Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Tire Tracks Through Autumn Leaves

The weather was in rare form this past weekend. High temperatures and sunny skies felt like a gentle nudge from mother nature, telling me to get outside before winter arrives. After spending such little time on my bike this year I had been itching for some extra motivation. Over the past couple weeks I kept telling myself to get out, even marking good riding days in my planner, but never followed through. I knew I was running out of time for outdoor rides and by November 1st I figured it was too late. So when I saw the weather forecast for this past weekend, I knew it would be my last real chance.

My dad and I managed to carve out time on both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday's ride was a short fifteen miles, but both of us were happy to be done by that point. I had waited too long since my last ride and my muscles felt sluggish. The views were beautiful and there were several times when I wished I could capture the scenery around me without having to stop. When I'm riding I just want to keep going and the idea of stopping to take a picture seems counterproductive. Still, riding along a path covered in yellow leaves or through a section lined with colorful trees makes me want to bottle those moments to share with everyone.

After the ride, and helping to clean up leaves at my grandpa's house, we made one last trip to The Dairy Lodge for the season. A cookie dough flurry made the perfect reward for the day's hard work!

On Sunday I felt terrible in the beginning. My whole body was sore and I had bruises from the ungraceful moment on Saturday when I fell over at one of the intersections. Thankfully after a mile or so my butt stopped hurting and my muscles warmed up. Not only did we keep a faster pace on the second day, we rode farther (twenty miles instead of fifteen), and we managed to climb a few hills on our way home.

Most of my thoughts lately have been consumed by the idea that I'm not enough. I have been overwhelmed with this feeling of failure, and I'm afraid I have been making all the wrong choices. A feeling of dissatisfaction makes me wish I were anywhere else but here. When I'm on my bike though, there's no where else I'd rather be. It's difficult to feel unsatisfied while surrounded by this beautiful place I get to call home. Deep down I know riding my bike doesn't solve any of my problems, but in those moments I no longer worry about where I am or how much money is in my bank account. All I want is to keep pushing myself forward. I climb those hills to prove to myself that I am strong enough, and when I make it to the top I have one less reason to say I am not a failure.

- S

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Going Shorter

I went to the salon last Thursday and told my stylist I wanted to go shorter, much shorter. When I cut my hair short the last time it was the most drastic change I had ever experienced with my hair. I loved that cut and I loved the ease of short hair. I have been blessed with lots of hair, but what is a blessing can also be a curse. When my hair is long it takes hours to dry and style, something that I just don't have the energy or time to do on a daily basis. So instead of enjoying long flowing locks I'm left with mostly buns and pony tails. As much as having long hair makes me feel pretty and feminine, shorter hair just works better (and it can still be feminine).

It looks a little windswept after my walk home, whoops.

I was a bad blogger on the day of my cut and forgot to take a before shot. I had about 10 inches taken off in order to donate it. Since I didn't want to go as short as my last haircut I was worried my hair wouldn't be long enough to donate, but it worked out in the end. Having shorter hair again has made me feel lighter. I know hair doesn't really change anything, but sometimes it's the biggest, most immediate change you can control (one that can always grow back). The fact that I like controlled change probably says something about me, psychologically speaking, but at least now I can wash and dry my hair in under an hour!