Monday, November 14, 2011

Fear of Falling

Many of you have asked me why I have not posted anything in a couple months. There are several reasons for this. One big one is, I had a very bad bike accident on August 30 and needed 20 stitches just below my knee. This happened two weeks before my very first half Ironman race and was a huge blow to my confidence, not to mention very painful and disruptive to my normal routine. For two weeks, I could not straighten my leg, and because I was given incorrect care instructions, it took a long time to heal. Now I have a gnarly scar, and it is slowly fading.

Ironically, the reason why I fell and got hurt was because I was afraid. The bike has been the weakest part of my triathlon mainly because I find riding with clip-in shoes really intimidating. Flying over the handlebars of my brother's BMX and tearing all the soft tissue in my rib cage two weeks before my Sweet 16 didn't help either. More fundamentally, I have often been afraid to fail, to f*ck up, to fall down. What I realize now is that, falling from time to time is inevitable. The key is picking yourself up to keep going. While I was recovering, I read "It's Not About the Bike" by Lance Armstrong. For a professional elite cyclist, he has fallen a lot, and look where he is. I also read "The Long Run" by Matt Long - thanks Frevin. If his recovery doesn't inspire you, I don't know what will.

Ultimately, this episode made me realize that falling down occasionally is nothing to be afraid of. Also, I need to make friends with my bike so I can get back to the joy I used to experience as a kid, riding around Bayside. Like many of my triathlete comrades, I've decided to name my bike Lucy (after the bossy character in Charlie Brown). Before the end of the year, my goal is to learn as much as I can about how Lucy works and get back on the bike outside. If any of you out there want to accompany me, I will reward you with home-cooked goodness.

This of course has been just one piece of my recent saga. More to come...