Tuesday, June 14, 2011

On Biking and Dating

Getting out of the comfort zone on a bike--"It's not courage if you're not scared"
The "scary" narrow trail ;-)
Aaaahhh the freedom and comfort of the wide road--time to experiment and learn about this biking thing.

DATING IS SO MUCH LIKE BIKING at least for me, at this time in my journey.

The comparison seems so clear in my head and in my heart, but I don’t know how effectively I can communicate the similarities.

I have wanted to become a mountain biker ever since I got addicted to indoor biking classes about 5 months ago. I bought the bike 3 months ago, but really only took it around the neighborhood until now.

I’ve been divorced for a while now. I didn’t even think about dating until 6 months ago when I started getting asked out at singles’ events. I went out a few times with a few decent guys who had never married. I decided I would probably wait ten years or so before dating again.

The bike, in my garage, had been calling to me as the weather improved. I started venturing out further and finally tried the Legacy Parkway with a friend. This straight stretch of paved trail protects the biker from traffic and offers decent scenery through west Davis County. You can bike side by side and visit except for the occasional times that you need to pass joggers. I started falling in love with biking and was ready to let rides become more frequent and more intense.

The dating hadn’t been calling to me, but as I attended more social events, I did have a desire to build friendships and find others who would like to run or bike with me and have singleness in common. Also, when co-workers or friends asked if I would meet their neighbor, relative, or friend I said, “Maybe or sure” instead of “not yet”. One thing I was sure of, I had my comfortable rules that I wanted to keep. I wanted to get to know people in group settings or fitness activities before venturing into typical dating situations.

Tonight I went to actually mountain bike in the hills outside of Park City. I found myself feeling a little uncertain about the incline of this big hill. It got so much worse though when I completely froze upon seeing the amount of people in my group and the narrow trail that we would use to get to the top. I pictured myself clumsily knocking over (because I'm still learning about this bike and gears in general). I saw a clear picture of me falling and causing a domino effect for the rest of my new biker friends.

I could not do it.

However, I did drive all the way to Park City and I wanted to bike.

So I did bike to the top--I just took the wide paved road instead. The climb was difficult, but I felt so secure on the wide road. This gave me a chance, on my own, to test out the gears and learn when to change them.

I still feel like I am not ready for real mountain biking but I’m going to try it again and again until I’m ready for the narrow trail in a line of bikers. Until then I will bike the wider trails and enjoy rides for myself. I’m still really excited about indoor biking and playing around in the outdoor scene--why rush it?

A couple of weeks ago I had a fitness activity scheduled with a nice guy. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t allow for our bike ride, so we went to eat instead. I found him so easy to talk with, however, I would have preferred talking with him from the safety of a bike side by side instead of having to look directly at him. You see, he smiled a lot and I liked it. Well, within a week, we had spent more time together in dating situations and I started freaking out. Did I like this guy? yep. Did I feel like I was excited about the idea of not dating a bunch of new people, but just sticking with a great guy? Absolutely.

I could not do it.

However I do know that I need to not be afraid of dating and I do want to eventually remarry--it's pretty important to date before getting married ;-)

I had to create more safety for myself. I let him know that I had issues and needed more time in between dates. He reacted strangely with the structure I was setting and it turned weird, but I wasn’t going to change how I felt about my safety and healing. He said he may call in a couple of months. I told him I wished the best for him, but when I hung up I felt amazingly relieved. It should have been harder to lose a new friend, but it needed to happen that way. I still feel like I’m not ready for real dating, but I’m going to try it again and again until I’m ready for a steady relationship. Until then, I will probably remain a bit guarded and I will never allow someone else to tell me how I should be healing more quickly or dating before I’m ready. I’m still really excited about being single--why rush it?


  1. Shantelle! Great blog! That was a fun bike ride Saturday evening. We should go on a bike riding marathon, like from say, Layton to Las Vegas. Your 'About Me' reminds me of a talk by Elder Christofferson. Especially the part where you said "Trials in life are evidence of our Father's confidence in us and show that He loves us enough to teach and strengthen us." I think the talk's called “As Many as I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten”. Like when he said, "Though it is often difficult to endure, truly we ought to rejoice that God considers us worth the time and trouble to correct."

  2. great post, shantelle! i hope both biking and dating get easier and easier :) i want to bike with you!!! :)

  3. I have done the dating thing where I jumped in too soon and I regretted it because it broke Hunter's heart. I also did the opposite where I said they weren't going to meet him until we had dated for a while but I guess I was going too slow for him. It is a learning process but I think you are handling it wonderfully. I have not given up the thought that I will find someone and won't just say no but I know I am not actively pursuing it because if it is meant to happen it will find a way and he will want to put forth the effort instead of me trying. You are a mom who is being cautious not just for you but for your babies too. You will find a happy medium and the guy that you find that understands that will appreciate you and it so much more.