Sunday, September 25, 2016

Remember the Ride

Wow, what a week I've had!  I blinked an it was Sunday already.
At the Massachusetts State House after the Ride to Remember
Last Saturday was the Ride to Remember and Sunday was a recovery day.

Went shopping Sunday afternoon and bought this pretty blue glass globe to replace a vase Leia knocked over and broke.  The globe is both unique and pretty.
Went to the Big E on Monday night with Brian and our friend Karen.  Worked late on Tuesday.  Went to the Big E again on Wednesday with my friend Liydia.
100 Years of the Big E
The Wine & Cheese Barn at The Big E feature wineries from across New England.  Wine tasting used to be one of my favorite things to do.  While I do appreciate fine wines. I don't drink like I used to, that's for sure.  
Worked late again on Thursday.  Friday was Friday.  
Got in a good workout Thursday night.  Leg day!!!  
Yesterday we did the Rugged Maniac and blink!  Here we are...Sunday again. 
After the Rugged Maniac
Fun!!!  Making fitness fun is a sure way to find enjoyment on your journey.  What's your passion?  Not sure, get out there and try some things out.  Start a new hobby.  See what you love and do it!
As promised, I want to share with you my experiences doing the Ride to Remember this year.  The day was amazing.  The weather was perfect.  We couldn't have had a better day.  And I'm here to tell you what an amazing difference a year makes.  One year and I'm stronger, more confident, less anxious and a whole lot less wound up about it.

Riding in Boston.  The thrill and excitement are hard to describe.
I'm actually not sure I'm stronger than I was a year ago.  My shoulder injury has set me back tremendously.  I re-injured my shoulder the Tuesday before the Ride to Remember, so I was in pain all day.  As I write this, it is throbbing.  But strength can be measured in other ways, and for that, I am convinced I am stronger.
I was number 56.  They wrote my number on my leg upside down, so it looked like a weird 95 I guess.  Not sure if you can see how big my calves are, but seriously, they are rock solid.  I had to go up a size on my capris this year because the size 4's cut me off at the calf and they were very uncomfortable.  Even the size 6's were tight at the calf, but the size 8's were falling off me at the waist.  
If you are a regular reader, you know I've been experiencing some personal struggles lately.  I am starting to find the sun again, but the pain has marked my training this year.  I have had to reach deep to be able to see my way on my path, to struggle to be able to hear my new voice so I am not drowned by the sea of self doubt that once was my routine.  My trip to Florida at the beginning of September was restorative for me.  I feel like the clouds are finally lifting and I can start to come out of my shell again.  It's not been easy and I'm still poking my head out a little at a time.
I love my Aunt Kelly so much.  She is such a blessing to me!
In July I started a new diet and fitness regimen.  I did really well with it, lost over 10 lbs. and was looking super lean.
Ha!  Ha!  You won't be seeing another bikini picture of my any time soon.
But the nutrition plan was ultra low on the carbs and when I started riding my bike again, I had to throw the diet out the window.  Last year I got very sick not eating enough.  This year, I was not making that mistake again.  And so I much of pretty much whatever I wanted.  I did not lose any weight, but I didn't gain any either.  The week before the ride, I was on a carbohydrate binge.
Friday's breakfast, lunch and dinner!  Carbs, anyone?
Why do you need so many carbs when you ride?  Carbohydrates provide your body with energy and help you to replace the glycogen it burns when riding your bike.
This was the fourth year of Ride to Remember.  The ride pays homage to the lives of Massachusetts law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.  Remembering their sacrifice is the primary goal.  For all the riders, there is a fitness challenge to meet as well.  When I did it the first time, not only was it a major fitness goal, I also wanted to honor my trainer Mike who died the previous November.  I was filled with self-doubt and my anxiety had me reeling.  This year was different.  It was all about me.  I didn't do it to make anyone else proud.  I didn't have the self-doubt or fear that I struggled with before.  I knew I would be able to do it.  Right up until we got to the State House in Boston, I never doubted it.  I would not say that I was arrogant or prideful, on the contrary, I was humbled to honor the lives of the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice protecting and serving the community.

After the ride, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker spoke to us.  For once, a public official didn't say something to put police officers down, rather he actually gave a meaningful tribute to thank law enforcement officers for putting their lines on the line every time they go to work.  That's the reality.  He is standing by the memorial, which you can't see because of all the people.  But it holds the names of fallen Massachusetts police officers.  It truly is remarkable.
I will do it again next year.  I am hoping to inspire and motivate more people to join us.  It is a cause worth riding for and a challenge worth meeting.  If you think you can't do it, just tell yourself, "If Tracey could do it, so can I."  Two years ago, I walked with a limp.  My knee was in constant pain.  I pushed myself to work through the physical limitations and trained hard to do the ride.  I bought a good bike, but not one that was out of my means.  I rode two - three times per week and made sure I was training for both hills and distance.  This year was different because I knew what to do.  I knew I had it in me.  You can too, if you want.  Just dig deep and believe.  You are stronger than  you think you are!

This view makes it all worth while.  The hours of training.  The year long anticipation that leads up to this moment when you ride by the Citgo sign near Fenway and you know you've done what you set out to do.  You have accomplished the unimaginable.   There is nothing like it.

See more pictures here:  Oh, What a Day!

Read about last year's ride here:  The Girl Picked Last

Coming soon:  Body Beautiful

Questions for you (answer in the comment section below):
What's your favorite outdoor activity?  Why do you like it so much?  Who do you do it with?

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