Guest Post: Not Super, Just Mom (or, where I try not to cry when I think of being on the saddle hour after hour after hour)
Miranda, at Not Super-Just Mom undersells herself. Do you not read her? She’s a full-time parent, and full-time teacher talking about anything & everything. One day she’ll have you in tears . . . and the next, tears of laughter. Seriously, trying to balance work & parenthood? She’s got great tales. Trying to be a better blogger? She’ll guide you. Trying to lead a healthier lifestyle? She’s very honest about her own journey. My two cents on this entry . . . I’ve run two marathons. Each time, a marathon volunteer, wearing a number, passed me on a bicycle. If Miranda can do a bike loop in her car, I think I should be able to get credit for a marathon on a bike 🙂
Alright, so John is going to cycle across a state, right? That’s awesome.
I once participated in a bike race. A really big, important race that happens every year and brings about a suspension in open-container-on-the-sidewalk laws.
Except I was in my car.
A Corolla. In the Criterium.
I was 19 years old and after a relationship ended horribly, I decided one day to pack up and move. My best friend lived in the town I should’ve hit after I graduated high school and she needed a new roommate. She scoped out an apartment and called and said “Hey! I found a place!!” So I, because I had nothing better to do, hopped in my car and made the three hour drive to sign a lease on my new life.
There’s a bypass that goes around this town. People call it “the loop.” Except it doesn’t so much make a loop as it makes a U and at one point you actually have to get off “the loop” to get back on it again.
THAT IS NOT A LOOP, PEOPLE.
I had only been to this town twice before this moment, and I’d never driven there without someone else in the car. While I like to think I am generally good with directions I had no idea which end was up and the era of a Garmin in every dashboard had not yet dawned.
Hell, I didn’t even have a cell phone.
So when I got lost on “the loop,” which, based on its name alone is a feat one would think impossible, I was REALLY lost. And kind of frantic.
And then I saw a sign for a road I recognized. Broad Street.
YES! That street turned into another road and I knew I could get to her apartment if I could just get to Broad Street.
So I hopped off “the loop.”
I reached an intersection with one of those saw-horse looking barrier things blocking traffic from coming onto the street and I panicked. And then the car in front of me just went around the barrier and made an immediate right. So, I went around the barrier thinking…I don’t know what I was thinking.
I quickly realized that I could not turn left (onto what might as well have been the yellow brick road for all the importance it held for me at that moment) so I went straight.
Why straight? No idea. I knew it was the wrong way. But I knew that going right was an even more wrong way. So, straight it was.
Then I noticed a few people on the sidewalks kind of looking at me and pointing.
And then it happened.
No—not that. No one was harmed in the making of this story.
I began to cry.
I had no idea what I was doing thinking moving to this new place was a good idea. I had no idea where I was going. I had no idea how to get anywhere. I’d missed turns and I was now an hour and a half later than I should’ve been in getting to her house. I had no phone. I was alone. I was scared. I was stressed. And I am a woman. And a crier at that.
So I began to cry.
And then I saw the cop waving at me as I approached the next intersection.
Slowly, sure I was going to jail, I stopped and rolled down my window.
“You can’t be here! This is a closed course! How did you even get here anyway!? Didn’t you see the barricade!?”
Then he realized that I was crying and got the Man-Ic.
(You know what that is, right? The man-panic that happens when men witness women crying and their synapses fire on all cylinders to Please.God.Make.It.Stop.Now.What.Do.I.Do.Make.It.Stop!)
He softened a bit once he realized I was doing the ugly cry.
I managed to sniffle out that I just needed to get to Broad Street and he managed to give me directions I could follow that would keep me out of the rest of the race.
I managed to find my friend, sign a lease, and come to think of that town as my home.
But I never really developed a liking for the Criterium.
(John, enjoy your…uh…race? Is it a race? Enjoy that thing with the bicycles and the state and the beer.)