I rode my bike yesterday.
I rode my bike yesterday for 55 miles.
This is, by far, the longest bike ride I've ever attempted. I set out to ride 30 miles, but I just kept on going. In fact, I would have kept going even farther, but the people in charge of the organized bike ride in which I was participating pulled us off the rode at 3:00pm because they said it was getting too late for us to do the full 80 miles and at that point, well, I didn't argue. I put my bike on the bike rack of some stranger's car, put my smelly self in his front seat and let him drive me back to town. As soon as I sat down my thighs began twitching with gratitude.
Most people participating in this ride were a lot more experienced than I. Here is how I know this to be true:
1. Everyone but me was wearing spandex and fluorescent colored tight-shirts with logos all over them and fancy shoes that clanked on the ground when they walked like they were clog dancing.
2. I was the only one with a bright green milk crate attached to the back of my bike filled with unnecessary objects like my entire wallet including a lot of coins, a rotting banana and all 20 keys on my key chain. (I learned yesterday that every ounce counts, especially when facing the wind head on.)
3. At the various rest stops, no one else seemed to be eating as many of the free cookies as I did. Some people didn't even stop at the rest stops and sped by in their spandex, waving at the cookie eaters as if passing up free nutter butters was no big deal.
4. I finished last out of 125 people.
Granted, we did stop at my friend Rick's house on our way out of town to get sunscreen (which I put on my face and arms but not my legs, one of which got really burned - but only on one side. I look like I fell asleep for about 10 hours under a beach umbrella, on my side, with one leg sticking out in the sun.) We also managed to get lost at one point and biked down one of the busiest highways in Athens for a bit before realizing we were totally off track and having to find our way back... so yes, for these reasons (not at all because of time spent cookie consuming and/or the cornucopia basket-o-plenty riding behind me) I finished last out of 125! Pretty good if you ask me.
You know months ago some friends were planning a super long bike ride and I thought about going but I felt intimidated and thought that I would need to do all this training before hand in order to make it - so I decided not to go. But yesterday, I ended up biking 55 miles on a whim and I could have kept going still.... . And I was fine!
Moral of the story: Doubt only stands in your way and you are probably always capable of accomplishing a lot more than you realize.
Also, no matter what anyone tells you and no matter how good they look in spandex as they say it: never pass up free cookies. They may make you come in last, but... well....winning isn't everything.