But, the experimenting is done for now, and I feel no pain and my head is clear. I've sat comfortably in my recliner and enjoyed the rainy day with no discomfort. What I'm doing today is working.
So, as I sat here thinking about some of my past bike riding experiences, I remembered the first time I went on a local club ride in Rome. It was a lot of fun to ride with other people instead of by myself on local trails. I had ridden in some rides around the state already with massive groups of people I barely new, and I usually met a couple people to ride with while there. But, this was different. This was a small close knit group.
It was a lot of fun, I say, but only for the first half. Then we reached the hills, and I got dropped. My skill had not reached the level at that time to be able to maintain my pace on hills. So, I looked ahead when I finally made it to the top of the first hill, and they were no where in sight. Even when there were no hills, the policy is normally that the first half is considered "no-drop" meaning they promise to keep a pace to hold onto the newbys. Then its every man for himself.
I can not begin to describe for you the thoughts that go through your head when you are dropped. Your self-esteem takes a nose-dive. You feel like a loser. You realize that you are dead weight. In short, as I said about pain before, it messes with your head and with your emotions. But, I wasn't a quitter. And, that's what kept me going. Through the embarrassment. Through the lonely miles by myself on that first club ride I swore to myself that I would do what I had to do to keep up in the future. And, I did. Improvement happens if you don't quit.
Sitting here now, I'm not riding bikes anymore. But, my challenges are much greater than keeping pace on a group ride or finishing a spin class in good form. I have to challenge myself to keep my mind focused on being a champion in this situation. Philippians 4:13 says that I can do everything that makes me stronger through Jesus. So, there is where we find our peace of mind, whether we are in pain or comfort. Peace of mind is a commodity. It is so nice to sit here listening to the rain outside my window in comfort.