Thursday, November 5, 2009

On The Road Again

Last night I took the RC51 out for a ride to Santa Cruz since Tami was at "pregnant-lady-yoga." It was good. I lack both the technology and the writing skill to transport you to Santa Cruz at night but I would like to recommend it to you. There I find the ocean crashing against the beach to be a sound so loud and yet I can happily fall asleep to it. The smell of salt water infused air is some how healing and the wafting smell of bonfire mixed in, ever present along the Santa Cruz beaches at night, adds warmth even when the fire is out of arm's reach. The stars were out last night, but that's just one type of beauty you may find there. Equally grand are nights blanketed in a soft down of cloud cover. The air, the smells, the sounds have a way of working their way through openings in clothes and stresses in the mind. Like tiny fingers, they work their way through until they surround a person from within, beyond the walls of any barriers real or imagined, and sooth like a loved one running fingers through one's hair after a long day. It makes me happy, I suppose, is the easiest way to say it. I wish I could compile that experience and attach it to this blog so that others could feel this from anywhere. Instead, I'll just recommend to you a visit.

And this weekend, I'm going back. Yes, but I'm going the long way, via Arizona.

Nathan and I are heading off Friday morning to Arizona in his truck. We're going to pick up my Honda Valkyrie that my Nino and Nina have been holding for me since our cross country motorcycle ride this summer. I had an AWESOME time riding around the United States for a month during summer. The trip was so memorable and full of new experiences, that I have yet to finish processing them. The motorcycle, however, had to stay in Arizona when I decided to fly back to California. That was after being treated for dehydration and knowing that I was not recovering quickly enough to ride home in time to make it to Evan and Sarah's wedding. One thing I have not discussed here, and that I hope to address in this blog in the future, is that I developed Panic Disorder and have been experiencing panic attacks and high anxiety episodes since then. This is what has prevented me from getting back to my bike and riding home. But there is a time limit if I hope to get my bike back, ridden or on a trailer, before The Kid is born and that time is now.

I've been working on strategies to cope with and move beyond panic attacks and high anxiety reactions through a workbook recommended by my doctor and I have seen a lot of progress. I've not had a full blown panic attack in weeks. The anxiety is still great enough that even driving to Arizona, or anywhere too far from home, will be a challenge. There are several triggers for me, but the adrenalin tends to flow most often when I am on the road. The first 20 miles of riding to Santa Cruz last night required a lot of internal monologue to work through the anxiety before it went away for the night. And now, it's time for me to challenge myself with a drive much farther. Thankfully Nathan is as excited for another road trip as I am. We are veteran road trip companions. In fact, we've driven to Phoenix more than once together since getting our licenses. I must admit, I'm a little sad to be trailering the motorcycle home instead of riding it, but I am convincing myself that it's okay to take small steps with this recovery therapy/process. While I won't be ridding home, I will have the opportunity to challenge the anxiety that has been limiting me for months and practice some of the strategies I have learned to use. I'll also get in a brief visit with my Nina and Nino, hang out on a road trip with a very good friend, retrieve my motorcycle, finish the cross country trip by land, and enjoy an interesting weekend.

What about getting back to Santa Cruz this weekend? Nathan and I made a stop in Santa Cruz the first day of our cross country ride this summer and picked up Pacific Ocean water that we carried all the way to the east coast. That water was added to the Atlantic in Miami, Florida where I picked up Atlantic Ocean water and brought that back as far as Arizona. That water is still with the bike but will be in the Pacific Ocean by this Sunday in Santa Cruz, California. Whatever happens, the weekend will be another interesting adventure.

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