Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The wheels on the bike go round and round....

‎"Struggling and suffering are the essence of a life worth living. If you're not pushing yourself beyond the comfort zone, if you're not demanding more from yourself-expanding and learning as you go-you're choosing a numb existence. You're denying yourself an extraordinary trip." -Dean Karazes

This is the first bike I ever owned. I LOVED this bike. When it came time to take the trainer wheels off I totally flipped out. I only let my dad take one wheel off. Then I proceeded to ride the bike lopsided for an entire year. It made it really easy to go in circles in my driveway. Finally my brother that is 2 years younger than me took his training wheels off. Since I obviously couldn't have him do something I couldn't do, I insisted I was no longer afraid and made my dad remove my one remaining training wheel. I was so excited to be riding like a big girl that a few days later I went flying down a hill as fast as possible. I turned around to make sure my mom could see me, hit a curb, fell and broke my arm.

25 years later I am going over the route for my ride across the state of Florida. This is going to be a solo record breaking attempt. Jason spent countless hours planning the route. The only requirement is that you start and stop at the exact same location as the current record holder. You plan your own route. You have to have a support vehicle and an ultra-cycling association official. The ride is currently around 416 miles. The record holder rode 405.3 miles in 27 hours and 58 minutes. That's a LONG time in the saddle. This is how our conversation went last night:

Jason "You are sure you want to do this right? Because we are getting ready to spend money now. You have to buy lights, radio, get signs made..."

Me: " Signs? Awesome! I want a sign with purple writing and two big yellow stars on it"

Jason: "No. The sign says "Caution: Rider ahead" in black on an orange background"

Me: "Do you think it can say Caution: Extremely awesome rider ahead?"

Jason: "Do YOU think we have a 10-foot car to put this sign on? Why do you care about things that don't matter at all?"

Me: "I don't know. But I want a bag full of food to feed me in case of emergency. Honey buns, moonpies, just a bag full of junk. And don't let Chuck eat it all."

Jason (shaking head) "Ok babe."

And there ya have it folks! I WILL be riding my bike across the state of Florida. It WILL be awesome and you will be hearing a lot more about it soon, including the fundraising I am committed to!

In the meantime if you need me I will be on my bike.....

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Strong IS the new Skinny!

"Men are taught to apologize for their weaknesses, women for their strengths." -- Lois Wyse

For as long as I can remember I have been a big (er) person. I was always one of the tallest kids in class. I used to DESPISE being so tall! I thought that I would never find a boyfriend because I was at least a foot taller than every boy I knew. Finally around the 8th or 9th grade the boys caught up with me in height. I was no longer the tallest kid in class, but one thing that set me apart was that I was strong. I struggled with being a tall, tough girl for the longest time!

In triathlon being "big" is considered such a disadvantage that they give you your own category to compete in! If I choose to I am able to compete with other women who weigh more than the average female competitor. Personally I choose to stick with competing against the 30-34 females. Yes, my size may be a disadvantage while I run and in the heat, but for the most part, I don't think it slows me down too much.

I get criticized for doing things that do not relate to swimming, biking, or running. I am often told that my weight lifting won't make me faster. True. But what it makes me is STRONG. And strong? Well in case you haven't heard, it's kind of the new skinny!

Thanks to my girl Bethaney for the awesome shirt!

Being strong has it's advantages. I don't worry about being attacked. I mean really, you aren't going to go after the chick who weighs as much as you do. I'm able to carry my 50 pound bag of dog food with no worries. I can re-rack the weights at the gym with little effort. Can't get your jar of peanut butter open? I can probably help you with that too.

Over the past couple of months I have been getting congratulated while working out. It is mostly after I do push ups or pull ups. I realize that it might not be a normal sight to see, but please do not give me a thumbs up, atta girl, or way to go after you witness me working out. I hope that one day it's the norm to see a woman working out like that and not a rarity! In the meantime ladies, don't be afraid of throwing around some weights and getting strong. It's in!