Monday, April 18, 2011

As terrifying as terror is.....

Let's look at all the glorious and/or tedious non teaching activities that filled my day.

I started out with about 30 minutes of swimming. I increased my intervals from 50m to 75m and did 20 seconds of rest in between. I did 10 sets, plus a warmup and a cooldown. Sometimes I'm a bit slow starting on days off if I don't have a specific time I need to workout so I'm pretty proud of myself for finishing by 8:15am.

Then things got wild. I did four loads of laundry and began worked on my grad school final project for hours. I also tend to procrastinate sometimes so I'm pretty excited that I got started Monday, not Friday. Or next Monday. Or not at all.

I almost never get sleepy unless it's bedtime but after hours of typing in APA format vs. chasing children I couldn't believe how exhausted I was. Eric and I actually took a little nap on the couch to "Classical Favorites" on the music channel. Then I woke up and read The Kitchen House, which I highly recommend on the patio.
I'd prefer to be out there in a sundress rather than a snuggie and a fleece, but it was still bliss.

How perfect is it that I got my bike yesterday and the Baltimore Area Triathlon Club hosted a free beginners ride today?

I thought I faced my fear of bikes when I rented a bike for a bike ride on a paved, flat trail last August. I also thought I faced my fear when I took my bike around my hilly neighborhood last night. FYI, googling "fear of bikes" gives you tons of info on cyclophobia, which is a fear of being around bikes, but no information whatsoever on overcoming fear of actually riding them. Probably because it affects only one person on earth, ever. (Me.)

Panic Attack #1:
As per Mike's recommendation, my bike has these straps to hold my feet in, 
aka make it impossible to get my feet in to start peddling.  The club took off without me while I tried to get my feet in 800 times and couldn't do it.

Panic Attack #2
Going downhill. Still terrified and hold my brakes so tight I am barely moving and my hand STILL hurts and it's been 4 hours.

Panic Attack #3
The group was waiting for me at a light. Which meant I was already holding up a whole group of strangers, and now I needed to start pedaling at the exact right moment and go fast enough to cross a busy street. This may or may not have prompted me to start crying and tell Eric that I was done and couldn't do it. 

Panic Attack #4 - 5,000,000
Going on several hundred downhills in busy traffic with around a foot of shoulder space and cars whizzing by, inches from my bike, while the group constantly stopped and waited for me. Totally didn't know we were riding in traffic and I honestly can't remember a time in my adult life that I was so gripped in terror, I was literally shaking so hard that I could barely stay straight on the bike. 

We then went to a residential neighborhood and the group leader, an accomplished, very experienced cyclist worked with me one on one to learn the gears, turn, and get more comfortable on the downhills. It made a huge difference and on the way back, I did not shake, cry, attempt not to cry, and I took my hands off the brakes for at least part of every downhill on the way back.
(Don't worry, Mom, this was posed, he wore his helmet the entire ride.)

After 10 miles of staying upright, I fell off the bike when I attempted to stop in the parking lot. Genius. Then we reenacted the fall for pictures.
This group seriously deserves an award, or at least a home baked treat, for their patience with me. Everyone was really encouraging despite how much I slowed them down and the leader was an amazing help. 
We are now a two bike family.

I have to admit I'm a little embarrassed to put on the internet just how scared I was of something that small children do every day, but it is what it is and the ultimate goal is to get over it and reread this post and laugh one day. It was a huge rush getting in the car knowing I almost gave up but I stuck with it. I'm planning on another ride tomorrow!

We did Eric's workout of five sets of 30 jumping jacks, 15 pushups, and 10 sit ups (not crunches) when we got home and I did 60/75 pushups on my toes, then I practiced hanging from the pullup bar so I can one day do a pull up. I did 4 sets of hanging, for 20 sec, 20 sec, 10 sec, and 13 sec. Michelle O., I'm coming for you.

Kara was concerned about my craving for veggies after yesterday's 20 miler. Not to worry, Kara, here's the pizza we made for dinner. Amazing. Bread maker pizza dough is delicious and gigantic beyond belief. Then I busted out the toppings from Nicole's shower again and had my own private sundae bar. AGAIN. Then I just ate more pizza tonight and I sure didn't run anything close to 20 miles.
Please please please if anyone is still reading tell me an irrational fear of yours so I feel less pathetic.


  1. I am afraid that if I leave a part of my body (below the neck) uncovered by my blankets at night, that body part will be chopped off by an axe-man.

    There you go.

  2. I'm reading The Kitchen House now, AND I was sitting in the sun yesterday doing so! Did you really read the whole thing in a day?

    And also, I could never do what you did on the bike. Kudos to you! I would have been crying before panic attack #1!

    Like you, have a goal of being able to do a pull-up one day. Why oh why is it so difficult?!

    Is it possible to ship pizza? Because my mouth is watering now!

  3. Your day sounds very productive and I would also like you to ship that pizza to me (overnight please!).

    As far as your fear goes, you've got to be on the right track. I mean how many people do you know who are terrified of something, but go for it anyway? That takes serious guts.

  4. Because of horror movies, I always think the phone lines are going to be cut at night so someone can break in. So, I keep my cell phone by my bed in case the phone lines are cut.

    If I had stairs, I would also fear that I would run up them instead of out the door like I should, so I'm glad my house is stair-free.

  5. Pizza is always a good call :)

    I am also terrified of bike riding (especially downhill and ESPECIALLY in traffic). You're braver than me because you're actually trying. I'm planning on going the rest of my life bike-free.

    A more embarrassing fear than yours: I'm scared of rodents. I'm fine being in the same room with a hamster/gerbil/whatever, but ask me to hold the little poop machine? No way, no how.

  6. I'm 100% jealous of you right now. I wish I was on SB. 5 more Mondays until summer. I can do this!!
    My house got broke in to a couple of years ago and since then I'm terrified of walking in my house alone when it's dark outside. Like, I have to be on the phone with someone because I think that if someone is in my house, the person on the phone will at least hear me freak out and someone will know something is wrong. Otherwise, everyone might just think I locked my self in the house to watch reruns of Real Housewives and Secret Life. (Did I just admit that I watch that??)
    Hope you're enjoying your break!!!

  7. PS -- LOVE LOVE LOVE your new layout!!!

  8. Love the new layout!! I'm terrified of spiders. Like, legitimately freak out. Can't even look at pictures of them. :P

  9. Love your new layout! I'm extremely jealous of your pizza.

  10. I'm terrified of bikes. The expression "it's just like riding a bike" does NOT apply to me. All of your panic attacks were warranted in my opinion!

  11. The day I strap myslef to a bike without the ability to get off is going to be when pigs fly. understandable fear


Thanks for commenting! Comments make me probably more happy than they should.