What do you think of yourself?

Susan Shashok | Vermont Gran Fondo

 This is me, soaking wet about 10 minutes after I knew I would DNF (Do Not Finish) the Vermont Gran Fondo bike event a few years back. 
 What was I thinking? I had worked so hard to train for this event and Caroline's Dream was one of the sponsors. 
Torrential rains had washed out many routes and closed all but one road off the mountain back to the finish line. I was riding the short (34 mile) route and lots of super fit riders were passing me as I struggled up my last few hills. I couldn't see out my foggy glasses and my brakes had seized up. I had to walk up the last steep grade.
When the support van pulled up and asked if I wanted a ride, I was thrilled. I sat in the back with two other drenched + muddy women and quietly ate the cookie treat I was saving for after I came off the mountain. I was shaking from the cold and the other women and the support crew helped get my head back on after swimming in my own misery on that last hill.
They dropped me off at a refueling station where my husband found me and snapped this picture. I got a ride off the mountain and to the finish line. I had fun at the after party and put any hesitation of my quitting the event to rest when I saw how many other much better cyclists had also hitched rides to the end. so many DNF's!

 I did my best and this picture has become one of my favorites. I was still smiling and never so excited to sit in a warm, dry car.