Archive for September 7th, 2017


I am not sure that I am stronger, but I was certainly feeling like the experience might kill me in the midst of it.

A friend had been posting pics and details of her bike trip in an fairytale, far-away land. She and her sweetie were peddling 30-100kms each day, so I thought,

“I think I should go for a bike ride.”

About fifteen years ago is when I last remember peddling a bike (other than a stationary one).

So, I bribed my son to go for a bike ride with me … to get ice cream (really just to be there if I needed help … not that I would).

For the first time in 15 years, with not as much as a yawn for a stretch, in thirty degree temperature, I boarded my bike (you really don’t forget how to bike), looking classy in my sunglasses inherited by my daughter.

It was great! The feel of the breeze in your face, the power in your leg muscles, the feeling of freedom …

ok … that lasted, maybe, five minutes!

Then … reality … the salty sweat pouring into my eyeballs, the huffing and puffing, the feeling that my lungs were parched from inhaling so much dry air, the numb feeling in my hands with the igniting of carpel tunnel syndrome, the BURN in my legs and the work I had to do just to (sort of) keep up to my son.

When we, finally, made it to the ice cream shop, I realized that it was not really bribery for my son, it was ALL for me!

I am pretty sure that I was visually entertaining for anyone in the shop, as sweat poured down my forehead (when pressed, water poured like a fountain from the pads in the helmet). Even those classy sunglasses couldn’t improve my appearance!

With every lick of the ice creamy relief, the voice in my head kept saying

“we are only half way … this is impossible”

Sure enough it was time to get back on that horse bike. Oh my goodness, that hurt. What are bike seat makers thinking? Are they cruel? sadistic? Seriously, bikes have been around long enough that that kind of pain should not be necessary!

Away we went, teenage son peddling leisurely peddling in front, with puffing and panting, sweat pouring off of her, (leaving a wet trail like crumbs in a forest) manic mom following behind … way behind.

I think my son was a little worried about me, because he kept looking back (probably expecting to see me laying down, tapping  S O S  on the road). He kept asking, “you ok?” (which was kinda getting on my last nerve).

So I responded in the only way I knew that would keep him from asking me questions (when I didn’t have enough oxygen to breath, let alone answer redundant questions) … I sang:

What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

Then we had hills ahead … up hills. I had been feeling the burn since … five minutes in. Now though was the biggest hill … a long forty-five degree hill. With each pedal I was certain that death was near.

My son stopped and offered to walk up with me. And that is when the monster inside, leapt from within. I stopped my bike, looked (through the fountain of sweat pouring over my eyes) at him, and said, in no uncertain terms, that I would NOT be walking my bike, because “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” AND I AM NOT DEAD (yet). I told him I would meet him at the top.

then I regretted every word, and wished I had had the strength to say what I really wanted to …

“please carry me”

Now, don’t you (reader) get so high and mighty … I pushed his massively big head out of my body and, as all mothers know, that means he owes me!

What seemed like tortuous hours later, I made it to the top.

He smiled … I did not … all energies were needed to get the rest of the way home!

I suggested he go ahead home, so that he wouldn’t have to wait for me … but to keep his phone nearby … in case the ambulance driver, who was surely in my near future, needed to reach him, to tell him what hospital or morgue in which to find me.

He peddled away, hesitantly.

The rest of the journey is a blur … because I couldn’t see through the waterfall of sweat in my eyes.

I reached home, crawled up the stairs (no, not literally, but my soul was crawling) to the front door, being held opened by my smiling son. I stumbled to the couch, where I dropped … without an ounce of grace.

I think that I resembled a dog who just had a bath, and feared that, if I shook, I would splatter sweat all over the house.

So, that is done.

And what did I learn?

Bike lanes are a brilliant addition to roads (I felt safe on them … except for the pending heart attack from the exercise). Bike seats are evil (and their makers are evil-er).

I am now in the market for biking shorts … with the most padding available!

I’ll get back on that horse bike, really soon (but not when it is thirty degrees out), cause what doesn’t kill you …


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