Thursday, March 25, 2010

Attitude is Everything (March 25: Day 22--Ft Davis, TX)

Ok Folks--here it is...........two days ago I was ready to hang my hat and come home.  I was still having to sag, the weather was beautiful, and I had worked myself up into a regular old 'poor me' funk.  It was one of those days, when I just couldn't find the good in anything.   My old saddle hadn't arrived, my sores were worse than ever, (to the point of keeping me awake a night), I was sick of unloading the luggage (because I was there), and tired of helping with breakfast clean up while I watched everyone else peddle away in amazing weather and on great roads. Ordinarily, I wouldn't mind these tasks, but I just wanted to ride; I did not want to be in support....again and again. Was it ever going to end..was I ever going to get back in the saddle again?
 ~~POOR ME~~
That afternoon, the others all rode in happy and ecstatic from a fast, invigorating ride ....and there I was, twiddling my thumbs.....again...listening to their tales.   I didn't even want to hear about how great the ride was--I was so out of sync. I felt myself falling down that rabbithole of self-pity, where all I wanted to do was withdraw and be by myself.  Unfortunately, on this trip, there is little alone time, except on your bike, which is where I wanted to be.  Down, down, down I went.....
 ~~POOR ME~~
I couldn't even have a good cry room mate for the night came in, and though she tried to console me,  I continued to wallow in self pity, and perhaps anger.  I was pissed--why was this happening to me?  Tried as I might, I could not find 'the lesson' I know was lurking there, nor could I sincerely find anything  for which to be grateful.
Even sleep didn't bring me relief.  I had lost my PJ's at the last hotel, so had to concoct something that I could wear to bed that would not irritate my sores, and yet be comfortable and concealing. Then my sleep was continually interrupted by persistent hot flashes and the poing- poing-poing of the cheap fitted sheets letting go of the corners, leaving a bare, nasty mattress  for me to sleep on.  So up I got to fix the sheets, over and over again  while, my room mate slumbered blissfully, no doubt dreaming of sailing down 8% grades with tailwinds. 
Finally morning came, and I knew the moment I pulled my bike shorts on that it was going to be another day of SAGging.....and that thought caused me to physically and mentally sag....and on my birthday, too.
My room mate left for breakfast, and I hung back.  There was no reason for me to hurry since I was not riding. Finally, in solitude, I sat back and had a little talk with myself......

 .....From all obstacles come opportunity--was this really an obstacle for me, or was I making it one? What opportunity was I failing to see?  What lesson was being presented that I was not learning?  This was not the trip I expected!
Expectations are projections into the future....much like worry.  Expectations are something over which I have no control, and yet something I assume will happen because that is how I imagine it should.  This being true, then disappointment is very likely to occur because I have no control over future variables. And that is precisely what has happened; I was disappointed that the 'story' I had written in my head about this trip was not the one actually taking place.  I was also not taking responsibility for creating that disappointment, reverting instead to feeling very sorry for myself and wallowing in selfpity.
Earlier in the trip on this blog, I talked about feeling like a dog, enjoying the moment of the wind rushing over my face as I sailed over rollers in the Imperial Desert.  A dog lives in the present, without expectations of the future or dwelling on disappointment from the past---he is just fully present at the moment and enjoying what it has to offer. I am the source of my happiness and responsible for choosing how I wish to experience my life....full of expectation and disappointment or being present and savoring the moment.  I choose the latter. 

Having made that discovery and making a conscious choice to embrace the moment instead looking at the  'what if' or 'woulda, coulda, shoulda',  I left the room and headed for breakfast, with a new attitude and ready to enjoy what the day had to offer.  As I stepped into the breakfast room, everyone started singing "Happy Birthday"....and at that moment, I cried, but for an entirely different reason than I was crying last night. I immersed myself in the glory of the moment and savored it. 

I still SAGged all day, but the difference in how I chose to approach the day and situation made it rich with experiences I would have otherwise missed. I am indeed grateful for this lesson I learned.

My AHA moment certainly was a 'birthday'. 


  1. Hi Sue,
    As a person who should be on this trip with you but is instead sitting home in Edmonds, WA rehabbing a torn hamstring, I feel your pain.
    This is not the way I'm supposed to be spending my spring,I should be off "conquering the borderlands" with all you ladies that I was looking forward to meeting after enjoying all your emails over this past winter.
    POOR ME!
    I'm so glad that you,ve been able to change your atitude...I'm working on mine. Being able to follow the trip on all of your blogs is a big help, you ladies are a blast.
    Wishing you a belated Happy Birthday & a great rest of the trip. Your saddle sores will heal, I did a ride across Missouri a few years back & had a doozie but some rest days & lots of chamois cream really did wonders.
    Please take care & keep those blog posts coming.
    Linda Hunter

  2. I'm proud of you for sticking with it, Mom! Even though the trip didn't turn out exactly how you imagined, you met some great people (some friends for life you told me!) and are seeing some great things, no matter whether it's from a bike or a car. You'll be back in the saddle soon. In the meantime, have some fun and don't forget that you are on the trip of a lifetime! Love you! :)

  3. I'm glad you're pulling through the downs, Sue. It will make the ups of the ride that much more rewarding when you cross that finish line in Florida!

  4. my moment came much later than yours, but it's ok that you had your trying times. you have a sore butt, i had a broken hand and puenumonia, talk about being pissed!!!!!! florida will welcome you with open sunshine and warm breezes and lots of really really wet water. it will be worth it!!!!! becky

  5. Sue,I've enjoyed your blog a great deal. The good, the bad and the ugly of the weather, the road, your mental and physical health. Your aha moment about expectations is huge - one I learned a long time ago. Congratulations, it will serve you well.
    Keep on trekkin'!