Tour de Pink East Coast is six weeks away.
When I decided to ride TdP last fall, I was so weak from all my surgeries the year before that I was not able to walk up a flight of stairs without pain. I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was a small child and had built up a fear of them over the years. I also wanted my body back. I wanted to feel strong again, like I did before the words “you have cancer” hit my ears.
Now here I am. The ride is no longer theoretical. I learned to ride a bike, built back the muscles I lost, and conquered a fear of bikes and turned cycling into something I enjoy. Those are not small accomplishments; they are actually big ones … but the reality is, I am terrified about the ride.
This past week I did two 25-mile rides and they were fine – I was proud of myself. But in the back of my mind, I know they are not 200 miles. I thought I would be so much further than I am now. I had fantasies of doing long 60-mile rides all of August – that hasn’t happened. What if I can’t do it?
Looking forward, over the next six weeks I will be starting up my fall travel for YSC and only have a couple of more weekends to train, which is a bit terrifying. Where did the time go? Where did the summer go?
As YSC begins its ramp up for the fall and Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, I know I’ll be swept up into the energy and excitement that comes with it – which is great. I’ll be traveling around the country doing what I love most: meeting other young women diagnosed with breast cancer … and many of them are also taking their bodies back from cancer by training for Tour de Pink.
I guess the point is – I need to remind myself that I have already done what I signed up to do. The ride is going to be hard, but if I get tired I will rest or even hop in a SAG (support and gear) van and go ahead to the next rest stop. I know that really the hardest part was actually changing my life and learning this body is still mine and I’ve made it stronger. It’s not actually about riding 200 miles, it’s about taking your body back from cancer – which I am proud to say, I have been able to do.
So I’m going to channel my fear about the ride into excitement … and my nervousness into energy. And, in six weeks I will be surrounded by family and friends to not prove that I could do it – but to celebrate that I was able to do it.