The Challenge (4 IMAGES)

Just to prove to all of you that I really am doing my best to get back to “strong” today I regale an adventure I recently had on my bike.  The first couple of times I managed to get back up on my bike, I fully admit I was shaky at best and felt just so weak.  So I limited those rides instead of 15 miles to that of beginning at 3 miles, slowly increasing to now I’m at a max of 12 miles.

A day last week I found myself on a road I used to ride years ago.  I came upon a hill and my mouth fell open in astonishment.  I didn’t remember this hill to be that big and because I knew I was not ready to even attempt that hill, I turned around and rode the way I had come.  The second time I came upon this hill on another day, I still felt shaky and still not at my 100% but that day I knew I would at least attempt to make that hill.

And so I did.

Whizzing down a hill before the ascent I looked at my speed.  Good.  Twenty-four miles-per-hour and when I could I put my bike in high gear and pedaled fast to try to keep my speed at least at 24.  As I hit the bottom of this hill I was going 18-miles-per-hour in high gear and grunting out loud I lowered my head like a bull and said, “I CAN DO THIS!”

Almost immediately my speed decreased rapidly and swiftly I had to change gears until I went from 12th gear to 1st gear, chugging and heaving with legs-about-to-fall off but I kept on going.  At one point my speed got as low as 3-miles-per-hour and my bike wobbled so badly I would have fallen if my grit did not emerge and I tightened my grip on those handlebars to that of a death grip and pushed my falling-off-legs even harder.

And yes I got to the top!  Barely able to breathe, I was shaking so badly yet I was still sitting on that bike seat and not on the road behind me.  A woman at the top of the hill saw me and gave me the thumbs up signal when I gave out a huge whoop … yes even with lungs that screamed for air.  She yelled, “That is some hill!” to which I replied, “Don’t I know! I MADE IT! I didn’t think I could!”  Again she grinned and gave me another high five and with right arm high in the air my thumb went up …. Victory!

(Come to think of it, how did I even manage to talk with lungs heaving so badly?)

And so I continued.  Gradually my breath came back and my heart rate slowed.  I turned a corner, made a right onto another road, made a quick left on still another road and saw this:

After taking this picture I looked ahead and to my horror another huge hill lay ahead.  Not today, thank you, but perhaps another when I feel stronger I will return.  With that I turned my bike around and came back the way I had come.  Just before I got to the BIG hill I had ascended I saw this sign,

which all by itself tells you how seriously steep the grade on this hill is.  Thank goodness I have good brakes on my bike because going down I had to put my brakes on.  If I had not I would have flown off loosing control and that would have spelled disaster for me.  Even with brakes applied, my top speed was 30-miles-per-hour. Whoa!

Returning home dripping sweat, red in the face, tired, yet knowing I really accomplished a huge feat that day, I just had to take this picture of me to show you I really am still alive.  If you look close you will see the ravaged face of a woman whose Heart is so broken at the moment.  Yet, this woman will not lay over and quit!  And the cat you see behind me is Tee who is a camera hog.

So now you see that my fighting spirit has not vanished and even though I’d rather hit the couch and a movie marathon, I chose to drag my weary self to my bike and get moving.  I felt SO much better afterwards!  And yes there really are days I hit that couch and chill.  Rest as with exercise is just as important especially now at this time of my life when the stuffings were kicked out of me.

I’m closing comments to this post because I am still answering all the beautiful comments from my previous post.  I felt it necessary to put on Petals another post to Balance the extremely emotional post from yesterday.  And so I did exactly that.  Please do enjoy!

Photography/ “The Challenge”/September 2017©AmyRose