Recovery week in my monthly training I have a prescribed day off the bike. Damn. If I can’t ride, why not climb a tree? I’m standing on a ledge 15m high harnessed into a rope challenge course.
I shout out to my teen daughter, already scrambled across the swinging rope wall, “I’m flipping out.” She yells, “just start, if you fall the harness will catch you.”
I step out with a shaking body that doesn’t sync well with the swaying. She yells an after-thought, “Mum you’re only scared because you’re thinking about this too much.”
I almost ask her if she wants to be my life coach. She’d probably eye roll and reply with, “doh, I already am.”
Being a budding endurance cyclist and a multi-day hiker, it turns out I’ve got a thing for going long. I’m stubborn. A constant pull to push myself. I live in contradiction, outside what is comfortable.
If there is one thing I know, it’s to turn up in life, to keep going, to rise.
Cycling for 12 months, my next ride is Three Peaks Challenge. Yep. Sanity? And yet, it’s where I feel at home, that’s the pull.
On a ride recently, I approached the downhill with an opportunity to gun it. Slight deviation from training plan. Taking off thinking about all the possibilities of coming off, I hear “don’t think Mum”, which results in 75km/hour.
Weary of being driven by what others might think and the narrative of my own self-doubt, I now live in digging deep in spite of the fear.
I’ve always been the girl in the tree, finding myself in places that terrify me, but I’ve grown into the woman who can cross the ropes. And once you make that move, you can’t go back.