I got up this morning very much looking forward to my second mindfulness workshop at the centre where I’m having my breast cancer treatment. I’d so enjoyed the session I’d gone to a month or so ago that I’d signed up again. Not only was I really looking forward it, I’d also psyched myself up to cycle there.
I hadn’t been out on my bike for ages and I was more than a little apprehensive about my ability to make it. There’s one big hill on the way there that I’d struggled with the last time, after just one chemo session. Now I’ve had six sessions, and while I have made real effort to stay active, my energy levels are not what they were. On top of that, it was really windy. But I thought I’d go for it; I’m very aware that with the operation coming up, I’ve got to do these things while I can.
I got there, but it was hard. I cycled most of the 5.6 miles in gears usually reserved for hills, which made the hill when it came even harder. I did not get off the bike. It took much longer than I’d anticipated (almost 40 minutes!) and I arrived at the centre very hot and sweaty, very red in the cheeks and eight minutes late. I locked up my bike, quickly swapped the fitted chemo cap I’d been wearing for my wig, rushed into the centre… to find the session had been postponed and rescheduled for another day.
Now if this had happened four months ago, I’d have got really cross. It might not have been obvious externally but I’d have been fizzing inside. And I’d have stayed cross for a good while. Today, I did get cross – you can’t change that quickly! – but not for long. I took a few deep breaths, remembered the reason I’d come, got myself some water and a coffee and sat down to cool down. I then had a chat with a woman that I’d met once before who’d also turned up for the session. Forty minutes later, having met yet another woman I knew and had a chat, I set off for home, wig back in the bike pannier and chemo cap firmly in place.
The ride back was much easier than the ride there. On the way home, I noticed a restaurant with the same name as a friend of mine so I stopped and took and photo and emailed it to her. Just like with the bakery the other time I’d cycled (Love that bike!), I’d driven past this spot on my way to and from appointments but had never noticed it from the car. Yet another win for the bike in the bike vs car stakes!
It doesn’t end there. As I was on my bike, I was able to stop and buy some pesto at the Earlsfield branch of Carluccio’s. Carluccio’s is an Italian restaurant and deli which sells the best fresh pesto you’ll ever taste; my boys will tell you that I can’t walk past one without going in and buying some. I knew this branch was here but had never been able to stop in all the times I’ve driven past. Yet another win for the bike!
Later on the way back home, yes, you guessed it, I whipped off the cap. This time it wasn’t because I had anything to prove (Paris and being where I never thought I’d be & The Great Sugar Loaf Uncovering), I was just so hot! The wind on my scalp felt good.
So here’s to living in the now. I’m booked on to the rescheduled mindfulness session, two weeks today. Watch this space on whether I cycle to that one.