(Please note: I am a humorist by trade and this post does not in any way shape or form diss Tulsa Tough or the Divas -for the fans and riders out there- y’all are awesome and I admire you. Preferably from the sidewalk with a cold beer in one hand and a food cart dog in the other, but admire you all the same. )
Life after kids is a trip. Some of my adventures turn into great success – I swam with sharks, earned 30 college credit hours so far, and do comedy for a living(ish) – so there is that, while others are best left on the side of the road or under my bed like my team kit and forgotten.
Do you guys remember when I was into cycling? I traded in my walmart three speed built for Mom bike and purchased a Giant brand road bike. A pretty steep investment for a mom turned cycling enthusiast, but surely it would be worth it.
I became a voracious reader of all things cycling. I even watched races and tried to be interested. Man they are BORING! I rode the River Park trail (turning around at Turkey Mountain because, well Turkey Mountain) and I bravely captained a team for the Tour de Cure, not once but twice. I was certain THIS was going to be my sport. My thing. My avenue to fitness and badassary.
I was wrong.
Hyped up on the cure ride, I wanted more so I joined the Diva’s, bought a kit, had clips put on my pedals and set out to train for the Tulsa Tough. I did ask the guy who installed my clips if they were safe, and he assured me “why yes, my daughter got hit by a truck while in hers and she came right out of them.”
Good to know.
I read that the diva’s were going to start out with a fun 24 mile ride and I decided I needed to pre train before attempting to hang with such aspiring peeps. They said it was a “no drop” ride, but seriously, 10 miles was my personal best to date and most of it was on level ground at River Parks. — 24 “fun” miles with hills was going to take some work. I didn’t want to make an idiot out of myself my first day out so I pre-trained. That wasn’t necessary, but I did not know that at the time.
This was my downfall.
I excitedly put on my gear and hubs and I headed to the River. Team riders from all over nodded and waved in encouragement as we rode the trail. It was awesome. I mean when I rode in mom jeans I was ignored and passed with impunity. In a team kit, riders slowed down, made eye contact and gave me a thumbs up. I was visible and encouraged.
Drunk on their encouragement, I thought, hey lets try the trail with hills.
We were great. That is, until I got over heated and lost my lunch while cresting the hill at Sheridan Road.
Did you know that you cannot unclip and puke at the same time?
I reached a point of such desperation that I looked for a truck to crash into. Failing to find one, I simply crashed my bike into the bushes at the top of the hill and laid there, bruised and bleeding, clipped to my bike and puking until my husband realized I was no longer behind him and came back to get me. That’s romance right there. Okay not really, but he did promise for better or for worse.
Shortly after that I tripped on the beach and broke my ankle (walking even perplexes me some days) and spent 16 months in a boot and knee cart. I did eventually heal with orders to not run or do anything high impact because of the metal now holding my leg together, while disappointing, I’ve come to accept that.
I could have gone back to cycling. I could have taken it slower. I just chose not to. I don’t want to risk greater injury. Riding can actually be a very dangerous sport. Especially on the road. I’ll leave the sport of cycling to the athletes.
I do still ride my $2,000 bike today – trails only – lest hubs makes me sell it, for fun and for free now rather than for props from strangers and I like that. It works for me.
I’m learning that I don’t have to be all or nothing to enjoy an activity. I don’t have to train, I can just ride for the fun of it. I can lay down my competitive spirit and just enjoy the outdoors.
Life after kids isn’t all or nothing.
Day by day.
Live it peeps.