Riding 100 miles & “What’s Next?!”

Mari on 52 mile ride, before the rain!
Mari on 52 mile ride, before the rain!

Spring is deciding if it wants to arrive to Minnesota. It’s been pouring rain for the past 3 days, including when I was out doing the Minnesota Ironman Bike Ride, which is NOT an Ironman triathlon but is a 48 year old bike ride held here in the Twin Cities. It’s a hard core ride because the weather in late April is never predictable. My riding partner, Ramsey, who’s had type 1 diabetes since he was 2 years old, and I had planned to do the 30 mile route. The day before, we had done 52 miles and we felt strong and we figured a 30 mile ride would be good for us. We had all our gear. Lots of rain gear, shoe covers, wool socks, full finger gloves. We had planned accordingly.

The first 10 miles were smooth. No rain, great roads. Then the rain started pounding us. Pretty soon we had to take off our glasses since they were completely steamed up and full of rain drops. That meant that our faces got pelted with hard driving rain. And the rain ran down the inside of our collars and it got into the shoe covers, drenching our wool socks. Soon our full finger gloves had puddles of water dripping off them. At mile 18, there was a rest stop and clusters of people huddled under the tent. Ramsey and I debated if we wanted to keep going or should we figure out a way to get a ride back to our car.

Mari & Ramsey After Riding in the Freezing Cold Rain! We are soaked!
Mari & Ramsey After Riding in the Freezing Cold Rain! We are soaked!

This is like life. When the going gets really tough, what do you do? And knowing how to decide the next action is a big challenge. We weighed our options, and watched those around us shivering and we realized that both of us had started to shiver and neither of us could feel our finger tips or our toes. Then someone announced that the buses were about to arrive. Ramsey and I looked at each other and we knew the wise choice was to catch that bus.

Sometimes taking the bus is simply noticing the help that is available in a tough moment. Riding on in the rain might have said to the world that we were tough as nails. Or to others it might have said we were fools. Either way, what mattered was how we felt about our decision. And we felt good! We got to the car and we were so cold that we just kept laughing! And we kept reminding each other that the day before we had ridden 52 miles! And I knew that this week was an overload week in my training plan, so I would be on my bike for a total of 12 hours of riding. In fact, on Monday I did a 3 hour ride on my trainer in the basement. Since it was still 40 degrees Farenheit, and pouring rain!

I’ve closed TeamWILD and I’m still figuring out what I am going to do next to earn a living. I have a few good ideas, but nothing is solid yet. So I’m substitute teaching a few days each week, not something I’d ever thought I would do. Yet here I am having a really good time working with teenagers and supporting their teachers.

Lots of people help me out, and it’s amazing and incredibly beautiful. I encourage you to do that too, let people help you. It makes the world a friendlier place. And while you’re at it, please sign up for my newsletter. I promise I will send you wonderful, upbeat emails!!

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