When I am feeling frustrated because I cannot swim longer, bike faster, or run further, this is what I need to remember:

3 Months Ago

  • The first time I rode a road bike I managed five miles and was scared out of my mind.  I didn’t admit it though; I loudly proclaimed that I loved it in an attempt to convince myself of that.
  • My average pace the first month of riding was around 11 miles per hour.
  • Twice I had to walk my bike up a steep hill near my home during a bike ride with the local bike shop.
  • I didn’t know what hoods were and obviously didn’t rest my hands there while riding.
  • I would not let go of the handle bars for any reason – not to drink, scratch my head or indicate that I needed to turn or stop.
  • I had no idea how gears worked.  I thought that I was supposed to use the big ring (both front and back) to go slow so at the base of every hill I shifted to those gears.

This weekend

  • I rode 45 miles and averaged just over 16 miles per hour.
  • Climbing hills is something that I’m good at; at a recent ride with the local bike shop, I passed a guy going up a steep hill and he was visibly and audibly angry that he had been “chicked.”
  • I know when and how to use which gears and I ride on the hoods or on the drops, as appropriate.
  • I haven’t had to push my bike up a hill since that second time I did it on a local group ride.

Let this be a reminder that I am making progress.  I am too hard on myself and expect too much too soon sometimes.  Considering where I was three months ago, I should be proud of where I am now.  I am only going to get better.