On Sunday, Mother’s Day, I woke up ridiculously early and went to the Chicago Lakefront to watch the sunrise.
I had been out decently late with my best friend…and by out I mean we had a bottle of wine (or two!) and were watching Sex and the City reruns on her couch and being chatty and all girly and laughing about everything.
While I am on the subject of drinking wine, here is my “hangover cure” and by that I mean prevention. I actually don’t drink much period, but when I do I follow this:
A big glass of water and Ibuprofen
Immediately when you wake up
A big glass of water, Ibuprofen and a packet of Emergen-C.
I have only ever had a couple legit hangovers and I swear by this! Haha!
Anyways, I woke up and I headed down because I knew I wanted to spend the morning watching the sun float up over my favorite lake in the world.
I got down just as the bright red sun started peaking up and lighting up the sky. The lake path is pretty empty THAT early except diehards like myself with cameras and cute couples cuddled together kissing. Oh and a few others that had probably not been to bed yet and were still dancing on the beach!
The vibe is just INSANE. It is totally my scene. The waves are crashing up on the beach or rocks. The most beautiful skyline in the background. Everyone is just freaking HAPPY! And there I am doing the thing I love most…riding my bike! It is magical in the mornings at sunrise in Chicago!
I don’t ride the lake path for speed because there are a lot of turns and twists, people and I like to get off the main trail and ride right along the lake on some “secret paths” that I know from running there. I just ride to ride!
A girl and her bike.
Ever since I rode in St. George, UT two years ago, half of the old Full Ironman course, I truly have swooned over biking. The wind in my face and hair. It is the closest to flying I have ever felt.
I watched the whole sunrise and felt reenergized and soaked in the magic of the city I love.
I was riding along a path that the waves were crashing on and trying to stay away from the water. I was going slower because I was just enjoying the scenery. There was nobody around.
In one moment, I hit a slippery patch and my bike flew out from under me before I even knew what was happening. Because I was clipped in I was stuck and fell straight onto my side…landing with the loudest SMACK of my head I have ever heard. I saw those stars you see in cartoons but immediately jumped up. When I stood up I had no thoughts except GET BACK ON THE BIKE…just like I had told my son after his crash just a few weeks earlier. My foot immediately slipped from under me. So I carefully walked up a little but within a few steps it wasn’t slippery anymore. For some reason there was one slippery patch and I had hit it straight on. I rode 112 miles in the pouring rain in Arizona and never slipped once!!! Crazy how it doesn’t take going fast, anything real technical or crazy or certain conditions…You can crash on your bike at any time, any place and any conditions. Just because too!
I rode up the path for a minute and got to a place where I decided I should probably stop for a minute. I perched my bike up and sat and stared at the lake. I started bawling at that point. I let myself cry for a couple minutes and digest the situation. I then found my breath and did a little meditation. I then talked to God for a minute and said thank you. I then talked to the Universe and said thank you for waking me up! I know it sounds silly…But I like to think it was a whack to get my attention. In a very personal sense with some things that had been on my mind. I processed this all in about five minutes. Then took another deep breath and hopped back on my bike and rode another hour.
I like to think of events and situations as learning experiences and here are my takeaways…
- Every single time you crash in life…GET BACK UP and keep going. You WILL crash. But it is your choice to jump back up and move forward. Don’t let a crash scare or derail you from LIVING your life or LOVING.
- If you need to stop and cry … by all means STOP AND CRY! Pout, get angry, scream as loud as you can THIS ISN’T FAIR, get so fucking pissed off you want to throw your middle finger up at life, cry until the tears stop flowing. Allow yourself these emotions. Feel them. Embrace them. And then…this is the important part…LET THEM GO. Do NOT dwell here. This is a safe place to FEEL but not LIVE. Learn to process. Learn to feel and let go. Staying here is not healthy long term.
- Crashes keep us humble. I had someone tell me this after my crash. I thought it was brilliant. Every single time we crash and burn, fail or stumble we become that much more humble. Humility raises awareness. Awareness keeps us keen and gives perspective as we keep moving forward in life. It is beautiful cycle.
- Sometimes we need a wakeup call. Maybe we are dwelling somewhere we shouldn’t. Be that physically or in thought. Pay attention. Wakeup calls are real. Open your heart and eyes daily to the whisperings and not so quiet signs the Universe and God are giving you.
As an update…I am ok. Bruised and very sore. Monday I skipped my favorite spinning class and opted for hot yoga to loosen up my muscles. It helped a lot. I am grateful.
And I will use this as another reminder to ALWAYS
WEAR YOUR HELMET!!!!!
Helmets save lives.
Make your children! Make yourself!