Celebrate my birthday by riding long: #diabetes and all

Tomorrow, May 12th, is my 52nd birthday and as you likely know, I’m not married and I don’t have any children. At this moment in time, I don’t have a boyfriend. (Yes, I would like to have a boyfriend!) I also don’t have a particularly good relationship with my biological family. I do have wonderful and amazing friends, many of whom don’t live in Minneapolis – St. Paul, so not all of them are near me.

I was thinking about how I wanted to celebrate my birthday this year. Last year I gathered with about 7 of my friends for dinner and we laughed, connected and celebrated that I am alive and healthy. Then a few days later I broke the first bone of my life, my ankle. That interrupted my plan to ride 100 miles at the Tour de Cure Twin Cities. In reality, it interrupted my entire summer.

This year, I am again training for the 100 mile Tour de Cure Twin Cities that will be on June 3rd. I am a bit superstitious and thus don’t want to call all that much attention to my birthday, for fear that calling attention could result in another broken bone. That said, due to the many years of therapy and inner healing work I’ve done, I do like my birthday! And NOT celebrating is a VERY BAD idea!!!

I now also work nearly full time, between my two part time jobs and the consulting gigs I do with people helping them refine their LinkedIn profiles. This results in being busier than I was last year and training for the Tour de Cure Twin Cities. I protect my birthday, and had taken the day off, and as I was looking at my training calendar for the Tour de Cure, I realized I am due for a long ride.

It hit me: go for a long ride on May 12th! I was planning to ride the Tour de Cure with a new friend Courtney. She said she was willing to take the day off work and do a long ride with me. That sounded so fabulous! Then, she hurt her knee. Not only can she no longer ride 100 miles on June 3rd, she for sure can’t ride long with me tomorrow.

So, here I am the night before the long ride. I confess, I feel like giving up. Can you relate? Do you ever want to give up? Especially when what you’d planned to do and who you planned to do it with, falls through?

Echo dog celebrating Spring!

Here’s the general plan: Get up at 6 AM, eat breakfast, take insulin. Take my dog Echo for a walk. Get dressed in my cycling clothes. Make sure I have all my cycling food packed up. Make sure I have my flat tire repair gear ready. Put on my helmet, gloves and cycling shoes and carry my bike outside. By 8 AM, get on my bike and cycle the 13 miles to the ride start.

Oh yes, I found a 63 mile ride that three men of the Twin Cities Bicycle Club organize nearly every Friday. I intend to arrive to the ride start by 9:45AM. In time to sign in to the ride and get the route map and meet the other riders. Most likely all the other riders will be retired men. Retired men who cycle a lot!! Meaning they will most likely cycle much faster than I do.

I emailed them a few days ago and indeed they will hand out a hard copy of the map of the route we will ride. Most likely I will only be able to hang with them for maybe 15 minutes. Thus, it is most likely I will ride the majority of the 63 miles by myself. And then I will ride home, 13 miles.

Birthday Bear my U of MN colleague gave me for the day!

That’s why I feel like giving up before starting. Riding 89 miles mostly by myself on my birthday sounds lonely. I will only be able to take selfies. There won’t be lots of people around me celebrating. Writing this makes me feel sad. How is it that I’m 52 and still not married and not even in a long-term relationship? What’s wrong with me?

I just took a deep breath. I put my feet solidly on the ground. I reminded myself that my life has been and still is a big healing journey. I’ve learned so much about who I am and why I’m here and what I have to offer. Not every lifetime is about having a big family, biological or self-made. This lifetime for me is for my soul to grow. And growing I have done and will keep doing.

I slept 9 hours last night. Tonight I will get about 8 hours. That’s two solid nights of sleep before attempting to ride 89 miles. The longest distance I’ve done so far this year is 46.2 miles. Yup, going to just about double my mileage. Only slightly crazy! Luckily, I have now been riding for more than 17 years and cycling skill and fitness is cumulative.

Writing this blog post has helped. I am going to do it. I am going to get up tomorrow and ride. Writing this has helped me remember that what I do and who I am matters. Even if who it matters to is just to me.

When I’m done riding tomorrow, I shall take a shower and go to the Friend’s School Plant sale at the Minnesota State Fair grounds. I plan to purchase a bunch of tomato plants, lots of kale, a few pepper plants and zucchini seeds. Plus a bunch of colorful flowers. I’m going to spend Saturday gardening!

All in all, I believe my 52nd birthday will be a good one!

Thanks for reading!

And please let me know what you’ve done to make your birthdays happy! I love hearing from you.

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8 thoughts on “Celebrate my birthday by riding long: #diabetes and all”

  1. Mari, I am so disappointed that I missed the opportunity to say Happy Birthday. NOTHING IS WRONG WITH YOU! There’s something wrong with society that being married and having children is some sort of criteria for happiness. We’re more creative than that! Aren’t we? You are whole and beautiful. Happiness is within you, always ready to shine. Don’t let mind games trick you into thinking you should be sad for living an original, glorious life. There are so many things you are able to do and experience because you are living your life just the way you are. You are missing out on nothing.

    • Molly,
      You’re the best! Thanks for your kind words and thoughts!!! They mean the world. And I did have a wonderful birthday riding 80 miles!! And I’m ready for the Tour de Cure Twin Cities that will be this coming Saturday, June 3rd!!! Huge thank you for the donation!!!
      Much love always!

  2. Happy Birthday Mari! Sending you love and hugs and blessings always. Hope you have a wonderful ride. You inspire so many. Keep riding!

    • Carla,
      Thank you SO much!!! One of these years I sure hope our paths cross again!

  3. Happy birthday brave girl, hope you have a wonderful ride and fun plant shopping day. I salute you for putting your feeling down and sharing with us. I am not a birthday crazy girl but the day makes me wonder about life. My past birthday in Nov was my first birthday being single while I was still married. I decided to take charge and booked a work trip to California and added a mindful retreat day to it. It was a soul birthday. I lived it and the day passed without thinking too much. Mari, you are a strong positive women who is an inspiration to many other women. I wish for you happy funfiled years. Enjoy!

    • Deepa,
      Your words and sentiments move me deeply. Thank you! Blessings and love to you!

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