It was the night when me and my brother met for simple coffee and dinner. Talked about lessons in life and what we learned from them. We moved from place to place, and meal to meal and arrived at the end of our conversation session to find out that I must write about this. He suggested that I need to write this. I’ll call this: “A Hero” to myself. A story where I transform myself from being wimp to be brave.
29 February 2016, when I got my own first road-bike and I named him “Aaron” which has meaning “mountain of strength, in the purpose that I hoped to gain more strength and increase my endurance level in sports when I train with him. That was why I named him “Aaron”.
I was into Triathlon sports for about two years now since I followed Teri Hatcher in the media. I admire her body shape, and I found out that in daily life she trains herself to be a Triathlete. Few months before she turned 50, she did her first Sprint Distance Triathlon at Malibu. Making her as my idol, I started running in November 2014, and thank God I had conquered water long time ago so swimming is not an issue for me. I searched for a bike but couldn’t find any match until I met with few friends who has same interest in Triathlon, consulted with them, and found him (Aaron) at the end of February 2016.
My cycling journey has never been easy, because I never touch a road-bike before. I chose to train by myself and bond with Aaron, understanding his each parts of the function. And as a beginner, cycling is definitely become my biggest disability.
Woke up at 4.00 am or 4.30 am to get on the road and ride with Aaron three times a week at 5.00 AM. Alone. My weekday route is just around my place: Senayan – Kota Tua – Monas, and I would spend my Saturday with a long ride to Halim. No, I don’t do speed, but I focus on the distance. From 30k, to 50k, to 70k, to 80k, to 100k in eight months, I gradually increase my distance. But this is not about how long I ride, or how fast I ride. But how the progress I made in eight months has taught me to conquer my fears. I encountered many obstacles, from bike handling, traffic awareness, to experiencing an accident, witnessing a major accident, witnessing someone dead in front of me. I traumatized from some experiences, but they taught me to be someone who brave enough to conquer the road and the tough surroundings when we ride with heavy traffic around.
It was 5.15 am in the morning, I was heading to Monas before I met some of my friends who planned to go for a bike tour to Kota. I planned to get the distance, that was why I took a bit of detour. There was an area near Sarinah which is under a MRT construction and the pavement is coated with some kind of metal. Since the area is very dusty, the construction worker watered it and made the coating slippery. Not only that, there was a big truck parked there at the side of the road. I was so surprised because from afar I did not see the truck (or maybe I did not pay any attention), and I spontaneously diverted the handlebar to the metal area, which caused Aaron to get stuck in between the gap and made me fall thrown about two meters from Aaron. My head was hitting the pavement hard. The construction workers were rushing to helped me stand up before any cars hit me from behind. I was covered in bruises and bleeding wounds. “Are you okay?”, asked the construction workers. I nodded while the fact that I was in shock. There was a bit of shame, I was rushing myself to ride back home in pain (I was scared as well because the construction workers were all guys, and I was the only girl around). Aaron was okay, just a bit of scratch. I canceled the plan to join the bike tour with my friends because I couldn’t bear the headache caused by hitting the pavement that hard (that’s what helmet is made for, to protect your head). Long story short, I was okay, there were nothing serious beside few wounds in my body, but my courage fell far short. I did not want to see or to touch Aaron for two weeks. I did not ride him at all. I did not turn on my alarm to wake up early in the morning and working out because darkness terrified me. Just about I get used to ride Aaron, I had an accident. So after two weeks, I braved myself to see Aaron, touch him, and ride again. I keep telling myself: “the only way out, is to get through it”. It felt awkward at the beginning, but I slowly came back from where I left of.
Not only that I came back, but I realized that I developed sensitivity and awareness towards the traffic. I learned how to control my movement in the middle of traffic, because I realized that I cannot let fear feeds me. When people say: “if you had fallen once, you’ll come back braver and stronger than you were before” is a true fact. I bond with Aaron even more.
But still, cycling is still become my weakest part. I have to keep going. I have to.
Few months after the accident, I no longer fear to ride during the pitch-dark hours. I came out in Saturday morning at 5.00 am to ride long. Made an u-turn at Bundaran Senayan, I headed Bundaran HI, and there I witnessed a major accident. I did not want to elaborate how the accident happened in here, but in conclusion, I saw the cyclist was dead in place. Saw so many blood and his shape was no longer a “normal-human-shape”. I went back traumatized and left Aaron for another two weeks because I was too afraid to ride him as the accident kept coming back vividly in my mind. But again, I came back. Much more stronger, and braver to conquer not only the road, but the traffic in peak hours.
From that day until today, I always came out when the sun has shown his light, no more riding in the pitch-dark hours again. Too risky, I have to be wise in this if I want to ride by myself. I see that two events as how God was trying to warn me the dangerous of underestimating riding on road by yourself during the dawn.
1. I learned to obey Him. No more practice at dawn. Be wise.
And then God allowed injury got into my running journey. I took two months resting and to maintain the endurance level I had built, I added more days to practice cycling, from three days a week, to five days a week. My heart was broken when I found out that I need to rest my feet. But Aaron had cheered me up ( :p ) and he accompanying me to blend with the wind.
2. There’s nothing in the world happens without God’s will. There’s a greater purpose behind everything that happens.
One fine morning, I saw my watch when I was riding Aaron towards Bundaran Senayan. Somehow I felt the wind was so strong, so I took a peek on the speed. It was about 30-ish. I normally ride with 20-ish speed along Jalan Sudirman street until Bundaran Senayan. But that morning I was faster than before. And then the next morning, and then another morning, and then few more mornings, I managed to maintain the average speed of 25 – 26 -ish during the long ride (my average speed was 20 – 22 -ish top before) – I made a progress within six months of having Aaron. Again, I’m not emphasizing the speed here, but to tell you, Readers, that I conquer my weakness, my fears, and came out as stronger person few months after few uncomfortable incidents.
The only person who can help yourself is yourself – A Hero to MySelf, and you are a hero to yourself.
And last weekend I unlocked the opportunity to be titled as a second place in one of the cycling race.
It was a great experience.
To some people, that kind of achievement might be normal. There are also some other people who are much faster than me for sure. But when last night me and my brother discussing about “things we had won in life” and told him the analogy of “the fallen” and “the risen” me, the ups and downs during my cycling journey, and brought us to the conclusion that some people or some incidents came into our lives for us to grow to be much more stronger, and much better in coping with many kind of circumstances or uncertain situations, and to be braver to go out from the cave and face any kind of possibilities (the good and the bad).
3. God wants to stretch our capability.
We might think that we are not that strong. We might say that we are weak, or we can’t do this and that, or it is impossible, but God wants us to see that the story is not about us and our surroundings, but it is about ourselves and God Himself, so we can say that we are strong, we are able to do this and that, and everything is possible.
4. Because God so loved His children and wants us to grow to be extraordinary people. To be the light of the world.
Like when our parents scold us, or punish us, they do that because they love us and want us to grow. The rough, painful, traumatized incidents will form us to be the individual He has planned for us in the very first beginning. Learning is a continuous journey that will never stop until we grow old, until we pass away.
The traumatized incidents I experience in the past has been a blessing in disguise. We often say: “why would You let this happening to me?”. But few years afterwards, we tend to look back and all those things we experienced in the past were intended to be something wonderful in the future.
5. And I learned, instead of questioning God why bad things happened to me, I turn the question: “what do You want me to learn from this?”.
“We cannot change the past, but we can learn from it” – The Time himself (from Alice Through The Looking Glass).