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Change is Good . . . or at least inevitable (part 1 of 2)

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Sep 14, 2010

So I’ve been thinking a lot about change.

I took up competitive tennis two years ago and it quickly became really meaningful in my life. I looked forward to workouts twice a week with my team and played three league seasons a year. It was something new and fun to think about and work on, in the hardest year of my life up to that point.

Then an injury came out of nowhere and stopped my running and tennis cold turkey. If I try to do either one, I can barely walk on my right foot all day.

I’ve had to switch sports for the foreseeable future. My tennis team went to districts and I was out. Now I’m sitting out an entire season. I can either whine about it or find something else I love. And I hate whining.

So I got a Cannondale, oh-so-light, carbon-frame road bike from an old college friend who owns bike shops around here. I go into the shop regularly and crow, “Do you guys know how much I love this bike?!” and they say, “Yeah yeah, we know! You want to marry it.”

I’m now decked out with all the accoutrements. Hand tire pump, Camelbak, hitch and bike rack on the car, odometer computer, clip-in cleats. (I haven’t yet succumbed to the cycling fashions–why do the clothes have to be so ugly?!)

I didn’t really WANT to be a biker, and I don’t have any friends who bike, but if I do something, I generally do it in a pretty big and committed way.

The first day I rode around for awhile and took my bike back in to the shop the next day. I asked Brian if I could have the clip-in pedals installed now, which he refused to do the day I left with the bike. NO, he said, you’re not ready. You want to wreck and die?

So I did another ride from my house in Lindon all the way to Vivian Park, up the canyon, where the Bonneville Trail ends. It’s so beautiful, animals and river and trees and breeze and mountains and so much green, and the smell of earth and trees.

Check out the photos of the terrible views I am forced to endure on my bike. Not to mention deer in the path, a flock of wild turkeys (I know where they live), and the extra protein I get from accidentally eating a lot of bugs.

At this point I’m starting to “get” the appeal of this sport. I go in and ask Brian again about the lock-in pedals, and he said “NO YOU CAN’T, give it three weeks!”

Next day, I get to Vivian Park and I call this guy I used to date who is a competitive cyclist about how the trail ends and I don’t know where to go. He said, “Turn right and go four miles up South Fork, great ride.” (See photo below of the turn to go up, with the twisty road sign.)

I said, “Isn’t it really steep? I’m not worried about getting up, but won’t coming down be scary?”

Silence for a minute. “Duh.” he said, “That’s the whole point, coming downhill!”

Great life lesson. Quit living in fear, just go for it. Don’t do all the work and be afraid to capitalize on the rewards. (Don’t think about the guy I met at the top of South Fork one day who had just spent two weeks in the hospital after a bike accident!)

So I did it. Downhill FAST. And O! M! G! I discovered my need for speed. I love it! Every day I don’t cycle now, I’m wishing I could. When you see my busted-up, bloody body on the side of the road when I hit a rock at 35 mph, don’t let your first thought be,

“Fat lot of good all those green smoothies did her.”

(Part 2, the whole point of this, tomorrow.)

Posted in: Mind/Body Connection

9 thoughts on “Change is Good . . . or at least inevitable (part 1 of 2)”

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Robyn,

    I attended your seminar at Utah County a month or so ago, and it was great. Thank you.

    I just got your newsletter with the Pumpkin Pancakes. I just wanted to let you know that I have searched for canned Pumpkin in just about every store here in SL County and the store managers all tell me that no one has it because of the crop damage. They tell me that we will be lucky to get it by November if that.

    Just wanted to give you the heads up.


    Robin Schick

    1. Robyn Openshaw, MSW says:

      Robin, oh my! Maybe that’s it–the chef couldn’t find it and didn’t tell me! (I have it in my food storage.) Thanks, very interesting.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ha! I am enjoying your blog about cycling! I’ve been thinking about purchasing a bike myself. Those photos of your surroundings are beautiful. Utah is a gorgeous state, indeed.

    Your skills as a writer are wonderful, Robyn. I feel as if you’re sitting across the breakfast table from me, telling me your adventure … as we sip on Green Smoothies… of course!

    What’s this? You hit a rock going 35 mph? Oh my! I look forward to Part 2 of your biking adventure… and hope you’re not writing it from a hospital bed!

    Happy Tuesday to you!

  3. Anonymous says:

    I had a “foot thing” for a crazy number of years. Made me stop running, too… and basically drove my life (going to Dr’s, specialists, etc) and became almost my identity. No Dr. could figure it out… it was a mystery that felt like it was making me go mad. After looking into lots of alternative stuff… I was told that foot issues are a symbol of fear of moving forward in life. It all started for me after coming home from my honeymoon. So…eventually (after years) the foot slowly got better…it is still sensitive at times, but I don’t let it bother me or drive my life. I am still happily married after over 11 years… and it is interesting to look back at how I dealt with it. I prefer the way you are dealing with it. It isn’t an easy thing (to have to give up sports that you love… and makes you feel good) but you are really taking this on in a healthy way it seems. Bravo!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Cases of canned pumpkin are available at Costco.

    Make sure you pour the pancakes or waffles THIN and bake them all the way through. Whole-foods pancake and waffle recipes are much more dense than white-flour (Bisquick, etc.) recipes are!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Have you thought about acupuncture? I’ve had some totally unrelated medical issues for months, tons of blood tests, even an MRI – nothing. After the first acupuncture appointment, started feeling better that afternoon – not 100%, but noticeable. Second visit – oh my goodness! I’ll continue with the medical appointments to see if they find anything but, WOW, acupuncture is really working for me in this instance.

    P.S. Really lovely photos! You’re wearing a helmet, right? 🙂

  6. Anonymous says:

    Hi Robyn, GOOD FOR YOU! We used to bike LOTS in No. VA when we were privileged to live there for 3 years – bike trials galore, and some take you into Wash. D.C. – THAT was a treat. Now in No. Texas – man the summers are HOTTER than one can imagine if you’ve never lived in the true south. Trying to walk outdoors even at 6am in the summer means hard air to breathe and just plain sweat. So my son fixed my husband’s bike since “he” began biking again and I tried it and since biking makes for a lovely breeze, even when it’s super hot, it’s cool. PLUS it makes you feel like a kid again. What FUN. So I say GO GIRL and I”m super jealous of the scenery you have there. I thank GOD I had 45 years of living in New England with tons of trails on Cape Cod, Rhode Island coasts, and Boston bike trails in/out of the city. I got spoiled years ago – now it’s my turn to enjoy other things besides nature – All in God’s perfect plan for my life! HAVE FUN but be SAFE!!!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Beautiful scenery — and you can enjoy it so much more from a bike than in a car. Isn’t flying downhill a blast? Just don’t think about “what if”!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hi Robyn,

    I enjoy your blog, but have concerns about the amount of detailed info you include about your activities, like the bike rides. I encourage you to not describe exactly where you ride. You are a very attractive woman and have become well known on You Tube, please be more careful of what you share online about your personal activities.

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