This past week I spent a good chunk of time on the Santa Ana River Trail. Time Trial efforts and recovery rides on a TT bike don't go so well on the roads. As terrifying as the river trail is (lots of people who don't pay attention, people who don't know how to ride bikes), it reminded me of a looooonnnngggg time ago when I first started riding bikes. I was the person on the trail that had no idea what I was doing.
I took a picture of the bridge above to remind myself of several things. First of all, how far I have come since I first started riding. When I first started riding one of my goals was to be able to ride across one of these bridges out of the saddle. The wood is bumpy and it's not pleasant to ride across. That is what came to my mind first when I crossed the bridge today. I easily, without thinking, got out of the saddle and rode across the bridge. I struggled with that for almost a year. And now, it was essentially effortless. Yes, as a bike racer I should be able to do that - but it was a simple reminder that although I have a long way to go, I also have come a long way.
And that is the second point of which this picture reminds me is that I still have many bridges to cross. I can't see what's on the other side, but I do know that I have to work hard to get there. It's not going to come easily or on the first try. But in order to do it, I have to trust. I have to keep going. A bridge is a means of crossing between two places. Becoming a bike racer is something so radically different than anything I've done. I have to learn to trust my body. Learn to be patient. Learn to push beyond that which I am comfortable. Bike racing encompasses a lot of things that I am not necessarily good at, yet.
But the bridge reminds me that it is possible. It is possible to learn and grow.