I have a short story to share. I’ve been struggling the last fews months on my bike to left myself out of the saddle on a hard climbs or when trying to accelerate with some power. Due to all my recent surgeries and the tumors, (I have bone cancer) my right leg has been weaken and with limted range of motion, which has prevented me from left/push myself up out of the saddle. I can’t tell you how frustrating and somewhat embarrassing it has been during a ride.
My trithalon coach, has been having me do a weight circuits, yoga and even standing only on my right leg when I piss to get the leg to wake up and get stronger!Today during a light ride for a race taper, something I was unhappy about doing, but my coach had assigned it and I always do what he asked. (I like to ride very hard and usually someone comes back with a broken elbow or dislocated hip from ride). Anyway, I learned again to left myself out of the saddle in the most remarkable way.
It all began with a ride down to the beach along the Santa Ana River trail in SOCAL. As I was passing Anaheim Stadium, the home of the LA Angels baseball team. I was passed by a nun on a hybrid bike with a basket on the front. As she passed, she yelled, “vita, vita, depeche toi”! That’s French for, ‘hurry up”. Then in a nuns habit, she came out of her saddle and sped away, and I mean fast! My heart sank…I thought to myself, “here I am in my expensive tri-suit, on my sup up TT bike, with one of the best triathlon coaches in the country and I just got passed by a nun wearing a habit, on a losey beach cruiser!
Needless, to say, I felt like crying! To top if off, the nun look much older than me and was able to get herself out of the saddle with no issues. I almost turned around and go home! But, something in my head said to just let it pass and keep on training. That I will get stronger and will regain my ability to get out of the saddle when I ride– someday!”
I came around a blind curve on the trail, later on. There was the nun, stopped, drinking a bottle of Gatoraide. As I approuch, she wave me down to stop. As I slowed down and came to halt beside her, she apologizes for yelling at me in French. She claimed, she loves to ride and she gets carried away when she having a good day and meant no harm by her comments. I laugh it off and told her no problem and began to start away, The nun then asked, “you had a lot of knee surgeries?” (My knees are noticiable scared). I told her, “yes” and explain what they were from and my recent healthy issues. I also, told her how jealous I was of her speed and the ablility to left herself out of the saddle to accerlerate. She laughed and then comment, “not bad for old lady in her 80’s who does triathlons.” I looked at her rather puzzled and commented back on the triathlon statement. She claimed to had gone to Kona numeous times and was planning on going again.
I wish her well, we chatted a little more, exchanged names, her’s was Sister Buder of Spokane. I asked if she knew my coach, Ben Greenfield and her comments was, “I know of him, his is a legion in the Northwest with the tri community”. She then made the most remarkable statement, “all you have to do is prey and pretend you are lefting yourself up from a pew and God will left you out of your saddle and speed you along”. I looked at her again with a puzzled face and kinda of thought I being set up by coach or someone. But she repeated it again, “really, I’m seriours, she said”. “Imagine lefting yourself with the same muscles you left yourself out of a church pew”. It will work and the prayer won’t hurt either!” She then turn and rode away in the direction I had come. I took a few moments to think what just happen and whats going on here, it all seemed odd.
I got on my bike and started again heading for the beach. The nuns comment about praying and then pretend I was lefting myself out of a church pew, lingering in my head. I thought, “ it can’t hurt, might as well give it a try”. So, I said a little prayer to Heavenly Father and imagine I was lefting myself with my legs out of a church pew…I come out of my bike saddle on the first try and sped away!
A true story!