Starting something is hard. With every new challenge I take on the hardest thing is just going out the door. Once I’m doing it everything is fine. Nothing is as hard or scary as I imagine it will be. It’s hard to remember that when I’m standing outside the door, deciding if I should go.
I’m thinking about taking on some pretty big bike challenges this week. I’ve talked about getting into racing for awhile now and nothing is stopping me. Here I am, hundreds of miles under my belt, a cycling license in my wallet, and a pair of bike shorts. It’s time to go for it.
I think I’m more terrified about racing than I ever was about running. At most running races there are hundreds of people of all ability levels. I always know I’ll be around the middle of the pack. Running has been part of my life much less time than biking, but that also gives me some relief because I don’t feel like there are as many expectations.
With biking I know I can do things. I know I can go out and ride 10, 20, 50, 100 miles today. If I really want to I know I will finish. Distance is not the problem. What scares me is all of the technical aspects of cycling. Turning corners with a pack of racers, keeping my speed up so I can stay with the pack, keeping control of my bike. These are the things that terrify me. If I trip in a running race I know I can get up and start running, but if I wipe out in a bike race, going 25 mph, and throw my bike there seems to be a lot more at stake.
It’s all kind of overwhelming. I’m entering this new chapter of my life and so much is unknown right now. We’re leaving Iowa City in two weeks and I still don’t know where I’ll work or live. I already feel like I’m out there with the wolves, so I suppose a few scrapes on the bike won’t kill me.