“Heavy feet, light hands.” – Lee McCormack

That was the mantra repeated time and time again at our NICA Coaches training. I’m happy to say that when I attended that training I was easily the most novice rider in the group. This was a good thing- I hadn’t developed any of the “bad habits” that many of the other coaches had. So, for me at least, “heavy feet light hands” was internalized.

But tonight was a good reminder. I finally got back on the bike after more than two weeks!! I probably shouldn’t have, but I’m trying to live my life without the words “should” or “shouldn’t”, so I did anyway.

You see, I let Dennis take out my stitches yesterday. It probably wasn’t ready to happen, and this morning I’m sporting a raging infected wound. But I just couldn’t wait to ride again! Besides, my bike is now sporting my CHRISTMAS PRESENT! A new (to me at least) FORK!

So I bundled up (as much as I do…which isn’t much) and rode from home, hopped on the urban trail system, and went for a ride in the dark, cold, winter night. You know, that reminds me- “A child, a child, shivers in the cold! Let us bring Him silver and gold!” What?! He’s shivering in the cold! Bring the kid a blanket and some soup! Maybe rent him a really nice flat with a big-screen TV and one of those fancy Replicators they keep talking about on TNG…but just bringing him silver and gold? Please! (End holiday rant. Thank you.)

I like to have two lights when I ride in the dark; one on my helmet and one on the handlebars. So adorned, I flew down the trail. Yes, it’s mostly paved, but I make it fun by taking little dirt off-shoots, and jumping all of the sections pressed up by tree roots. Tonight I added to that some on-snow sliding and ice-patch hopping.

Yes, I had some discomfort. No, it wasn’t unbearable. Yes, It was completely worth it! I got a 10 mile ride in. I felt like Wonder Woman on caffeine after eating 12 GU packets and puffing on her inhaler. In short, I felt amazing. I kept picturing myself flying down the trail at the next race I’m registered for (24 Hours in the Old Pueblo). My legs felt strong, my heart felt stronger. This was incredible to me as I had already spent more than an hour on the trainer doing intervals today….

It. Was. Excellent.

And now for another song about cold, dark nights: click here to enjoy.

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