I thought I knew how to ride a bike. There hasn't been much biking in my adult life, but hey, it's like riding a bike. Right? My discovery is that phrase only applies to quick jaunts around town or one of those care-free beach rental rides. If you wanna ride a bike up a really steep butte, there is stuff you need how to know. Learning about shifting gears, different ways to engage your muscles, how to change a flat tire is important. Most crucial, however, on bikes or on whatever mode of transportation you have picked for this great road called Life, is how to keep your momentum up. And what's even more important is keeping your momentum up while flailing wildly, almost falling, and, let's hope, learning something. The butte I went up the other day was such a challenge I almost puked. I could feel the corners of my lungs. A new muscle has popped up on my forearm. That was some fricken doing. And after it was done I felt really great about myself. It would be nice to be in such great shape that I didn't dry heave. I guess that will come in time. Probably come when I'm better at keeping my momentum up.
What you all just missed in the writing process of this very line, was several failed attempts at getting personal with you. Words strung together to try and tie in the anxiety I feel living in a ski town and working as a waitress. I keep deleting and looking for a way to continue in metaphor. There are all sorts of things my fingers tap out that are then deemed either not worthy of the public or too private for the public. Here is what I don't want to tell you: how I wonder sometimes if I'm being sucked into a life that while being quite easy and in many ways fun, will never amount to a career, a family, or financial stability. What if I never fulfill my potential and i miss out on some of life's greatest joys? I would like to delete that last sentence. Pretend it never existed. Say I'm having enough fun to not care. In many ways, I don't. I don't need much money, I don't mind my work, and who knows if I even want a family. Children are scary and seem very time consuming. There. I said it and I'm not deleting it.
The anxiety is pinned to specifics, but really, I'm scared of losing momentum. Some people can relax, live in the moment, find every second's beauty, just enjoy. I'm not one of those lucky people. I need a goal to keep my eyes open and fixated on going forward, otherwise I just sit on the couch and think about the chances of actually dying of boredom and how ashamed I'll be to have died in such a whiney, losery way. The biggest shame in having these feelings is that the emotions are born from and suckle on the situation. Sitting on the couch makes me have the thoughts and the only reason that the thoughts are legitimized is because I'm there sitting on the couch. This is called a vicious cycle and it's what I am doomed for if I don't keep up momentum and push forward. If I'm not accomplishing, the feeling comes. There is no avoiding it, so, please, don't just tell me to relax.
I've accepted the feeling. That doesn't mean I've found a solution. I do know some handy tricks for keeping momentum up while going up a really steep butte on a bike, though.
1) Slow down.
2) Get into a lower gear.
3) Circle in one spot if you have to until you can push forward.
4) Vary the muscles you are depending on for strength.
5) Practice, train, build muscle and it will get easier.
6) If you absolutely have to stop, stop. Rest, get back on, and head down the hill for a few seconds to get some
momentum and then head back up the hill.
7) Visualize how hot your body is going to be if you keep it up.
8) Imagine all those assholes who have ever tried to make you feel fat, like you couldn't, or like you weren't good
enough to even try something. Now imagine you crushing them with every pump of the pedal. You can even puke
there heads if it comes to that.
9) Look around and be thankful for the beauty around you.
I don't know if these tips can help in every situation in life. If only everything had the automatic gratification that biking possesses. Then again, it is nice that most situations don't make me dry heave. Pros and cons on that one. These tips got my doubtful butt to the top of a butte. I don't know what to do with my time not on a bike, but maybe it's time to slow down, get in a lower gear, vomit on the heads of my doubters, and push forward.