October 4, 2013

The Church of My Motorcycle

SASHday is tomorrow.

SASHday is my official title for my birthday. I'll be 48 years old. I've never been happier. But happy is such a relative term.

We arrived in San Diego a couple of days ago after the longest single-day ride of our Road Pickle adventure: 355 miles in one day. For me, that's beyond a marathon. I usually top out at 250. Once I rode 300, but that was a push. This ride was bone-breaking, mostly because of my Fibromyalgia. Some days our tougher than others and this was one of them.

The push to go so far on the last day was my idea. I told Highway I could do it; not sure what I was thinking. But today I am finding bruises popping up here and there, the result of overly sore muscles filling with fluid, swelling, bursting blood vessels and leaving me incredibly sore. I truly feel like I've been beat up on days like this. But I'm not complaining, just explaining. Because it's really all fine.

"Most riders would tell you that anytime one can ride is a good day," Highway told me once.

I think about that quote often and try to appreciate the amazing opportunity I have to ride as often as I do. We've traveled over 15,000 miles in the past 6 months, stayed in over 30 cities, met people who have changed our lives, and find ourselves hungering for more. But for now a hiatus is in order to rest up my weary body. I'm still riding daily, in spite of the pain, just not as far.

I mentioned I'm happy. The truth is I am. But I'm filled with many emotions throughout a day. To expect to always be happy is like expecting the sun to always shine. To hope for joy and hope for no sorrow is unrealistic. There is no Ying without Yang. There is no day without night. How could one appreciate the stillness if there were no wind? So to wish for continuous happiness is unrealistic and truly unappreciative.

I'm pleased with my life, even though I know I have more to do. I have found a level of serenity in all things; the rain, the sun, the pain, the pleasure. I understand that the road can have gravel, and the road can be smooth. There will be days of open lanes and days of traffic. There will be twisties to careen through and there will be long interstates to traverse. I'm fine with it all. I'm done trying to push the river and willing to be pleased with what life offers.

My goal is to be a leaf on the river, to accept what comes with grace and appreciation. I have so far to go, but I'm feeling pleased with my understanding. This understanding has come as a result of riding many miles on the church of my motorcycle. I am such a lucky woman today, in so many ways, and I am filled with gratitude.

This SASHday I wish you all happiness and I hope that I can inspire you to ride far, look within, enjoy what comes and give someone a kiss today. Thank you for reading the silly ramblings of a writer, a rider, a poet and a woman on a journey.

Happy SASHday!


  1. Tina:

    Have a very Happy Sashday. I'll be thinking of you. Can't believe it's been 6 months already. Get some rest and heal up. Eat lots of cake, they are all "low Cal"


    Riding the Wet Coast

    1. Beverly,

      I have a few creams I try, some are herbal, some are over the counter and some are prescription. They help with neck, shoulder, arm and hand pain. I stretch as often as I can for numbness. Heat helps with numbness too. Cardio helps with circulation. Flax Oil pills help with swelling, as do cold packs. I also take muscle relaxers and non-narcotic pain meds, as well as Excedrine Migraine.
      Eating whole, natural foods helps too, as well as avoiding soda, preservatives, processed, canned or packaged foods. Clean eating has reduced my pain.
      Fibro can be managed. Be determined to address your body's needs as they arise. But do not give into pain. If it hurts I still do it. I may cry, but I won't quit. I've come to terms with realizing I'm going to be in pain whether I ride or sit at home. I push to ride. Pain comes and goes and sometimes it hurts less after I get moving. Just keep pushing and KNOW it might hurt but it won't kill you.

  2. I'm touched by your story. Thanks for sharing all that. How do you deal with you Fibro? I get times when I'd love to ride more but the fibro stuff stops me....

  3. happy SashDay you desrve to rest. i am so always looking forward to hearing from you. Hugs to you on Sashday beautiful.

  4. Glad you guys are back and well. A big and wonderful Birthday is my wish and may you have many more in the company of Highway, aka, Steve :-)
    Well written, keep riding and having fun, that's all life is about.

  5. enjoying your words of worldly wisdom, funny how setting a bike and rolling for miles evokes those moments of clarity. Thank you for sharing that here

  6. enjoy your sharing of worldly wisdom found on your journey. Funny how setting a bike and rolling for miles will evoke the moments of clarity. Ride on, write on and thanks for posting these illuminatons...peace, resa

  7. If you can arrive at a point where you've accepted yourself as a leaf on the river, then perhaps this is the first birthday of your new life. Happy Sashday! Love, Highway.

  8. Happy (belated) SASHday!! I hope you did something special.

    Love the picture of you with this post. You seem to have a twinkle in your eyes.

    Good for you for being able to ride as far as you did. I hope it doesn't take too long to recover.

  9. Sash, sorry I'm late in wishing you a Happy Sashday...I hope it was a good one. I haven't been on much lately but do get a kick out of following you and Highway. It sounds like you had a wonderful adventure...and you're now on to Part 2.

    I hope to meet you guys one day. Until then, continue to live life to the fullest! ~Curt

  10. Sorry to have missed SASHday, but know it had to be sweet. Very happy that phase 1 of Road Pickle was safely completed. Almost sorry about Katie Scarlet not making it back to Cali, but that riding position had to add to the discomfort on the first half of the journey.

    Rest up Sash, the road will be calling soon and I look forward to following along.


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