Category Archives: fears

Facing a fear

If you’d asked me before this weekend if I was afraid to go on a long ride on the back of a bike, I’d have probably not given you much of an answer. Or, I’d have given you a much longer answer than you wanted.

I’m not afraid. Its just not high on my list of things to do. As in, not even on my bucket list to be knocked off it.

HOWEVER.

I married a man who happens to love motorcycles. Who has had bad accidents on them, and yet still wants to get right back on. There’s something admirable about that… not letting anything stop him from doing something he loves.

Not even a wife who practically wanted to burst into tears over plans to go riding yesterday. Because that “just not interested” turned out to be, “Scared to death.”

When a friend offered us his bike for the afternoon, my husband became more excited than anyone’s kids after Halloween, staring at a big bowl of candy. I couldn’t not go. I couldn’t deny him this excitement. He wanted to share this big part of himself with me, and I appreciated that more than I could share under the quivering, shaking, terrified child I became.

We went to pick up the bike. We got bundled up (since even though it was upper 60s, it would be chilly on the bike), my husband plopped a helmet on my head and… I swung a leg over and had a death grip on my husband as we took off.

We hooked up with some friends to go riding together, and off we went hitting back roads around Nashville. It took awhile, but I slowly released the death grip I had on Hubby’s jacket. I even got confident enough to dig out my phone and take a few photos.Out riding

Half-way through our travels, we stopped to have a light lunch together. Fighting daylight, we didn’t linger long before we took off again. Getting back on the bike, I figured out a more comfortable way to sit, and my confidence went even higher.

As the sun started to set (darn time change), it started to get chilly. We stopped to stretch our legs for a moment and come up with a plan. We headed for a local bar for a post-ride drink before calling it a night.

I faced a fear, and I conquered it. I have to thank my husband for being so adamant we were going, despite my fears. I didn’t fall off. We didn’t crash. We only¬† had ONE vehicle ignore a Yield sign and pull out in front of us — but then, that happens ALL THE TIME here, so it was just annoying versus scary. I didn’t freeze. And… dare I say it? I had fun.

Yes. I had fun. There. I said it.

I. Had. Fun.

And I will be happy to do it again sometime.

Pushing boundaries

This summer, we sold my husband’s truck, because we needed the money and we weren’t using it anyway. In the back of my mind, my only fear in letting go of our second vehicle was ice and snow. See… growing up in Texas, I never had to deal with it. Any time I have been in ice and snow, someone else always drove, and I was okay with that.

However, the fear remained leading into winter. Would I have to drive in bad conditions to pick my husband up from the bus one day?

Last night, I got the answer I didn’t want: Yes.

All day, I dreaded the drive to pick up my husband from the bus. Fear. Dread. I didn’t have a choice whatsoever. I had to pick him up. I had to push past my fear and the boundaries I had set in place years ago.

I always said, “At least I know I can’t drive in snow and ice, so I don’t!” when they’d report on accidents. All day, I’d read how the Nashville area had become one big sheet of ice. Accidents everywhere. My fear increased. I forced myself to look at how twice as many cars were getting through okay. I kept reminding myself that for every one car wrecked, at least four more made it through okay. I read advice online from friends and experts on how to drive in winter conditions. I equally wanted it over as much as I wanted the time to never come.

My husband called me as they entered Tennessee. I figured it gave me a good hour over what it usually takes to get to where they meet the bus. I grabbed my stuff, got in my truck, and I prayed. I have have even got a little overwhelmed with my nervousness before I ever put my truck into reverse to back out of the garage.

I went, though. I had to. I backed out into my snow covered drive way, onto my snow covered street, and I set out. Slow and steady. Brakes were not my friend, I kept reminding myself. I set up my navigator so I could watch the miles tick off as I inched closer to my destination. A low tire pressure warning appeared, and I felt my stomach clinch. I prayed some more.

It took me a little over an hour, but I made it. I hit my exit to where I meet the bus, and I realized I was completely tensed up, needed to pee, and my stomach growled. In my nervousness, I’d forgotten to eat for hours. I pulled into the Mapco for a quick pee break, some hot chocolate, and a Christmas tree snack cake.

As I went out to the truck, I was surprised (and a little giddy!) to see the bus pulling in to the parking lot. I waved like a mad woman, and my husband, who was driving, honked at me. I made my way over the bus, feeling extremely proud of myself. I made it! I did it! I drove in snow and ice! And I didn’t even skid out a little bit! I DID IT! I thanked silent everyone who gave me advice, and my guardian angels that were looking out for me.

Proud of myself as I was, I happily handed the driver’s seat over to my Oregon-born husband to get us home. I am still not going to be in any hurry to get out in winter weather… but the fear will be just a little less next time. I’ve proven to myself that I can do it. And I have to admit (no pun intended) that is REALLY cool.

A very happy sight for me! I made it to the bus!