wheels begin.
For those of you that have been with me a while you know I gave up soda back during “lint” my version of lent. No disrespect to anyone, it was just time. So the Flavor Vs. Fizz Challenge seemed just awesome to me. Every day I would click on Facebook to crush the cans and most of the time two would match… and on Saturday July 9th the fates had a new level of healthiness in store for me.
So I looked at the calendar and counted out when 8 weeks would be. That put me into fall. I imagined the cool weather and all the amazing things I would do with a bike, but was a bit in shock and didn’t actually think anything would come of it. A few days later I got the call that it was REAL. I had REALLY won. I must have said OH MY GOD I WON A BIKE a few hundred times. I didn’t want to be a braggart, so it was mostly just to myself. In fact, I thought I had told people on Facebook and twitter, but apparently not.
Word got around as I confirmed my measurements with the awesome crew handling prize fulfillment. Communication was great, everyone was super cooperative… and then the nerves kicked in. See I haven’t ridden an actual bike in twenty years.
When I was an adolescent I broke my hip. Twice. I had what is known as a Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis (SCFE for short). They operated on my right hip three times resulting in a lot of loss of motion, a lot of scar tissue, a lot of well just a lot of crap. I never did physical therapy after the surgeries. I also had “soft bones” when they operated. Long story short, it is only within the last year at most that I have been able to regain enough motion in my hip to ride a stationary bike!
The day I first rode the bike at the gym tears rolled down my face. The woman showing me how to use the equipment didn’t understand that for so many years I couldn’t make that motion. I still have some limitations with the motion in my hips. It makes some things very difficult. If you ever see me stand or walk or run you will see that my feet point outward. There is very little internal rotation left in my hip.
Anyway back to the fun stuff!!!! UPS cane Thursday to deliver my bike… and per usual… they didn’t ring my buzzer. I immediately called to have the package held for pickup! I had plans Thursday to go to the fair, or I would have been up there waiting for them to unload the trucks so I could get my bike!
At 16:00 Friday afternoon I was queued up outside the doors waiting for the UPS guys to flip the closed sign to open so I could claim my Bike! I was Excited!!!!!!! I got the bike box loaded into my car and made a bee line for work where I knew I would have lots of room to assemble the mostly assembled Trek Cruiser that was surprisingly already here!!
Open end wrench in hand and allen wrench in my pocket I went to work putting my bike together! It wasn’t that difficult, but I can imagine the frustration of Santa assembling bikes for kids on Christmas Eve! Oh My!
The excitement and nerves were beginning to build inside me again… I was not only going to build this bike I was going to ride it. I was proud of everything I was doing. Look at what I was accomplishing!
Seriously… you can SO tell I am up to something in that photo! That smile… I am BEAMING!!! Ear to ear! So once I got it all assembled I had to toy with the seat and bars a bit… they still need some adjusting I think but like all things on this adventure this is a process… Next stop… the open road…
Okay well not the open road exactly… (and before you say it the next order of business is a HELMET!!!)
I took the fully assembled bike for a spin around the parking lot of work! Everyone says it is just like riding a bike… well I suppose it is. I was SO Wobbly! After a few laps I started to feel a little more comfortable and confident, I rode up the ramped curb and down the other side, reversed the direction of my circle. I even rode up the dock ramp into the garage… wow that was HARD!
I concluded that while I relearn how to ride my bike I know I will fall. As I look at my still scabbed up knees from a fall on carpet a few weeks ago, I will do as I have preached and followed in my actions the last few years. I will get up, dust myself off and continue on. So I am ready for this. Next year at this time I am hoping to be gearing up for a triathlon… I don’t know that it will happen, but as I sat there on the bike tonight I was SO feeling the same tingle I felt when I wanted to do my first 5k. It is in there. (What is in you?)
So I brought my bike home at the end of the night… and I faced down one last enemy.
These stairs have seen me at my biggest… near 430 pounds. These stairs have seen me at my smallest, which is now, in the low 250’s. These stairs are the only way to get to my apartment… on the THIRD FLOOR.
So now when I want to go for a ride… I will get a bonus arm workout in! Carrying the bike up and down the 3 flights of steps to get it home! How about that for turning things around?
So now I need to look into some easy rides around Minneapolis, as I can’t handle anything too hilly (no gears). I see a more advanced bike in my future, but lets take it a day at a time!