Last Updated on November 12, 2014 by Heather Hart, ACSM EP
In what feels like a past life, I thought it would be a good idea to try and become a triathlete. Fascinatingly enough, a national age group triathlon team thought it would be a good idea to invite me to join their team, in hopes that I truly would become that aspiring triathlete. Bless their hearts. (That’s Southern for “what were you thinking?”). No, truly, I WAS honored, and still feel honored that they took a chance on me.
Turns out all of the swim practice in the world doesn’t stop me from thrashing around like a cat in the water, and riding my bike on the road both bores and slightly terrifies me. I certainly can’t say that I didn’t try. I’ve raced triathlons in pools, the ocean, a goose pond so murky I couldn’t see my finger tips, and even an alligator filled watering hole. And at the end of each race, I’ve thought “maybe I could do this after all” …only to be reminded days later that I still loathed swimming laps in the pool. Oh how I wanted so badly to feel the joy of crossing a 140.6 mile finish line! To be able to talk about bike maintenance and lap splits with my fellow triathletes! But the actual excitement never came, no matter how hard I tried. Eventually, I threw in the proverbial transition towel. Life is too short to force yourself into hobbies you don’t really enjoy, and there is no sense forcing it when there are so many other fun things to do.
As a memento of the “triathlete that almost was”, I have this really kickass bicycle, that is quite honestly more bicycle than I need or deserve. When I met Geoffrey 2.5 years ago, he was a pretty diehard cyclist. For his sake, I tried, I truly tried, to like riding my bike again. It didn’t work, and instead I successfully converted him to a mountain runner and obstacle course racer instead. (insert evil laugh here) And so, over the last 2 years I’ve tried, OH how I’ve tried, to get rid of this Kestrel so I can replace it with a mountain bike instead. Because despite my strong disdain for road cycling, I adore mountain biking.
But like a bad penny, the tri bike won’t go away. I’ve had countless people email me from Craigslist, a number of friends express interest, but it always falls through. It’s almost like that beautiful red bike is supposed to be mine.
Yesterday I missed my window of opportunity to run. I’m still uncomfortable with strength training due to the hernia. Obviously burpees and all of the other crazy nonsense I typically do to train are also currently not an option. So I thought to myself, “Here’s an idea Heather, get on your bike”. Now, I haven’t physically laid eyes on my bicycle in months. This thought that I should get ON it came so far out of the blue that it shocked me, so I figured I’d should go with it. Of course, this was no easy task, because as previously mentioned (more like I’ve beat this horse to death), the bike and I don’t really get along. But I was determined to make it happen.
Step one: Ask Geoff to dig my bike out of the basement.
Step two: Clean spider webs and other mystery “Vermont dirt floor basement” funk off of trainer.
Step three: Ask Geoff to inflate the now completely flat tires. When he asks me to come watch so you know how to do it next time, respond “oh I know how to fill them, I just wanted you to do it.”
Step four: Inflate tires by myself.
Step five: Set up shop in the spare bedroom. Fight with magnetic trainer, try and remember exactly how this contraption works. Realize the quick release on the back wheel doesn’t fit into trainer. Ask Geoff what to do about that.
Step six: Return to basement, find rogue wheel from one of Geoff’s many bikes, bring it upstairs.
Step seven: Yell to Geoff “by the way, I have no idea how to change this quick release thingy!” Watch patiently as he stops doing dishes to come over and change it for me.
Step eight: Change into appropriate attire. Opt for the super padded shorts over tri-shorts, since my butt hasn’t been in a saddle in a long time. Grumble about how cycling shorts feel like diapers, and just MUST be the most unflattering piece of athletic attire ever made. EVER.
Step nine: Remember that I need my cycling shoes for this indoor adventure. Return to basement yet again, dig around in plastic totes until I find some shoes that might resemble my road shoes. Ask Geoff if these are indeed my shoes, because it’s been so long since I’ve seen them, that I forgot what they look like.
Step ten: Instagram the whole situation, because that’s what I do.
Step eleven: Get on bike.
Step twelve: Put on a spin class playlist, remember you used to at least enjoy teaching that, and ride.
As I spun away in the comfort of our guest room, I went through a full range of emotions from
- I forgot how hard this is.
- Why do people like this?
- Maybe I kind of like it.
- Maybe I should do this triathlon thing after all.
- No. Stop. Swimming. Big trucks. Teenagers on cell phones. People who simply hate life. NO!
- Is there no cure for this endurance addiction madness?
- Has it really only been 12 minutes?
And so on. To be honest with you, there really is no point to this blog post. No life changing moral to the story. I just wanted to let my friends who accuse me of bicycle neglect (specifically Jen and Greg S.) know: the kestrel got in some miles. Sort of. And I’ll do it again next week. Maybe.
And that concludes today’s edition of “Heather’s Rambling”.
Are there any sports or activities you’ve wanted so badly to enjoy, but just couldn’t?