Another Realization on the Bike
A lot of triathletes train in groups. It’s really a nice thing to do, if everyone is at the same level. I find myself shying away from these types of group activities, except for swimming, because I don’t like to swim in the open water alone.
The other day, one of the groups I’m involved with put a call up on Facebook that they were doing a group ride at Heckscher Park, at the end of the Southern Parkway on Long Island in Suffolk County. Since I’ve been feeling very isolated, I decided to go.
When I arrived, there were several members talking on the side. I immediately went to pump my tires. I saw my coach and said hi.
After the tires were all pumped up, I went over to where the group was standing and said, “hello.” One woman said she met me a year or so before. “You look great,” she said, “looks like you lost weight.”
“Yes, I’ve been trying,” I told her.
I went back to the car and got the rest of my gear. It was 6:15 am and I wanted to be done by 7 am, to get home, shower and go to work.
“Looks like Jackie took off,” Danielle, my coach, said to me.
“Yes, I’m going to take off too…” I said. And that’s what I did. I figured that these folks were much stronger riders than me any way and I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep up.
I started to ride. I made the first loop. I felt like I was the only one on the road.
I made the next loop and the next and after that, I started to see the folks from the parking lot. I was deep in thought, as I’m sure they were too. Most of the folks were riding alone. There was only one group I saw with four riders that stayed together.
I started to think. “You know, riding a bike is like living your life. You’re all alone. You meet people along the way but you’re in this by yourself. You may be married or have a partner, but you’re still in it yourself.”
This thought became clearer when a couple of the riders passed me. Then, I saw my coach. She shouted something to me but I didn’t know what she said. She passed me as if I were going backward. And, I thought, huh, she’s going at it alone too.
Although you may or may not have a support group, you go through life alone… It’s not a bad thing, it’s just another way to look at things…