Why We Ride

Team IRON EAGLES is a group of friends and family dedicated to fighting Multiple Sclerosis (MS). We join forces to raise money for the NATIONAL MS SOCIETY to support the great PROGRAMS they have available to help members of the community and to support the exciting RESEARCH being done in the field. We blog about why we ride, our experiences at fundraising events, our fundraisers and training tips. We also have links to information on MS and MS research. JOIN US!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

False Flats

A few days ago I went for a bike ride.  I've only been on a few, literally maybe three, bike rides this year (one being the MS150 :-).  I've been concentrating on the marathon coming up in September.  I need to get out and bike more.  I miss biking.  Especially the downhills :-)

As I was biking I was thinking and thought I'd put my thoughts on "paper" for all the world to read because of course you all love to hear the ramblings (or is that rattlings? :-) that come out of my head when I ride :-)

As I mentioned above, I haven't done a lot biking this year.  As I was riding I felt like I was a little bit out of shape.  That didn't surprise me :-)  At one point I was riding on a nice flat road (or what I thought was a nice flat road!) and on the other side a group of three older gentlemen going the opposite direction whizzed past me.  At that point I was feeling really out of shape!  Were they on the same road I was struggling with?  Soon the road I was on got close to a fairly busy road so I turned around and went back the way I came (the same direction I saw the older guys whiz by)  I was amazed!  The road I had been on was actually a false flat!  Now that I was going a different direction I hardly had to pedal!  No wonder those guys were going so fast!  Of course, I don't doubt they were actually in really good shape too but that's beside the point :-)

False Flats/Invisible Struggles

I thought about false flats in life.  We think we are on a nice flat road and we wonder why we are struggling.  Why do the guys on the other side seem to being going so fast, so effortlessly, on apparently the same road?  Or maybe I see someone struggling with something that seems like it's not that difficult.  Why are they struggling?  Doesn't always make sense.

Recently a friend of mine told me about her daughter who is dyslexic.  I had no idea.  She struggles every day and you would never know it.  I called another friend.  As we talked she broke down in tears and told me that her husband had just moved out.  I had no idea.  False Flats.  Invisible struggles.  At the finish line in Logan we met a guy and asked him his connection to MS, why he was riding.  After telling us he asked us the same question and we told him we ride for Marianne.  She was sitting there in her biking gear and he asked her about her MS.  What were her symptoms?  How did she handle it?  As she was explaining her symptoms to him she said something interesting.  She said that if someone didn't know she had MS they would probably just think she was lazy because she has to rest a lot to deal with her MS symptoms.

All of this thinking was a good reminder to me.  First of all, I need to be easier on myself.  No comparisons.  Even if two roads look very similar chances are they aren't.  And second, I need to be easier on those around me (my kids, family etc.).  I may never know what false flats someone is struggling with.

So there you have it.  Some of the thoughts that rattle around in my head when I bike :-)

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