dariaphoebe: (redhead)
crossed into the second county of the day, according to the sign I passed, while rolling along a brief level stretch. One more, in the next state, lay ahead. As had been the case the day before, the roads falling under the wheel beneath me were familiar. I'd only biked this way once before, but rolling down dale before pumping up the next hill, everything fit like an old shoe. I remembered the previous occasion and couldn't help but feel it had been done with the wrong motivation.

I didn't even remember how long it had been since my therapist and I had had the conversation, but I felt like it may have been a half a year. "Did you marry a woman you yourself wanted to be?", she queried. My denial was effortless, because I hadn't. I was sure I had married for the right reasons. Still, though, it was unquestionable that I'd tried to live vicariously many experiences I felt were denied to me. I acknowledged it to her as we talked, but it hadn't been a recent realization.

If nothing else, I certainly felt my progress had made it very easy for me to neither want nor need someone else to live the life I wanted. It was now seemingly in my grasp, if not fully realized. And so, I pushed on through the beating sun, dress flapping behind me occasionally in the wind, tights keeping my legs from sunburn, through the unshaded countryside toward my goal in the next state.

You can, by the way, wear tights under your dress while camping. But only if you want to.
dariaphoebe: (redhead)
I was curled up, not quite in a fetal manner. "I'm scared", I told her. As I continued moving the bicycle forward to the top of the ridge line, I could see the moment in my mind's eye. The hardest part of the journey was behind me, but the climb was not over. The daily hill climb started as a way to continue to get exercise in the winter, when the distance trips via the bike trail were impractical due to snow cover, but turned into something else, a daily gauge of my mettle. I remembered the days where the ride included nearly passing out because I was out of breath as well as barely catching myself as I started to fall sideways when cold-caused head congestion left me without balance following a sneeze, and wondered how close I had pushed myself to my demise. And each day I'd go out for another go, pushing as hard I could, without much regard for how close to self-destruction it might take me. It wasn't that I was consciously trying to cause myself harm; The path my life took meant, simply, that it could happen. I wasn't going to hide from it.

A few days previous, a discussion ventured toward circumstances under which one might take one's own life. I can say that even in my darkest moments, the idea of doing so intentionally is not one I've entertained with any degree of likelihood. At the same time, almost exactly a year ago the goings-on in my life aligned in such a way that I could conceive of a set of circumstances which resulted in my early demise, one which was not any sort of certain, but the stepping stones on that race to the bottom were each things I could see realistically coming to pass, and I despaired that because the actions on my part in the chain would be reactionary, a way to stop the slide was not obvious. Communication would be required, but I lacked the words to express some of the problems as well as the courage to use them if I'd even had them. By some stretch of luck, the path forked and I managed to find my way off the path of immediate demise, even though the process of doing so included a bloodied face, and a broken hand. With the benefit of hindsight, some of the mistakes along the way have slowly become obvious, but the biggest, fearing communication, was one that surely needed additional, possibly life-long, concentration.

Step 49: Prescience is a gift, but it's not enough. Unless you take action on what you foresee, you're doomed to a path that's not the one you'd choose. Your desired outcome requires your input.
dariaphoebe: (redhead)
As the voice below me intoned that my speed over that first, intense-hilled mile was 13 seconds off the ride the previous night, I briefly frowned until I remembered that under an hour ago I'd been hobbling about from the cramping that cropped up during the previous night's ride. I had managed to eat reasonably before that ride and sleep a full night since, making it the best I'd been in days, but there was no confusing best with good.

I'd pushed myself right to the top, via the steep route I normally took. There were no side detours, no minor route changes. This day more than others, I was scared of backsliding. I didn't want to take a path which was even inadvertently easier, less work. If I could keep pushing myself even when my body couldn't support me on that climb and make it, it counted for something.

Step 41: The hills there are to climb don't go away. Climbing them repeatedly doesn't diminish them. They may get easier to climb with time, but the frequent repeated climbs to get you there will no doubt leave you in worse shape than you started, at least for a while. Sometimes, that is just a price you must pay.


dariaphoebe: (Default)

May 2017

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