I’m lying in bed. In pain. My ass hurts. My legs hurt. My skin is covered in thorn and stinging nettle scratches. My face hurts from laughing. My tongue hurts from sticking it out like Michael Jordan all day. I have mud on my legs that may never wash off. I’m pretty sure my bruises are forever.
And I’m ecstatic about it.
I got back on the Surly this past Wednesday after a couple days out of the saddle. Hammered my slow booty up to Watauga Dam. My little riding partners decided not to tell me about this climb until we were on our way…punks! The climb was LONG and it was HOT. I was wheezing the entire ascent. My speed was similar to a snail…almost fell over on some of the steeper sections. I didn’t fall over. In fact, I made it to the top. Winning! The descent was worth every pedal stroke.
I was looking forward to TNR this week, but alas, the rain gods had other plans. We all knew it wasn’t going to happen, but we faithfully showed up with bikes in tow…ultimately aware that we would just end up eating and drinking beer. My practical exam for my medic was the following day and I wanted to distract myself from my nerves. Instead of a bike ride I ate beans and cheese…drank a 22oz beer…ate a Chocolate Silk Pie Blizzard from Dairy Queen. Oh…and made the practical exam my BITCH!
Friday was quite possibly the most frustrating, exhausting, anxious and nerve wracking moment of my entire existence. I was a hot mess on the inside, showing nothing more than a red face on the outside. I cried in the shower. I cried on my way to the testing site. I wanted to cry after every single station I completed. I just kept telling myself to “hold on” and “breathe”. If I had made it this far…I must know what I’m doing. After I completed my final station, John Dabbs took me out in the hallway and started talking. I just stared…he kept talking…I stared. He finally held out his hand and muttered the words I had been waiting to hear…CONGRATULATIONS, YOU PASSED. I immediately broke down in tears like I was Miss Tennessee in the Miss America pageant. The stress and anxiety I had felt over the past 14 months just broke…on my face!
Knowing I had to take my written National Registry test on Saturday, I decided to support Kari’s Heart Foundation and ride the 28 miler that morning. It would be a workout and I might shave off some anxiety before the BIG test. Well, I got what I asked for…it was a beast. I went out with the goal of pushing it as hard as I could, without dying. I succeeded and felt amazing. I felt like ass crack during the ride, but I wasn’t last…I made my goal…and I walked away in better shape because of it.
Took my test at 3…spent less than an hour at the testing site. Drank wine. I either failed miserably or I nailed it…won’t know till tomorrow. The suspense might kill me in my sleep tonight. Fo’ realz.
Today I took on the task of riding Rocky Fork with some amazing people. My new friend, Anet, is a MEGA endurobeast and talked me into signing up for Pisgah Monster Cross…which is 70 miles and 10,000+ feet of climbing. I figured I needed to get started on training…sooooo, we spent 20+ miles and 6+ hours in the saddle. Climbing. Climbing. Climbing. And climbing. Her husband is equally as beastly on a bike. They amaze me. I suffered like a dog and loved it. The views were amazing…the company was amazing…the day was…amazing. Today was proof that I’m moving right along and getting stronger on the bike. I’m amazed that I could even complete a ride like today…and blessed to be able to. I’m overwhelmed with my passion for this little metal thing with two wheels. Both on and off road. I think I’ll keep pedaling…