Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dream Dream Dream oh Dreeeaaam

When I was 14, my family went to Washington state.
The thing I remember most about that trip was our visit to Mt. St. Helen.
It is a popular tourist site and with construction and fog, we ended up waiting a long time to get to the visitors center. As we waited and slowly inched our car up the mountain, there were road bikers climbing up the mountain and whizzing down the mountain on each side of us. (Come to find out, it was the annual "Tour de Blast". ) As I watched those bikers, I wanted so badly to become a biker and do that one day.

Adam, Michael, Me & Hannah

That day, I felt my heart pulled in a way I wasn't used to. I had a dream! I had a passion! I could do this! But wait, I was a 14 year old chubby girl with little to no self esteem, so I put that dream and passion to the recess of my mind. I forgot about that for years on end. Then about 3 years ago when I joined a gym I saw that they offered spinning classes. So I went to a few. Unfortunately, since the classes at they gym were just come and go the instructor didn't go over how to adjust the bike or anything, so I just went with the flow. Well, needless to say after spinning for hours with a bike in the wrong position, I couldn't walk straight for a week! This frustrated me and I gave up {wow, I don't fight very hard for my dreams!}. I figured It was because I was out of shape (hello low self-esteem) and went back to just doing my own thing at the gym.

Thanks to grad school and having to think about a thesis, I have been trying to focus on what makes me happy, what I am passionate about and what are my dreams. I had given up on so many of them that I felt like I didn't even have any. One dream that fought its way out from the back of my mind was biking.

I had made the goal to be active for three hours a week this semester, so I picked up a schedule of the physical activity classes offered at school. Every hour of the day they were offering spinning classes! Without hesitation, I signed up. I am absolutely loving it. I have only done it three days, but I feel that I am getting more used to it and able to go further and harder each time. Today, I went 28 miles in one hour. The beginning and end are still pretty simple but the middle our instructor works us pretty hard. Eventually we will be doing harder stuff for longer, he is just breaking us into how stuff works.

This is just a start, but maybe one day I can go back to Washington and do the Tour de Blast. It'll take a lot of work so I better be over all this giving up crap! 

 From their website: here

Tour de Blast is the essential event for road bikers, attracting crowds in excess of 1,000 each year. The 82-mile route from Toutle to Johnston Ridge takes riders into the very heart of the blast zone. If you can’t make the annual June event, you can still enjoy the experience and the views by following the ride route from Toutle to Johnston Ridge Observatory. Total elevation gain is 6,240 feet.


Beginner Level:
53K (33-mile) round-trip fun ride to the Hoffstadt Bluffs Rest Area/Viewpoint. Approximately only a 900' elevation gain.

Intermediate Level:
87K (54-mile) round trip to Elk Rock.

Advanced Level:
132K (82-mile) round trip to Johnston Ridge viewpoint.

Mile 0: 500 ft. (Toutle - Starting Line)
Mile 11: 1,000 feet (Sediment Dam)
Mile 16: 1,400 feet (Hoffstadt Bluffs - Pit Stop)
Mile 24: 3,000 feet
Mile 27: 3,800 feet (Elk Rock - Pit Stop)
Mile 34: 3,159 feet (Coldwater Ridge - Closed)
Mile 41: 4,314 feet (Johnston Ridge - Pit Stop

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