On Saturday Feb 18, I biked from my house across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and back again. Why? For funsies. Why didn’t I take the ferry back like almost everyone else? Because
I’m crazy I love exercise.
It doesn’t sound too bad and probably isn’t for a few people or most people visiting my blog, but I’ll get a few things straight. I was dehydrated and I don’t bike regularly (yet). In fact, since moving here, I’ve biked more than I have in the last 10-15 years of my life. If I had biked just once since moving here, that would still be more biking than I’ve done in the last 10-15 years of my life. Oh wait, I lied about that second part. I used Capital Bike Share twice in DC. I’ve gone on a few rides here. My longest being 15 miles, but that was broken up between mile 10 and mile 11 by a 2 hour stint laying on the beach. This ride was straight through. Not even a stop in Sausalito!
Here is a map of my general route:
Again, this is only showing the to part of my adventure and I didn’t take this exact route. This map says 9.6 miles from my address to “Sausalito, CA”. My route was actually a bit longer. I missed a turn when I went through the park, so I added probably another 1/2 mile there. One of the roads was closed to the bridge so I had to go around. On my way back, I went a different way adding another 1/2 mile. And I went past the middle of the town where most people generally turn around. So I think in total my trip was about 21-23 miles. Its biking, not running, so I don’t think the few miles that were added made much of a difference.
The way back was the worst. My legs hated me. They were screaming for water, calories, and rest. Every hill I had to go up was pure torture. On top of that, the wind really picked up. It blew me toward a few cars which I managed to narrowly avoid. I hope a few bystanders had a good laugh.
Was it worth it? Yes. I mean, I ended up getting really sick a few days later and I definitely think that my bike trip in my physical state didn’t help. Physically, I felt great the few days afterward before I got sick! My legs hated me the next day which doesn’t normally happen unless I run hills. I had some issues walking up stairs at the movie theater later that night which was comical to my cousin and her friends. Exercise sore is the best sore.
Unfortunately the bike now has a flat back tire which I need to learn how to fix soon.
I don’t want this post to be me complaining or about my ride and what I did. I’ll start with that, but really I want to talk about pain. Not really in the physical sense, but in the mental and emotional sense.
Here we go.
I have never been to Sausalito before. I think that really the only word I can use to describe it is adorable. That is a lie. Wow I’m just lying left and right in this one. There are other words to use too, but that is what comes to mind right now. Unfortunately I don’t have any photos to share because of my camera situation, so Google it. I plan on making my way back over there some time this summer and taking photos and spending more than 5 minutes there.
Now to the real part – the main reason for this post.
I was taking a break mid-hill on the way up from Sausalito to the bridge when I received a text from my friend giving me an update on the score of the Penguins game. I replied telling him that the hills were slowly killing me and his response was “No pain, no gain”. I’ve heard this phrase many times before – generally for physical activity related things like sports practice, training for things like Iron Man, or even when I was at skating and we talked about falling. I never really considered how it related to other aspects of your life – the mental and emotional downs you hit as your grow. I spent the rest of my ride thinking about how this little phrase can mean so much when considering your own character.
From the moment your born and your lungs yearn for their first taste of air to your very last breath, pain and gain are part of your life. Though, at birth, your mom is probably in way more pain than you are, but she gets a little person at the end of it, so I think that is fair. As you grow, you learn from your bad experiences. You learn what is and what isn’t appropriate at school. You learn to fail and how hard work pays off. You learn from feeling disappointed, angry, sad.
Each time you’re tested mentally, and I don’t mean through a school exam, you learn how to cope. You gain a greater understanding of the world and how you deal with issues and bad experiences. Over the last few years, I’ve learned a great deal about myself as a person and what I’m capable of. What I need. What I want. All of the bad experiences I’ve had either through work or in relationships – it has made me stronger.
Over the past few months, actually maybe starting once I graduated, there have been a lot of down moments for me. Dealing with dating someone who was emotionally abusive, moving three times, living in a city that I was not ready for nor did I actually enjoy, being away from my close friends, being homeless for a solid 3 months, dealing with student loan debt, dating, and one of my best friends being hospitalized twice in 3 months for a very serious health issue – and not being able to do anything about it. I learned how much I can deal with before that mental and emotional stress manifests physically. I’ll touch on that another time, though.
The point is, I’ve grown. I’ve learned. Each and every downfall or hard time I’ve had over the past few years has made me a much stronger person. Has helped me decide what I want, what I need, and more importantly, what I deserve in a relationship. It has helped me see how to be a good role model or mentor, how to deal with issues at work, and how to grow as a good manager. I’ve learned to actually be picky when it comes to making friends. Having the wrong people around you affects your life in negative ways.
If I had the choice to make every pain or every hardship go away for the rest of my life, would I take it? No. If there was a way to make sure that every moment I came upon an obstacle, I could just bypass it and get to where I wanted to be, would I use it? No.
That would take the fun out of living and I would be a pretty boring, spoiled person if you ask me.