Good Job, You!



So, this weekend I went bike riding again. I found a trail near my house but turns out, it was a trail for hard-core bicyclists.  The kind that sneer as they pass you, with glances that seem to say, “Don’t get in my way, rookie!”

Yup, I was out of my league. Very much so. And it was daunting.

For starters, just about the entire time, it was all about the incline.  No downhills whatsoever! If you ask me, whomever said that what goes up must come down didn’t know about the steep terrain of this trail.

I have a 7-speed bike and, for the first time, I had to use each and every one of those speeds, mostly #1 and 2 which made pedaling uphill significantly easier.  Yet still, it was a struggle.

The entire time, I kept willing my orange cruiser to go up, up, up. And me?  I was panting like crazy.

My trusty bike seemed to be saying, “I shouldn’t be here. Why are we here, anyway??”

Face it, my beach-friendly bike clearly is not designed for so many hills. Nor am I, for that matter.

Looking around, I noticed that everyone on that road had mountain or road bikes. You know, the serious stuff. I was the only one with a happy-go-lucky cruiser. We were fish out of water, me and my creamsicle-colored bicycle.

My polka-dot bike helmet didn’t fare much better. It was put to shame by all the no-nonsense black and gray helmets others were wearing.  And please don’t get me started on my loosely fitting workout pants that I was wearing, which look nothing like the sleek, skin-tight shorts the real cyclists had on. Sheesh. I felt like an imposter who didn’t belong.

IMG_1828.JPGEvery bike on the road passed me in record speed, leaving me in the dust, and also wondering whether slow and steady could ever really win the race. It was time to throw in the towel.

Defeated, demoralized, and embarrassed beyond belief, I was ready to call it quits.  Turn around and head back to my car. I could return home and binge watch something on TV, I was thinking.

Suddenly, I heard a male voice say, “Good job, you!”

Who said that? I turned to my right. No one there. I turned to my left. I saw a guy riding his bike alongside me.  I remembered seeing him a moment earlier when he had raced past me, but apparently he’d doubled back.

But he couldn’t have been talking to me, right? I looked behind me. There was no one there.  Which meant, he must’ve been talking to me!

I looked back at him. He was pointing right at me and grinning. Then, just as suddenly as he had spoken to me, he remembered why he was here and sped off, soon becoming a dot on the horizon.IMG_1827.JPG

“Thank you!” I shouted, but my words scattered like confetti in the wind.  No matter. I was beaming.

“Good job, you,” he had said to me, despite my polka-dot helmet and orange bike.

Wow. Those three little words made were just the boost I needed.  For, instead of calling it quits, I decided to keep plowing ahead.  With my bike on first speed, and my legs pumping like crazy, I kept at it.

I rode my bike 10 miles that day and the entire time the words of that bicyclist ran through my head.

“Good job, you!”

How wonderful was that?  Well I’ll tell you how wonderful. It made me want to go back next week and try going up that hill again. Maybe this time I’ll even go a little farther.

Three little words, that’s all it took. So impersonal, some might say, and yet, I cannot think of a more uplifting sentiment.




11 thoughts on “Good Job, You!

  1. Oh how I love your helmet. I have a thing for polka dots. How wonderful it must be to achieve your goal and how equally wonderful was that gentleman to help you along with his positivity. I think you are fabulous.

    I run on a flat surface, I can’t tell you how every wave and good morning spurs me on just because there is that recognition by other walkers and runners that I am panting my best out there, even if others seem to outrun me every single time. Not to mention how good I feel afterwards.

  2. Why do we hesitate to offer words of encouragement to others when we know how good they make us feel?? Good for your bicycling stranger, even better for you! Hang in there, Monica, and know how good all this exercise is for you!

    • Seriously, if it hadn’t been for him, I wouldn’t cut my ride short. He came along at the right time, and gave me the encouragement to continue on. Which made me very proud of myself as I realized I could do it. And I did! 🙂

  3. I love this! I often feel intimated in those situations so can relate. You love to ride though so keep it up I say 🙂

    • Bike riding takes me back to my youth and I think that’s why I love it so. Growing up on Long Island when you’re a bicyclist is perfection–it’s completely flat! I remember riding 20-30 miles (one way) just to go to the beach. Those were the days and we thought they’d never end…

  4. The important thing Monica is did you enjoy yourself? If the answer is yes then nothing else really matters.

    Another great post. Did you look at those apps by the way to recored your route?

    • Robert, I haven’t had a chance to look at the app, but I sure wish I had. Would’ve come in handy. And yes, I had fun. It felt good to know that I conquered the hill. I had visions that I would need to walk my bike up that hill, but as it turns out, putting the bike speed on 1, was a lifesaver. I never had to stop to catch my breath or to push the bike. Me and my creamsicle made it all the way up the hill just fine!

      • It’s always nice when you achieve a target you have set yourself, even if you don’t realise what the target is until you start it.

        When you get time to check that app would love to know your thoughts, my friend swears by it, or perhaps he swears at it, I am not sure which!!

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