Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Hour of Power

How do you make riding at AMS more fun than ever? Ride when A group is there!

Tonight I rode w/ my semi-usual crew (Joey, Bentley, Kristen, and David) but "A group" was hosting the "hour of power". It was presented an an opportunity for aspiring A groupers and/or others who just wanted a hard workout to "jump on" and ride as many laps as possible. I figured this was as good a chance as any to see if I could "hang".

Unfortunately, on the way there - I became discouraged. The combination of taunting and self-doubt left me feeling anxious and down - I made up my mind that I would not attempt to ride with A group. I couldn't set myself up for the feeling of failure and humiliation I knew I'd feel if I wasn't able to hang on. I set out to ride with a fairly depressed state of mind but decided I'd focus on miles and having fun with my friends.

They really are an amazing site to see - the seven of them made 20-something-miles-per-hour look EASY. The magnificent seven - that's what they are to me. I rode mostly with Kristen - just having a good time.

But then we saw them coming up behind us...I was warmed up and I knew I had to try. I increased my speed and yelled back to Kristen that I was having second thoughts - hoping she'd give me an out....but before I could finish my sentence - the reassuring words of Mike came along beside me: "come on, here you go..." I looked over to see that Kristen had jumped in behind Mike and I fell in at the back behind her; we had just reached where the GRTA bus was unloading.

The first corner gave me the most amazing feeling of exhilaration and excitement! I screamed and giggled on the back - I had never taken a curve so fast and I was glad the others couldn't hear my giddiness through the wind. For a split second I worried that I migh fall but by the next I was out of the turn and standing to climb along with the pack. It felt amazing! Kristen jumped off to grab her light and I pushed hard and closed the gap...I had predicted that I'd make it no further than half a lap.

We flew past the stop sign and I could feel my "gummy" smile as I realized I was climbing the hills along with the group - it hurt and felt good all at the same time! I saw Mike glance behind him and wondered if he was shocked when he noticed I was still there. It felt good to know I had already made it to the "half way" mark.

As we topped the hill and started back down David was waiting to jump on. I made a space and told him to "jump in". We went down the hill and around the curve and as we moved along the flattest part of the route I started to understand why "the flats" could be challenging - no time for a breath, no break, just continuous work. I started to fall back and yelled to David to hang on that I was letting go but he followed my remark with "this is the easy part - don't let go - you can do it!!" and I didn't let go!

When we crossed the place where I first hopped on I could feel my legs beginning to burn and quiver but I was so excited to realize that I had managed to hang on for a whole lap!!! I stayed with the group through that exhilarating turn and let go once we reached the parking lot. Max had finished his pull and I made a gap for him but lost too much speed doing so - I was proud of myself and I had nothing to prove. I happily watched the group pull ahead as I let myself slow down. I'm sure I was glowing as pedaled along by myself.

There's a lot of negative influence in my life right now and I'm trying hard to let it go and not push it off on the others around me when I find myself feeling upset. In typical "Cristy fashion," on the drive home I felt a little disappointed in myself that I didn't try to jump on again later in the ride or that I didn't put forth the effort to hang on just a little longer. But I refuse to let the negativity take over - I'm proud of my accomplishment and I look forward to the next time I have the chance to push myself and see how strong I've become.


  1. I knew you could do it! You've been working hard all winter and you proved to yourself that you can absolutely do it!

    On an observational note, I have very much noticed your change in response and your effort to be positive to the people around you. It fits you beautifully, but I love you good and bad, happy and sad.

    Good for you for not letting the bad vibes get you down. There's a lot of those going around right now...

  2. Cristy, I am so glad you decided to give it a shot. When I looked over my shoulder it wasn't shock to see you guys there, it was joy to know that you gave it a hard effort. Now you know next time to try and push a little further. Congrats again on a great the way...know that you averaged over 24.5 mph for that one lap (or 2.2 miles). See you on the road again. Mike Roby

  3. A 24.5 avg. around that 2.2 mile route is amazing Crity! I did it the other day and the best I could muster for a 10 mile sprint was 20 mph, so you did awesome! I get down on myself too and don't have that much confidence either, but trust me, by the end of the year you will be a very strong rider and most will say, "oh great, Cristy is here. Now I'm gonna have a hard workout".