Exciting news (spoiler): I WON A BIKE!

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I WON A BIKE!

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It’s so light I can hoist it, easily 🙂

A brand-spanking new, 2019 Pique Advance by Liv. Here’s the link to my pretty new bike: https://www.liv-cycling.com/ca/pique-advanced-2019

And here’s a closer look of my pretty new bike:559509916.jpg

 

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Me and my chubby chipmunk cheeks.

How did you win a bike? Why did you win a bike? Well…that involves a bit more of a story. Liv did an Instagram contest (yes, it’s true: I actually won via an Instagram contest…apparently they’re real!). They wanted to know what your “Wild Idea” was and how a new bike could help so I posted a photo from my prednisone induced moon-face phase…with my exciting and wild idea, of which I will get into (but go check out Liv’s IG feed with all of the amazing ideas women – from around the globe – are wanting to do #wildideascontest).

For the newer reader, a little background: I was diagnosed with lupus in early 2016. I experienced crippling arthritis (I needed help putting on my socks), I had a blood clot (blood thinner for life), fluid in the lungs, Raynaud’s, and my kidneys got involved. All of this aggressively and in conjunction with symptoms that are usually a little less measurable and testable: hair loss, extreme fatigue, depression, and brain fog.

To combat the kidney interaction, I was placed on a mix of immunosuppressants and high-dose prednisone. To combat me feeling like absolute crap, we bought a fatbike. I 100% love (and prefer) skiing in the winter but it was often just too much for me; be it the cold, the difficulty on my joints, or the length of time required to go to the hill. Conversely, I could get out for a ride with relative ease. It was great for cardiovascular and easy on my joints. I wasn’t tempted to do anything “epic” and could enjoy the outdoors at a simple pace. Perhaps most importantly, I regained a sense of control over my life which drastically improved my mental state. I loved the fatbike for allowing me to get outside and continue to love the fatbike and use it year-round (piece of advice: go buy a fatbike!).

Instead of fast forwarding to today and my Wild Idea, I need to reiterate and emphasize something: I slowly worked up to where I am now. I did not wake up one morning and realize I could immediately embark on new, exciting, and sometimes just-a-little-bit-ridiculous kind of challenge. First, I started walking; very slowly, a couple hundred meters at a time. Eventually, I felt confident to get back on the bike but had to stop and catch my breath at regular intervals on trails that used to be a warm-up. I am still unsure about engaging in long-distance hiking or biking for multiple days in a row: as in, I literally have no idea how my body will behave. I may appear to be doing great – and I am – but it’s been a slow, steady progress and it hasn’t always been an upwards trajectory. There are days that I have to scale back on whatever plan I had because it is just not going to happen. I am unable to assume constant improvement.

Ok, now on to my Wild Idea! With the above-noted slow progression of improvement, I feel that I do have the capacity to engage in a somewhat just-a-little-bit-ridiculous challenge: biking the Arizona National Scenic Trail! Wha…?!

Sometime in 2019, I will be taking off on an attempted thru-bike of the AZT! A huge thank you shout-out to Liv for supporting me and believing in me. I’ve ridden the bike a few times already and it’s an incredible climber and I instantly noticed the weight difference.

More information about the trail to come in subsequent posts.

For now, it’s time to RIDE!

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