I am sitting in the airport, waiting for my first of three flights to OR. It has been a hard morning as I left my family (people and animals) for a month. I can't remember the last time that leaving felt so big. I am scared of what is to come. The cycling will be hard and the volume intense. Socially, I am not sure what to expect. I am an introvert by nature and there will be little time by myself, except (possibly) while on the bike.
Last night one of my tour mates posted a spreadsheet with more information about the climbs. She is an engineer and this analysis appears to make her feel better. (She also made the spreadsheet I posted a couple weeks ago.) It makes me anxious. Really anxious. I prefer not to know exactly what lies ahead until it is time to take it on. I had a hard time sleeping thinking about my training, what I did and didn't do, what I should have done and what it is too late for now. None of it was helpful. None of it was in the present, but I struggled to bring my mind back to the present. I wanted to sleep, but anxiety made it so hard.
I told a couple of friends about that this morning as I was getting ready to leave and they reminded me of a post I made on Instagram as part of #selfcareseptember. I wrote of my intention to appreciate what I can do and not be judgmental of what I cannot. That is my intent for this ride. It will be a big practice for me as I make my way to Oregon and then, from there, to West Yellowstone. I would love to hear from you if you feel so inclined. What do you do when anxiety feels like paralysis? How do you deal with self-doubt and negative self-talk? I have a feeling that I will need all the tools in the coming month.