I managed to sneak in a solo ride today, while my son was at preschool. I couldn't have asked for better weather - sunny, but not too hot, with a gentle breeze blowing in off the ocean. Every time I ride this road, I am again thankful that I live where I do, and that THIS is my every ride: endless miles and miles of beaches, surf, and the wide open sea.
I rode on Monday as well, but was really dragging my feet then, as I've been fighting off a cold for weeks now, and only managed a top speed of 17km/h. I might as well have been pulling a load of bricks for the speed I was going!
Today was different though. Today was one of those rides when everything just "clicked". The hills were merely a small challenge, a chance to change my cadence and maintain most of my speed. The straights whizzed by beneath my tires. Before I knew it, I'd been on the road for two hours. It's amazing what an hour or two on the bike does for my stress level - the tensions and problems of daily life just seem to melt away a little more with every mile I ride.
So to do my insecurities. I've long loathed my legs. They're not svelte, feminine appendages by any stretch of the imagination. I've had more than one person comment on my "man" legs over the years, and I always cringe inside, secretly wishing for legs like Jennifer Aniston. Today though, as I was biking along, I glanced down to check out the weird sound my chain was making, only to be struck by the sight of the muscles in my legs doing their jobs. It startled me a bit, for I've always thought of them with a sense of what they're NOT. I realized I've been looking at it all wrong. My legs are strong. They may be thick, but they're muscular. These legs have walked me back and forth across the floor at 3am, calming a fussy baby. These legs have walked me around foreign cities as I took in the sights and sounds. These legs have supported me, have run with me when running was my only escape, my only way to cope when life got to be too much. These legs pedalled with every fibre in them and propelled me along on a 7 day fundraising bike ride many years ago. These legs have seen friends and loved ones come and go, and have held me up through it all. These legs are strong. These legs chase my giggling children off to bed each night, then lean over to tuck their little bodies in snugly. These legs bend, so I can comfort a crying toddler. They straighten and stretch, so I can reach the box of chocolates hidden on the very top shelf. They may not look like Jennifer Anistons', but that's fine with me. I'd wager a bet that these legs can do all sorts of things that hers never have.
These legs? These legs are meant for living. And I wouldn't have it any other way.