I am Not Tulsa Tough

Just a Diva(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?

Me either.

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.

It’s life.

Day by day.

Live it peeps.

What does it mean to fight like a girl?

I’m slow to this party. This video already has over 20M hits and I can see why. When did “like a girl” become an insult? I think this is totally worth watching…

I want to show it to the Tulsa Diva’s and every woman I know. WOW

I really did have a screw loose

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“Born an American, Saved by God’s Grace, Rebuilt by IKEA” – Mark Cosgrove

It’s officially two weeks post op and I’m off pain meds, which means I get to write again. Yay!  Some people have asked me what exactly they did and why I’m out for the cycling season. This X-Ray shows it all pretty well.

What has really surprised me his how relatively pain-free I am in comparison to last time. I really think a lot of that is due to the fact that doc stabilized my tibia. I have two plates now instead of one. I have one in front and one on the side. There are 7 or 8 screws holding them in place. The fuzzy part in the middle is my hip bone. This part needs to stop being fuzzy and make nice with the rest of my leg before I can walk.

If all goes well, I won’t need the ankle replacement. That is my goal.

I just had a really crooked tibia that rubbed on my talus and made my ankle hurt. Our docs down here are awesome and some of the most creative orthopedic surgeons I know.

I’m still out for the season no matter how you slice and dice this.  In the mean time, I’m rockin the banjo and making the most of my down time.

The Tulsa Tough Diva’s are Back!

divas2Most of you dear readers remember my past stories and adventures while I ventured out into cycling back in 2011. I remember the thrill of doing my own research, going to Tom’s on Peoria and buying my very first street bike. My husband liked my bike so much he bought one as well. Personally, I think it’s because he was jealous that my new bike was faster than his.

Then I  did the Tulsa Tour de Cure on my own for the first time in 2012. I had so much fun I captained my own team in 2013.  Then my husband and I got our own dirt bikes, because you know dirt bikes are fun.

I even lamented on occasion about how I only know male cyclists (including my GYN and yes I posted snarky jokes about that. Hopefully he does not know this blog exists.), how even on the web there just weren’t that many women cyclist bloggers, and if I read one more story about man-scaping I was going to barf.

Well, things have changed.

Say hello to the Tulsa Diva’s.

I remember writing about how thrilled I was last year when the Tulsa Diva team started and how I was going to ride with them as soon as I got back from Nashville, only I didn’t because I fell and hurt my leg. Well, that and I totally wussed out because I was afraid I couldn’t keep up and that my leg would give out again. I totally regret that because they treat newbies like me so well and now, at least for this year, I’m not allowed to ride. — My tibia is in three pieces and I’m still working towards getting a full ankle replacement. I’m down for the whole 2014 season. I missed out.

Don’t be me.

There are a lot of great things to be had with the Tulsa Diva’s.

  1. Support – these women do a great job in including and encouraging riders. They have a Facebook group where they post up coming rides, tips and encouragement.
  2. Knowledge –– You don’t know anything about cycling? Great! Tulsa Diva’s host clinics for everyone on all aspects of riding. How to fix a bike, being properly fitted, rules of the road, how to ride with a group, mastering the three sisters,  racing and so much more.
  3. Fellowship — It’s not just the group rides. Everyone is included and invited to post ride fellowship, parties, and other events. Great friendships have already been built because of the Tulsa Diva’s. I’ve even made friends with a few on Facebook that I am looking forward to getting to know in real life.
  4. Events — the Tulsa Diva’s do more than just Tulsa Tough and weekly training rides. Throughout the year they participate in numerous rides like Tour de Cure, MS-150, Gran Frodos, biathlons, marathons, triathlons, CAT Races and whatever else they can come up with. When you sign up for any kind of cycling event or whatnot, you know you are not alone. There is a Diva Sister there with you for fun, encouragement, and support.

Women Cycling in Tulsa! Can you believe it?

Even though I haven’t made it to a group ride, these women (and the guys who help run it) have been wonderfully encouraging, passing on information, and giving me ideas on how I can still train while my leg heals. (Like swimming).

Oh, and their kits are awesome.

Check them out at TULSA  DIVAS

You can bet come next Spring, I WILL be riding with them. Hope you’ll join me.

Better yet, join now. You won’t regret it.

Music Monday: Don’t You Forget About Me, Simple Minds

Do you know what scares me the most? Being forgotten.

My leg is broken. My ankle is shot. It will be over a year before I am well enough to perform again.  It’ll be 2015 before I’ll be allowed to ride with the Tulsa Diva’s.

All proof that I ever did comedy is in a video camera that was stolen last summer. I keep my Facebook page alive simply because I don’t want to be forgotten. I’m not alone.

Most authors, comics, actors,athletes,  hope for just some small piece of immortality. We want to know we make a difference. That we matter. This song is for us.

 

Two Wheel Tuesday: Got my Trainer on and no it’s not a bra.

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Why is my road bike in my living room?

Because I can only watch so many episodes of Ally McBeal on Netflix before wondering if the writers had access to my psych files. Granted, I feel saner after watching that show.

Because my fingers can only practice banjo and guitar so many times before freezing up.

Because no amount of internal body heat caused by menopause or kitschy cycling gear can combat the polar vortex when it arrives.

Because my attitude over the things I still cannot do has gotten so bad, my family is thinking of putting me out of their misery.

AND

Because I deserve to do the best I can to take care of me.

I have choices. I can either lament the fact that I’m not allowed to ride in the street yet, or I can set up my trainer (with permission) and get moving.

My leg is still broken (or is sticky as doc calls it) and even though I’m now allowed to walk if I use my boot and walker, I still cannot go outside or drive or do a whole lot really and when I’m being honest, I get frustrated.

It’s really starting to feel like every time I turn around I bump into something else I still can’t do yet.

This might not seem like a lot to other folks, but it’s making the world of difference to me.

I haven’t been able to walk for three months. My legs are toast. Group rides are presently out of the question as is riding on the street or trails for now. Most of my riding friends set up trainers only as a last resort. Tulsa winters are usually mild enough to ride. I’d ride too but, I’m not allowed to join them until my leg is 100% healed. That is going to take a few more months.

The issue for me isn’t so much physical as it is mental. I knew going in this road of recovery would be a while. I knew there would be physical demands and I was fully prepared to face them. What I didn’t expect to face is the mental aspect of it all. This recovery has been a huge challenge for me emotionally. I’m not used to having to rely on other people to do things for me, I’m used to doing them myself.

I needed to find something I CAN do.

Setting up my trainer is the perfect way for me to get over feeling a bit defeated and frustrated by how long it’s taking my leg to heal. It keeps my mind busy and it will strengthen my legs at the same time.

Not a bad deal if you ask me.

 

A Subversive Revolution

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This is my last resolve quote. I’ve sat on it for quite a long time. I looked up subversive and it doesn’t sound like a nice person at all. It sound’s rebellious. I’m not rebellious. (okay so that’s a total lie.) And then I remembered, I said “tits” on a Facebook Post and I’m a Christian. That’s pretty subversive if you ask me. Granted it was totally in context of the point I was trying to make even if it is shocking.

I’ve sat here at my desk for well over a week trying to come up with my end of year blog. Every year I take inventory of my life. I write what went well, what didn’t and ponder where I want to go next year. Something ate at me though.

All I saw for days was what I didn’t do in 2013. 

I didn’t ride with the Tulsa Diva’s like I said I would.

I didn’t walk the Rt 66 Marathon or run in a 5K

and I still stink at banjo. I didn’t practice enough so I have no one to blame but myself.

Now the fact that I had a physical limitation that took most of that off the table did not matter to me, all I could see was I failed my physical goals for the year. I couldn’t see my successes at all.

You know what?

As I wrap up 2013, I’ve decided that the most subversive thing I can do, for today, is to tell my broken brain to shut the heck up and start agreeing with God that I am who He says I am. I’ll admit that I do sometimes struggle with that.

2013 rocked!

I began 2013 with one word on my mind, Resolve. Every week I’d look up quotes that spoke to me and focus on them. It’s interesting to me to see the theme now.

  • Dare to be powerful.
  • Be my own best friend.
  • Get outdoors.
  • Free myself from criticism, fear, negative self-talk, and discouragement.
  • Push myself to my limits
  • challenge myself
  • be fabulous
  • don’t give up
  • trust my courage.
  • Remember who you are.

Wow, what a list. I did all that. While it’s true I didn’t do it all perfectly every day, I did do it to the best of my abilities. That’s an accomplishment. I also allowed myself to go on a four day vacation with some friends – only the second time I’ve ever done that in my life. That’s pretty cool.

  1. I gave up my IPhone in order to reconnect with real people face to face instead of online.
  2. I got a ton of stage time performing locally. While it was exhausting, it was fun.
  3. I met some personal heroes like Anne Lammot, Mark Lowry and Jennifer Rothschild (we sat next to each other on a plane. It was awesome)
  4. My humor piece about never having met Mark before is the most shared story of the year. He’s read it, I’m embarrassed, but I am allowing myself to admit it is funny and besides now that I’ve met him I’m a little less embarrassed that he read it. oh and thank you thank you thank you for that! You guys are awesome.
  5. I drove 15 hours by myself to podunk Indiana to compete in a clean comedy challenge next to comics who’ve been doing this for years and in front of national celebrities — AND I allowed myself to be critiqued by them. HOLY CANOLLIES — that woman – the one brave enough to do that did not exist five years ago — I’m just saying – we’re talking full on miracle here.
  6. I graduated from Thelma Well’s Daughters of Zion mentoring program and was awarded 30 college credit hours from the seminary she teaches at in Indiana. How cool is that?

Why do I get the feeling that I’ve spent 2013 being subversive and revolutionary and I didn’t even realize it?

I’m presently in a boot, recovering from surgery on my tibia. One of my goals for 2014 will involve physical therapy and learning how to walk again. Beyond that though, I’m still stuck. I don’t have my word or a scripture verse. Somehow, I’m okay with that.

Maybe all I need to do in 2014 is show up and leave the rest up to God.

What do you think?