Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Lola, la la la la Lola, la la la la Lola....

So I lied when I said I wasn't going to blog about the fitness stuff quite so much. I'm sorry, no, actually, I'm not sorry at all. I'm going to yell and scream about tonight's Women's Multis session, because I'm just so damn proud of myself.

A few years ago I got into RPM at Les Mills in a major way, and got it into my head to buy a road bike. I went to a niche store that catered mostly for hardcore roadies and got talked into buying a rather nice bike with several bells and whistles. At the time I hadn't actually ridden for over ten years, but I didn't want to admit to that fact and as part of the deal was sold clipless SPD pedals.

The inevitable happened. Put together an anxious woman with little confidence in her physical dexterity, an unfamiliar bike and the daunting prospect of clipping in and out of a set of pedals, and you get Pip taking her bike out a couple of times, crashing out, bruising herself up badly, getting terribly overwraught about the whole thing, putting the bike away and trying to deny its existence.

Not long after Addisons came along, and in the recovery process I focused my attention elsewhere. My poor, sexy roadbike got left in the study gathering dust, but I never quite forgot her.

Thankfully Leonie got me into duathlon training, which got the bike back out of the study, and Duck provided me with a pair of ordinary pedals, which got me back on the bike. That took me up to April, which was when the duathlon took place. After that the pedals went back to Duck and the SPDs went back on. I got caught up in training for a half marathon and the poor roadbike gathered dust again in the study. But I didn't forget her, oh no. And I spent the winter using my shoes in RPM, getting used to clipping and unclipping and aquainting myself with roadie culture.

Over the last few weeks I should have been carting poor Lola (because she's red and she goes fast, like the main actress in Run Lola Run) up our 46 steps and practicing using my pedals. So what was I doing? Procrastinating. RPM classes, running, swimming, anything to avoid having to actually deal with my nemesis (hey, this is a Sunday Scribblings post after all). Poor Lola, she didn't deserve the neglect. I've treated her appallingly.

However today I could procrastinate no longer. Lola and I walked to the gym to meet up with the Women's Multis squad. What I didn't realise was that we were meeting at Freyberg, not at the gym. If I didn't bike at least part of the way we were going to be seriously late.

There was no way I was going to try the SPDs for the first time on busy Taranaki St, so three of us walked our bikes out to Te Papa. No Duck, no Ingrid, no support system. It was time to confront the demons, time to be strong, time to just bloody well get over it and do it. I clipped my left foot in, boosted myself up onto the bike seat, and before I knew it I'd clipped the right foot in and was cruising down Oriental Parade.

This is a happy story. I unclipped at Freyberg, allowing myself a small victory cry. First stage of the mission accomplished I clipped in again and we cycled to Evans Bay, unclipped, and ran a couple of kilometers. From there it was back on the bike and a case of putting the pedal down and going for it. On the return leg I overtook all of the girls except for the one other woman on a road bike. However I wasn't that far behind her. We had a horrific headwind on the return leg, but I ground through.

So, yay me. The SPD nemesis is well and truly conquered and Lola and I are back in a committed relationship.

I've been typing this while Hamish and his father talk digital cameras beside me. I'm being terribly rude and I need to rap this up to go jump in the shower and crash. While the alcohol we consumed over dinner at Hope Bros is still coursing through my brains I'm going to record this. Life is good. I am amazed at what I can do, and what I am able to do for others. Gratitude and Joy. These are the words that resonate for me right now.

Lola, la la la la Lola....

1 comment:

Michelle Fry said...

I like your fitness posts. Hooray for you and your wild bike riding abilities. I'm afraid to ride in traffic.