This morning I woke up dreading putting on those bike clips. I was lying in bed for a good twenty minutes deciding what I would do. I was very similar to Cameron on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, “This is uh… This is ridiculous, ok I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go, I’ll go. What – I’LL GO. Shit.”

I had two options on ride locations. I could head over to a neighborhood loop and really get a good ride in but probably only stop once. Or I could just head downstairs to my own apartment complex parking lot and practice stopping more than once. Since I am headed to the track tonight I figured that over doing it with a longer ride wasn’t necessary and I needed more practice stopping than anything else.

As I got downstairs with all of my gear and Dolly, my heart was beating fast and I felt like a little kid again. I knew I so badly wanted to ride but the fear of those silly slow motion falls was in the back of mind. As I shut the front door a super friendly kitty happened to approach and basically made out with Dolly before I could get moving so that helped take my mind off of things. Sorry Dolly, she just really liked you.

I clipped in and got moving. I went around the complex once before getting back to my car and deciding that’s where I’d stop. I focused on the car and said my new mantra that a good friend told me, “Right foot out. Right foot down.” Success! I did not fall.

I got clipped in again and decided to give it another go around the complex and then stop at my car again. And again I repeated, “Right foot out. Right foot down.” Success two times!

As I stopped this final time I thought about calling it a day. Why tempt fate right? I got off the bike and headed to my front door. But then it struck me that two times was enough for me to get some confidence. I went for time number three.

“Right foot out. Right foot down.” Success number three was mine.

I’m not overlooking the fact that I’ll might fall again at some point but at least I know I am totally capable of stopping and starting without my left hip meeting the pavement.

Thus today I am thankful for small victories. It’s important to know them when you see them and realize that you have to start somewhere. Not every run you accomplish will be fast, not every swim you complete will be steady, and not every bike ride will you unclip successfully, but man you gotta be thankful for the ones that go the way you want them to.

What are you thankful for today?