Caught this reflection of myself after a humbling ride with an experienced group of riders. The course was ok at first and they weren't even trying hard. I felt a lot of nervous energy riding with strong riders and people I didn't know. One gentleman leads the beginners group ride. At around 8 miles, the road turns up sharply. and for some reason, my body just couldn't handle it. My heart and muscles were straining and I just had to struggle slowly as best as I could. I wouldn't say I bonked after such a short distance, but the hill in spots was 12 percent and then 5 percent and not very short. My body just shut down. One of the riders doubled back to check on me and they waited for me. The down hill was super fast and I approached 43 miles an hour. But regardless, I just couldn't recover from blowing out on the hills. It not only hurt to not be able to pick it up and shake it off, but I just couldn't ride even at the fast rate that I know I am able to maintain on a flat. I told them not to worry about me and I had to just let them go. It was a good lesson in humility, but also an eye opener to how stressed my body and emotions have been. The blood pressure medicine has affected my abilities, but that isn't all. I am over weight, and my bad cholesterol is a little too high. I can't seem to lose weight. So I turned around and used my Garmin to get me home. I climbed back up the hill, and if I needed to stop, I did and drank water. The wind was pretty strong in addition to the hills. My body started to recover at about 14 miles and I just went my own pace and slowly started to feel myself again. So, I decided to turn a negative and a smashed ego into a positive and see it as a goal to improve upon. I need to eat better, rest better, and work on my weight and climbing skills. My basic endurance is ok, but I need to work on strength and speed to keep up with the experienced group. Today was a disappointment, but I am resolved to do better. I thought about the book, "Heft on Wheels" and how he rode with the fast group regardless and kept at it. He eventually got to where he was able to climb and stay with the strong riders.