Health and Fitness · Marriage · Parenthood

There are no negative gears

We were all set to go and had everything planned for our outing. My husband had finally bought Celeste, our 15 month old daughter, her weeride bike seat attachment so that we could finally take her on a bike ride. So while she was taking her nap this morning he got that thing all set up, went to buy her her helmet, and in the meantime I prepped our small daypack with the things we might need for her while out on our ride.

In my mind I was envisioning a light stroll around our city but my husband surprised me when he said he was thinking we could go to Irvine off of Shady Canyon. I guess it’s beautiful out there and so I thought ok and asked if it would be a light ride, and he said yes.

Have I mentioned that my husband loves to mountain bike ride and is in way better shape than me? Not to mention that my idea of “light ride” it turns out is very different than my husbands’?

So off we were, bikes packed on the back of our 4Runner, baby strapped safely in her car seat, and me with a super wide grin on my face with visions of the cool breeze in my hair while enjoying a nice bike ride alongside (or just behind) my husband and daughter. Because naturally the weeride is installed on my husband’s bike.

So we get there and after we get Celeste and ourselves situated we proceed on one of the bike trails and I notice it’s slightly uphill, but it’s one of those deceiving uphills where you (I) think that it’s just going to last for a wee bit and then it’ll turn into a beautiful flat terrain surrounded by trees and you know, just wonderful nature.

But then I realize the hill is not getting any smaller, and it’s actually extending for quite a bit and my husband says from up ahead to make sure I put my low gears and I say back “are we going up this thing?!” and he says yes and I’m thinking okay, how long can this thing really go for, right?

Far. Very far, actually. And with every movement of my legs I am going slower and slower and I feel like that hill is just getting longer and longer and steeper and steeper and I see from the corner of my eye that there are a few people walking up that hill on the pedestrian side and I am wishing I am on that side, and not huffing (because yes at some point I start huffing) my way up every slow and torturous pedal. And my husband begins to get smaller and smaller in the distance and I manage to look around and allow myself a few seconds to enjoy how beautiful the scenery is, because with each trecherous push of my legs I realize I am just staring down at the ground using all my strength to get up that damn hill, as I am saying soft curses under my breath. My vision from the car is gone.

At one point I manage to lift my head up and see that my husband and daughter have made it to the top of the hill and then I see they’re coming back down and I hear my husband saying that Celeste is waving at me or cheering me on – I’m not sure which because at this point I can’t really make out what he’s saying and as he gets closer he asks me how I’m doing and I hiss a very pissed “not good!”

I manage to hear him say “okay then let’s go back” and I’m thinking oh hell no I am already 3/4 of the way up this thing, actually that’s what comes out of my mouth – sans the “oh hell no”. Now of course at that point it’s just my stupid pride getting in the way and making sure I get up that damn hill.

I did make it up and was feeling upset and asked my husband what he was thinking bringing me to this trail for the very first time, and him telling me he didn’t realize I was that out of shape, and me answering back that I haven’t been on a bike for 2 years, and all I have managed to do lately to exercise is run, what did he expect? He just wanted us to enjoy the beautiful scenery and hadn’t expected it to be so tough for me.

We ended up riding a little bit further and I had to admit that even though the trail was tougher (for me) than what I had wanted to do for my first welcome-bike-to-bicycling-after-your-long-hiatus ride, the scenery was in fact pretty amazing out there. In the end we headed back because I just couldn’t handle any more up hills and we headed to another area that was flat and rode around there for a bit.

The experience turned out to be good and our daughter had such a great time, which really was the most important thing. And eventually we laughed about the whole thing in the car, especially the fact that I was so pissed going up that hill and the look my husband said I had on my face when he asked me how I was doing. I am supressing a laugh right now as I think about it.

And I have to admit, I am wondering to myself right now how in the heck am I going to complete that triathlon I signed up for, it is exactly one month away. But at this point, having signed up for it is an accomplishment in itself and I am just going to go out there, try my best and complete as much as I can. I guess on the bright side it’s a good thing the bike portion of the triathlon will be flat.

On the drive back home my husband asked me again in the car if I had my lowest gears on while going up hill, and I said yes, I was on L on the left side and 1 on the right side, and it doesn’t go any lower than that. There are no negative gears! LOL


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