August 27 | Half Moon Bay
Anticipation is a slippery slope. It can cause as much distress as excitement, and either way is more of a distraction and impediment than a motivator. Whether we’re anxious or eager about possibilities, anticipation keeps us from being fully in the moment.
For me, the days leading up to my ride were marked by waves of anxious nervousness. Even though this is my fourth long distance ride with Bike The US For MS, my stomach would suddenly tighten, my solar plexus vibrate, and my mind loop on nonsensical scenarios. The only remedy was to breathe, and to actually start the ride.
We did that today, riding from Sausalito across the Golden Gate Bridge, through San Francisco, to Half Moon Bay. That’s about 40 miles.
Once on the bike, anticipation and its accompanying anxiety disappeared. There’s something about movement, rhythm and cadence, breathing deeply and deliberately, that calms the heart, quiets the mind, and settles the dust.
I love hills, and on a ride like this, am deeply grateful for the fact that Seattle and the surrounding area is hilly. It allows me to prepare physically and mentally for the ups and downs of the Pacific Coast route. Climbing is still a labor, but a labor of love because there’s no doubt, or anticipation, involved.
As we rode south down the coast highway, it reminded me strongly of the same highway in north San Diego County where I went to high school and cycled many times. It’s also where we’ll be ending this ride in 10 days. I’m anticipating returning to my old haunts in the final two days. But then I remind myself not to anticipate, but simply to be present. Today, that’s in Half Moon Bay. Tomorrow, we’ll end in Santa Cruz. Journey enough.
To learn more about Bike The US For MS, visit biktheusforms.org.