Go Far

By Kara Richardson Whitely

At the end of our indoor cycling class, our instructor looked down at her speedometer of sorts and said, “Wow! We went far today.”

I looked down at the tracker on my bike and saw that I had hit 10 miles in the 45-minute class and felt pretty great until she said, “Mine says 13 miles. Good ride everyone!”

Believe me, I love this instructor. She’s a great leader, she challenges us, and she plays wonderful music. Still, my self-esteem slumped as I cleaned off my station and started to pack up my special shoes that fit on the bike. I thought to myself that she’s a powerhouse cyclist and I’m a mere amateur. In fact, what was I even doing in this class?

But then I thought, the truth is, I’ve come a long way. Way, way more than 10 miles. After class, we noted that it wasn’t as full as the post-New Year’s resolution group started to dwindle. But I’ve been coming weekly since October (minus a couple weeks during the holidays when my schedule got crazy and my mom and step-dad were in a car crash).  As soon as things calmed down, I got right back into it.

Early in 2016, I struggled with being consistent. I’d go to a Masala Bhangra class one week. A spinning class the next. I’d want to go to yoga but found excuses instead of time. So while I didn’t gain weight (which I did consider a small victory) I didn’t lose weight either.

But in the fall, I got serious. Really serious. The difference, I suppose, is that I’ve adopted a way of being in which these things come before everything else. I ask my mother-in-law to babysit so I can take my Tuesday evening dance class. I don’t schedule anything on Thursday morning.

Over the past few months, I’ve really dug in. I’ve changed my grocery-shopping lists. I’ve worked out. I’ve changed how active I’ve been with my kids. Dropping more than 50 pounds has made it easier to get down on the ground and play. I am more active in every way. And while my pace may not be as fast as the instructor (which is why she’s the instructor and I’m the student), it was way better than not showing up at all.

I know that I have miles to go on my journey (and will be pedaling uphill for some time). Still, I have come a long way. From here, I know I’ll go far. 

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