One year ago this month (August) I got on a Footbike for the first time. I had no idea at the time where that would take me, but this is how it started for me.
Two big boxes showed up at the house one August afternoon in 2008, this in itself was the most exciting event for me in days. Hmmm…. Maybe I should back up. In March of 2008 we were blessed with not one, but two beautiful babies. Yes Twins, to make a total of 4 children under the age of 6. Now with our first two babies I was determined to not let kids slow me down. They joined us, right? We went everywhere and did everything we always had and just brought the kids along, snowmobiling, hiking, camping, biking, snow shoe hiking, boating, snow skiing, running- you name it we did it, and had a great time at it. The boys just thought that was what people did. The outdoors and fitness was a big part of their lives from the beginning.
When I found out I was having twins I was terrified! Frightened of the pregnancy, afraid about how to handle two babies and totally perplexed about how to get out of the house by myself with four kids when two of them were infants. Well I didn’t get out. I basically confined myself to my house after several attempts because it was so overwhelming to even get everyone to the car let alone get them out of the car in a public place and have two screaming babies and try to keep track of two other kids. Let’s just say that I went an entire month on one tank of gas in my car and not because I was being so green. When Chris (my husband) would come home from work he was so great and helped to get me out of the house at least once a week, despite my overwhelming lack of desire. We would go to the store (a total nightmare for me) or for a drive, go on walks or small hikes. This was the only exercise I was getting at the time. Most of my days just consisted of diapers, feeding and cleaning.
Okay so now back to the Footbike story. When the boxes showed up it was an exciting event for me. Chris took the pieces and parts and built up two shiny new Footbikes. What strange looking things, but kinda fun to kick up and down the street in front of the house. OOOOOHHH….. and I feel that working my gluteus maximus and quads and hamstrings and everything else that has been dormant for about a year. This is fun! Weeeee!!!! I wonder if we can take the family out on a kick around the neighborhood. Sure enough- Put the babies on our backs and the boys on their bikes or scooters and off we go. The babies fell asleep- Total bonus! We went to the school and rode around the track a few times and then back home. The next night, I wanted to do it again. I found a freedom from the movement. I remembered how much I like to move my body, I remembered how much I like to have my heart pump. I remember how good it makes me feel mentally, physically and emotionally to get outside and get some exercise. Footbiking was fun, it was something I could do with my family, and it was something that raised my heart rate and made my muscles feel stronger. I became an instant addict. I wanted to go more and more. I found a friend who was crazy enough to get up at 6:30 several mornings a week to go out and kick with me. We started at the end of September and by the end of October we were doing about 5 miles each ride. Then at the beginning of November the snow came and the Footbikes were hung up for the winter. I kept up with my morning exercising okay by doing aerobics a couple of times a week, but I really had an itch all winter long for better weather so I could go out kicking. Finally in March the snow melted enough to start kick’n in the mornings again. My friend Brandy who is also a Footbike addict joined me again for our early morning kicks. At the end of March we got a crazy idea that it would be fun to Footbike a marathon. After working things out with Hyrum the race director of the Utah Valley Marathon, we began our training. We were dedicated. I set up a training schedule of 3-4 medium kicks each weekday with a long kick on the weekend. Gradually we worked up to 10 miles, to 13 miles, 15, 18, 21 and then 26. Wow I remember the Saturday morning I hit 26 miles. I was so exhausted. My muscles ached I was so drained, but at the same time I felt great. I was on top of the world. I knew I could finish the race. We kept up our training doing hills, and long distances. Race day came and it was awesome. There was so much energy and excitement. There were 10 racers in all. It was a rush to be a part of the event. It was exhilarating to cross the finish line. I took first place in the women’s Footbike division. Wow pretty cool and then a couple of days later I found out that I now held the Women’s US record for the marathon distance on a Footbike. Me???? Now that is cool, I have never held a record before. Now What? Brandy and I kicked a few times over the next couple of weeks and enjoyed our leisure kick, but what could we work toward now? What was the reason to get up at 6 AM? Was it enough to get up early just because we like Footbiking, because it is fun, because it is good exercise? We kept it up the morning kicks, but not as serious for a couple of weeks. I did two charity rides, which were fun. Then Chris and I were invited to become members of Team Footbike USA and train for the World Championship Footbike races in Italy in 2010. Wow, what an honor. Can I do it? Do I have what it takes? I spent the next few weeks training harder trying to pick up speed, studying up and deciding if this was something I wanted to do. I decided that YES! I was in. I wanted it, I love it, and it is thrilling. I love how this makes me feel. I enjoy pushing myself harder each day to go a little faster a little farther a little harder. Brandy my kicking buddy moved away. Would this be the end of Footbiking for me? Was I dedicated enough to do this without someone to meet at 6 AM. YES! I have set up a new training schedule and found that I have it in me to do this on my own. I do this for me! This is my time, this is my passion, this is my hour each day to reflect, to think, to relieve stress, to plan, to relax, to exercise, to accomplish something, to start my day off with some fresh air and adrenaline. I love how I feel, I love how I look, and I love to have something to work toward. I love the feeling of accomplishment. I love to compete. I love getting better everyday.
I LOVE FOOTBIKING!