My journey into the world of triathlon began about four years ago when my husband (an avid runner and all around fitness buff) became so bored with our occasional walks around the neighborhood that he asked me to give bike riding a try. I did, and that summer we made short bike trips at the pokey pace of about 10 miles/hour. Me, riding my daughter’s hybrid, and my husband on his road bike. Me, out of breath; he, patiently waiting for me to catch up.
As the summer progressed, I gained confidence, and some measure of fitness. Not much…some. So when I suggested we mark our 30th wedding anniversary (seven months away) with a 100 mile charity bike ride, he was a little skeptical. (Note: he tends to question some of my suggestions, which makes me even more determined…something to be discussed in further posts ). First, he said, I would have to work out all winter to be able to ride that far. Second, I would need a proper road bike. I did work out that winter, on a trainer, with my new,pink and white, entry level, used, Trek road bike. The sweetest bike ever, in my opinion. When conditions allowed us to train outside ( in Central New York this can be March, or April) I joined a training group and we rode together ( in formation, two by two, one bike length apart – which is a key piece of this particular charity ride). Come mid May, I believed I was fit and ready to ride my first Ride for Missing Children.
The whole ride was an emotional experience. We spent the winter preparing to ride together, gathering donations to support the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and learning about the children who have been hurt/ killed, abducted or exploited and their long suffering families. Four hundred (or so) cyclists rode in formation as a show of strength, support and hope; we would never, ever forget these precious children or their loved ones. Actually, emotional barely describes the day. By the end of it my legs were spent but my heart was full.
…and I was hooked on biking as a way to regain some fitness that I lost in my 40s.
An easing into fitness, to be sure. But it was a start…a beautiful, meaningful start.