The last 6 months have been a bit of a roller coaster; up, down, sideways, and turning fast. At times I have felt like I was going through a tunnel and at times I felt lost. I still feel lost at times and still feel upside down at other times. I was told in the last 3 months my long distance running days are done. Marathons are over. Focus on the bike. Let your body heal. I have had 2 back surgeries in the last 12 months. My body and mind have dealt with a lot and many ask how? I am not so sure I have a concrete answer to that question.

I sometimes think it is answered in my actions more than in my words. I focus on what I can do with my body. I focus on what my body can achieve and what it allows me to accomplish each day. Some days are better than others but no day is ever taken for granted. I make goals I know will take me outside of my comfort zone because that is what allows each of us to grow as individuals and athletes. If we remain comfortable we become stagnant in our own skin. Keep the mind believing and the body can accomplish so much more than one would think. Simply a positive optimistic attitude filled with courage and passion can take a person an enormous distance towards their goal.

So back to the bike. Lately I have spent a lot of time on the bike as I have not been allowed to run. I have been spinning a few times a week and riding outside a couple times a week. It’s often funny how things are cyclical … I started on the bike back in the 90’s, then became a distance runner, and now I’m back on the bike finding myself again. Had coffee with a friend the other day and made the comment to her that “I felt lost” … “that I wasn’t really sure who I was”.. “runner, cyclist, trainer, coach …” funny how we feel we need to be labeled. I guess it is just part of being vulnerable.

I shed some tears the other day while riding alone, talked to my guardian angel Jeff, asked what I should do. Told him I missed him and wished he was here and I could ask him cycling questions. Told him I was riding again because he showed me how brave I was and how tough I could be. And every time the wind blows I know that Jeff is talking to me and saying “let the wind me your friend”.

We are all vulnerable, all human. But when I am on my bike.. I feel powerful, happy, strong! I have legs that turnover and lungs full of oxygen. I can see the countryside and climb the mountain. I smile and ride with friends and know that I have an angel watching over me. For all of this I am so grateful and will forever ride on!!!!