Hot Ride

Yesterday I didn’t post anything because I was out on the bike at 7:00 am. It was a hot day yesterday and getting out early was important to beat traffic and heat. We did another ride of the steep hills and steep descents.   All worked out well, but we had to change a flat towards the top of the largest climb. Fortunately we were able to find a small corner out of traffic and direct sun. The road gets pretty steep and narrow.

Today I’m heading over for a massage. I did it right after the 50 mile ride last week and it seemed to help with recovery.

This will be my last post for a while. I will be starting work on the book I mentioned a couple days ago. Not sure exactly how it will go, but I will be back later this year to let you know what comes of it.

Thank you for starting this journey with me in January when I had no clue what was going to happen next. Cancer is a word that happens to someone else, so when it’s attached to your name, it is a bit daunting. I can say I am a different person from the experience, but I think the true evolution will be what I do with the experience, not just living through it.

Be back soon!

Another Quiet Day

I’m not sure if I’m exhausted from the ride several days ago or lack of sleep. Either way I’m struggling to stay awake and trying to sleep.   I have the day to myself, so its not like I have lots on my plate. Feels like I’m in tweener land.

The weather has been hot and our house is a tent with windows, so sleep is challenging even before the lack of darkness. I love the light, but it plays havoc with sleep. My eyelids just don’t work as well as blackout shades!!

Tomorrow is the second longest day of the year, so I can get out early, beat the heat and avoid traffic. A trifecta! Maybe the third day offers the same, but I lose a minute of light…

New Actions

This summer I will be writing a book about major events in my life. It will draw from experiences I’ve has as a woman growing up, cycling, large corporate life and the tumultuous startup world.

As I’ve had time to reflect on the cancer experience specifically, I’m beginning to realize my life has had a cumulative effect. Basically one experience, conversation or interaction has led to another. I know it sounds pretty simple, but I guess its impact I couldn’t have realized either as a younger person or as someone who hasn’t stopped to reflect. Cancer did that.

I’m not exactly sure how it will evolve, but you’re party to the very beginning. My path has changed and this is the right or left turn I need to take to change from my current path.

Stay tuned!

50 miles, 5000 feet of climbing in 4 hours!

I rode the same loop I did a couple months ago and added a climb. Legs felt strong, but overall I didn’t think I felt as strong on this ride compared to the first time I did it. Interesting to think about that.

On the way back, when the person I was riding with suggested we climb an additional hill, I thought ‘what the heck’ and off we went. It was getting warm towards the end, but not too warm. By the time we made it home we were over 50 miles.

Yippee!!

Summer Camp

Yesterday morning I was out a little earlier than my regular time for my ride. At every stop sign and light there were at least 10 cars waiting. I mentioned it to the person I was riding with that there must have been a concert that just let out! She laughed and had noticed the same thing.

When we met our other riding partner, she knew right away what the problem was – everyone’s heading to summer school! Now I know to stay off the bike 30 minutes before or after to avoid the lines of cars.

Have a great summer day!!

Finally Results

So it’s been awhile since I had my colonoscopy and I just received the results yesterday. The physician was on vacation for 2 weeks. All is fine, but there is an important mental process that occurred for me.

Of course, your mind can think of the worst possible case. ‘Oh no, I have colon cancer. The doctor hasn’t called, so I must have something really bad.’ Well I could have given in to the negative thoughts, but I really believe, this is at the core of why I have been able to work through so many different situations, both good and bad.

When I look back at the challenges I had with MS 30+ years ago, I had no clue what was happening to me or what MS even was. Heck, they thought I had a brain tumor at one point. But when I found out I had cancer earlier this year, I thought back to that time and tried to remember my thoughts.

I realized I didn’t spend much time thinking of the worst-case health scenarios, but instead tried to focus on things I liked, in particular getting back on my bicycle. Feeling the wind in my face, seeing the fields go by as I rode with a tailwind and many more freeing thoughts as I lay on my back on the floor in my small apartment. I had a spinal headache. It was the result of one of the tests they ran to figure out what was wrong with me. Very memorable.

I recognized, although at the time I didn’t realize it, the thoughts you spend your time with are the most powerful ones you can have and the beliefs you maintain behind those thoughts determine your future.

If you think of your self as healthy and think healthy thoughts, you’ll be healthier than someone who believes they’re sickly and spends their time wondering what ailment will come next.

 

Wonderful Start

As I mentioned in my post on Friday, we had our inaugural workshop on Saturday.   It was a success from all perspectives. We had great feedback from participants. And when I asked the direct question, yes or no, ‘did you feel like you gained a useful tool to take with you?’, the answer came back overwhelmingly ‘yes.’

I always wondered how you can tell if you’re on the right track with any kind of change you’re trying to make.   Well, if you can get valid feedback from customers at the very beginning, that’s the best validation of whether you’re going in the right direction. Now we need to figure out the next steps.

Somehow it feels like I’ve been here before. In fact, I commented to my husband it seemed like we’re in the same place when we started our software company, just different.

Beginning a Transformation

Okay, I’ve written about this, but I think it will show up here more than a couple times…starting anything new is a challenge, but your thoughts about ‘Am I good enough? Will anyone be interested? What if I fail?’ are just some of the hurdles that get in the way of anyone making a change.

This weekend we will have the first of what we hope will be workshops to help others change their thinking to benefit themselves and what they want out of life. The usual questions are there, ‘Who will show up? Will we be able to engage our audience effectively? Will they learn something helpful for them as we suggest they will?’ And the list goes on.

Guess we just need to ‘do it’…. Oh, and this is where having others on your journey is key, at the beginning when it’s most difficult to stay the course and continue to improve.

Stay tuned.

Strength in Numbers

It’s the Golden State Warriors slogan, but it is something that we can all benefit from. I know there is absolutely no way I would have made it through this whole cancer and recovery journey without the strength I’ve gained from others along with me on the trip.

Last night I had a good, but nervous time watching the NBA Finals game (sorry Cleveland fans, but I am an avid teamwork fan and the Warriors are the epitome of a team). As I was walking this morning I thought about how at the end of the game when the Warriors were down, I remember thinking, ‘just stay in the game’, ‘hold the course’, but I also know for myself how hard that is to do.

Earlier in the year as I was struggling to think about cancer and Beth in the same sentence, I realized I had to understand why I couldn’t think about the two words together. In fact, I have a pathology report to confirm I had cancer, but even now I struggle to think about myself as a cancer survivor. It doesn’t fit the paradigm I have of myself.

If I begin to think about this more broadly, how many other thoughts do I have about myself that are not relevant, or even current for my life today? Now that’s worth some time to think about…

Sunshine

All this sunshine is wearing me out!   Yesterday I did complete the third day in a row of riding, a large hill no less, but the exhaustion from lack of sleep is catching up.

This is lack of sleep due to lots of sunshine. It feels weird putting it on paper, but the early mornings and late sunsets make for a short period of dark sleeping time. Yes, there are blackout things, but I’m still troubled by the soaking hot flashes. Add it all up and it amounts to little sleeping time.

I can say, the sunshine is much better than the dark days of winter!!