“Don’t stop until you’re proud.” -unknown
This past week I rode a bicycle from Vermont up to Montreal Canada. Now I know that might sound like no big deal to many of you, but for me it was a HUGE deal! For starters I hadn’t ridden a bicycle since I was twelve years old. In addition I was terrified at the thought of riding a bike again at my age for even five minutes, let alone five days! But I decided I was going to do it and I went for it – and I didn’t stop until I was proud!
Once I’d made the decision to go on this trip I did the most sensible thing I could think of to prepare – I went and bought a bunch of really cute biking clothes so that even if I was awful at riding I could at least take comfort that I had cute outfits on 🙂 I suppose looking back at it now its clear I should have spent as much time conditioning my body to be ready for the trip as I did buying all the cute outfits for it, but hey, hindsight is 20/20 ya know…
Arriving in Vermont I was blown away at how amazingly beautiful it was – the trees were changing colors and the incredible array of colors was just beyond…its hard to put into words how gorgeous it was and frankly and photos just don’t do the colors justice…it was breathtaking.
After arriving we met up with our group of friends we were taking the trip with and we all set off on day one of the ride. By the end of that first day I was so sore I thought I might die…my body was hurting and a big part of me wanted to just give up and not ride anymore, but I didn’t give up…because I knew I hadn’t given my best yet… I knew that even though for that brief moment I might want to give up, deep down I wouldn’t be proud of myself if I did. So I dragged myself out of bed the next day and I got back on that bike again. I did that day after day for each day of the trip except Sunday (for religious reasons). I even rode in the pouring rain one day! And day after day it got easier and my body hurt less and I really began enjoying it!
I am so glad I faced my fears and went on that bike trip. I’m so glad I pushed myself to get on a bicycle even though I was terrified to ride one again for the first time since childhood. I’m so glad my friends encouraged me to face my fear and realize they were just in my head and I could totally do this if I set my mind to it. Had I not felt the fear and done it anyway I would have missed out on so many amazing memories!
Had I not gotten back on that bike day after day and made myself keep going, even when I was tired and sore and wanted to give up, I wouldn’t have had that feeling of pride that comes from knowing you’ve given your very best. I did it – I faced my fear – I kept going when it got hard – and now I get to feel proud that I gave it my best. And best of all, I discovered that I’m actually pretty darn good at riding a bike! And I discovered that I liked riding! Who knew!?!
“Don’t stop until you’re proud!” It’ll be worth it inh the end!!! Just take a look a few of the fun photos from my trip and you will see the fun people I got to be with and the gorgeous places I got to see. I am so happy that I did it! And special thanks to my friend Krista for inviting me on this trip to celebrate her 50th birthday because I would never have done this is if wasn’t for her (note: if you are looking at these on a cell phone you may have to turn the phone sideways for the entire picture to show):
~Amy Rees Anderson