Michele McGuinness - Looking Forward


My blogs have always been named Looking Forward, even the last one when I had breast cancer and documented the journey. Looking Forward sounds like I'm always positive. Ha!

I’m usually positive, usually focused on Gratitude and searching for Grace in my day and my life. I am grateful.

Though I wonder if it is possible to live in a state of Grace and still want really nice sheets?

At 55, I try to be relaxed and live in the moment. It’s not easy when some of my biggest motivators are fear. In order to reduce my anxiety, I prepare. Some would say I excessively prepare. I did it in business. I do it in life.

To prepare-I went and got a professional bike fit. The picture above is Barry from Cyclologic and the cool screens he used to diagnose my ride.

Most of the men and woman who get bike fits are fast. Young or old. They are skinny, fit triathletes-with $10,000 dollar bikes who just got back from a bike camp-who are looking to go faster yet. And when you go into Cyclologic, you see Champions jerseys on the wall. While waiting, I overheard a conversation about the Canadian Junior Women’s team that was in last week. It’s funny, when you get a bike fit, the paperwork asks, “categorize yourself”. Professional, Racer, Triathlete, Recreational Cyclist. In dark purple ink, I slowly write in, Recreational Cyclist. Intimidated, I’m suddenly afraid I’m wasting their time with my little two month trip across the US.

Barry sees the comment and disagreed. “You are not a recreational cyclist. Recreational cyclists don’t bike 65 miles a day for 50 days. We have to get that out of your head.” Then he adjusted my seat, changed my cranks and rebuilt my cycling life.

To prepare-I hired a a coach. Coach Cheryl from Miller Endurance Coaching. Having a coach brought someone who gave me a plan. How do I get from biking an hour to biking 65 miles a day every day, day after day? My friends laugh that I need someone to tell me what to do. But I love that I have Cheryl to give me a plan, a guide to have conversations with about what it feels like when my legs are so tired that I can’t push them anymore, or what food to eat, what to do about saddle sores (that's a whole other story).

To prepare-for biking 3100 miles across the country in 50 riding days (57 total days)- I’ve ridden 3500 miles in the last six months.

I've never been an athlete, I was a young girl who read a lot, wrote a lot, wished she had a pony, wanted to be an ice skater after watching the Winter Olympics. I did love the feel of wind in my face as I rode my ten speed bike around the block.

I’m an athlete now. An old, struggling to build muscle-post cancer athlete. Biking across the country with help.

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About MJM
The adventure begins. I'm preparing to bike across the United States. 3100 miles in 50 riding days. Come along with me...while I train, wander and search for chocolate.