Why "71º & Sunny?"

I consider 71º to be the perfect temperature. Not too cold and not too hot. I also love perfect sunny days. The vast majority of days are not 71º & Sunny and yet, all days were created by God's hand and they are still gifts, even if they don't fit my ridiculous definition of perfection. My struggle with OCD has at times imprisoned me in an impossible attempt to achieve perfection. I'm now learning to love all kinds of days that don't even come close to 71º & Sunny.

Please leave me a comment below. I really want to know what you are thinking!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

You CAN Forget How To Ride A Bike

I am about to declare my complete nerd status to the entire world. I have never been known for my physical prowess. I was the kid that always got picked last for teams in gym class. Sitting in a quiet corner while reading a book always seemed more heavenly to me than kicking some ball around.

As I get older, I realize the increasing need to become more physically active. Hence, this weekend I got on a bicycle for only the second time in about 25 years. It was not pretty. I was even given the moniker of "worst bicycle rider in the world" by my husband. He did follow that up though by saying that he still loved me.  : )

I cannot even begin to tell you how frightening it was to get on (and try to stay on) that bike. My heart was pounding insanely while I held on to the handle bars with a vise grip. I was especially anxious when I rode by any pedestrians or other bicyclists on the trail. My biggest fear was that I would hurt someone. At one point, there were two pedestrians walking by, and instead of speeding up to go by them, I slowed down too much, lost my balance, and literally fell at their feet! Pretty humiliating. Even worse, I landed on my knees, severely scraping my left knee. Of course, it just so happens that it is the left knee that had major surgery performed on it about a year and a half ago to remove a very large, benign tumor. I landed right on my scar and it was quite painful.

After my fall, I really, really wanted to turn around and go home. I was sweaty, exhausted, embarrassed, and in pain. My natural inclination is to quit in these types of circumstances and to avoid it altogether in the future. However, I started thinking about all the ERPs I've ever done. Bike riding seemed so scary and terrible at that moment, but honestly, it was nothing in comparison to fighting OCD. I started to remember that every time I do an ERP for the first time, it is incredibly frightening, but then it gets a little easier with each subsequent attempt. I knew I had to keep biking. I didn't want to disappoint my husband. I had been promising him for months that I would join him in bicycling. I didn't want to disappoint myself. Quitting is not an option, either in life or in fighting OCD. The best part, is that when you don't give up, you are usually rewarded with something beautiful at the end. Continuing to fight OCD has given me a much more joyful and meaningful life. Continuing to bike ride led me to a beautiful view off of the trail that I would never have seen had I turned around and gone home.

I really love NH!


Sometimes, we will get bloodied and bruised by doing our ERPs, but we can't give up! What beauty is awaiting you in your life if you continue to fight anxiety?

12 comments:

  1. I am truly sorry you fell Sunny but I was chuckling when I saw the pic because I have the exact- and I mean to a T -looking bruise/wound on my right leg. (The left leg is bruised too)The swelling has gone down but it still hurts after a couple days. Only 10 minutes into a hike in the jungle - so embarrassing. But it was totally worth it. :)
    I always look back on the things I had to struggle/fight for as my most rewarding experiences in life. Not necessarily as I was in the struggle, but afterwards I realize the journey was important and what made me appreciate what I got/have/had.
    I can tell you are proud that you didn't quit..I am proud of you too. I like your statement "Quitting is not an Option."

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    1. I'm sorry you fell too, Krystal Lynn! We can console each other. ha ha Like you, I also hurt my other knee, just not nearly as bad. I hope your knees feel better soon.

      The journey is so very important. That is where we learn to tolerate and even thrive in circumstances we never thought possible. Then we can take those experiences and use them to help us in other difficult times. Once you've been through something terrible and survived, well, a lot of other things just don't seem so bad anymore.

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  2. Way to go! Sometimes it's just about getting back on the horse - er - bike. :)

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    1. Yes, Shana, you are so right! Thank you for the encouragement!

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  3. Sunny, I hope your knee gets better soon! I love the way you relate getting back on the bike with keeping on with the OCD ERPs--such a great analogy.

    I love to ride bikes. I haven't ridden since last summer. Time to get it out again. I, too, feel a bit shaky if it has been a while since I've ridden.

    I was exactly like you when I was a kid--never very athletic, usually the last one to be picked.

    That photo is stunning. New Hampshire must be very beautiful!

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    1. The knee is already starting to feel better Tina, thanks!

      I actually had a few moments while riding that felt even slightly like fun. ha ha We first rode our bikes on Sat (I got hurt on Sat) and then we decided to go again on Sun. Towards the end of the ride on Sun it started to become slightly enjoyable. Hoping to do it again next weekend.

      Yes, NH is beautiful. Lots of mountains, lakes, and forests, particularly in the northern 2/3 of the state. The southern 1/3 has lots of cities and towns, and it is much more populated. I like living in the southern part though, because I feel like I get the best of both worlds - city living but there is still lots of beauty to be found here too.

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  4. Good for you for facing down your fear! That's a tough thing to do and not everyone can bring themselves to do it. I hope you feel better soon. I'm the type of person who falls while walking UP stairs (usually while a lot of people are around)!

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    1. Thanks, Jean! In the past, I was always the person who couldn't face her fear. Therapy has taught me that I can face my fear and I will live through it. What a gift that has been.

      I had to laugh when you said you fall walking up stairs. A couple of years ago I stupidly forget I was on an escalator and I turned around and tried to walk up a down-escalator. Let me tell you, that did not end well. Lots of blood and lots of witnesses to see it (of course!).

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  5. 'I was the kid that always got picked last for teams in gym class. Sitting in a quiet corner while reading a book always seemed more heavenly to me than kicking some ball around'. That was me, too. I still don't see the point of killing myself for a ball. :)

    I'm glad you got back on the bike again. Happy biking!

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    1. Ha ha ha, you crack me up. I'm not a big fan of killing myself for anything either!

      Thanks, Karin. We're looking forward to a summer of happy biking. : )

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  6. Boy that ERP Therapy is good for lots of things! Congrats on facing your fears and not quitting. You inspire me, plus we all get to see that great pic of NH (one of my favorite states.......my mom lives in Salem :) )

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    1. Yes, I've discovered ERP IS pretty handy, Janet! I've really tried to incorporate it into my daily lifestyle.

      Cool - your mom lives only about 25 mins from me! Not only that, but THE best mall in NH is in Salem. Love that mall. It's kind of a dangerous place for my credit card. he he

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