Day 5: sometimes the struggle bus is a bike

I have never been the slightest bit athletic. I have minimal physical intelligence– if you do a dance move or explain a frisbee play to me, I can’t do it with my body– and I have no natural speed, coordination, or endurance. Yet if you ask my friends, many will tell you that I’m super athletic. What gives?

The answer is that I’m not athletic, I’m moderately active. But in a society in which most are too busy or unwilling to move their bodies at all, moderate activity gets read as active, and since none of my friends work out with me, no one can see how shit I am at it all. After all, the worst run/bike ride/swimming session is 100% better than the one that doesn’t happen. 

I, in turn, love working out alone because it solved my problem of always being worse than everyone else. Without company, I have no one to compare myself to so not only am I not the worst at everything, I’m the best. Unfortunately, this is how I did the vast majority of my training. 

I biked my 500 training miles over 4 months, alone, in LA, capital of perfect weather, without a bike computer telling me my pace. In other words, as hard as it was, a bubble of coddling conditions. But now the shit is hitting the fan and by fan I mean wow I wish there were a fan because it was in the 80s today. I just biked at the pace I biked at and figured that was biking pace. Turns out I was biking like a turtle trying to churn molasses into butter. Now I gotta keep pace with normal humans. 

What I’m saying is that today was hard and I felt super down on myself for how absurdly hard my thighs and lungs had to work to go so slow that my biking companions had to keep from wobbling to keep down with me. I felt as if I developed asthma on the road. I’m worried that it was irresponsible for me to attempt this, that of course I can’t bike all these hot, fast miles. If what you say when you’re bonking on the side of the road holds the truth, what I said, surprising myself was: “I shouldn’t have done this, I just wanted to leave New York.” So there’s that barely hidden, real motivation. 

Eventually Jack and Sarah came to get me with the van. I felt sad about my failure and scared for how I can possibly do the rest of all this and was quiet for hours, so much that several people commented to me. 

Amazingly our shower location had a pool so I swam some laps, after I showered since that was the order in which I found each body of water. 

Dinner was a multi church picnic with many versions of the same several dishes: coleslaw, baked beans, macaroni and cheese. Luke charmed the faces off all the old ladies. Meanwhile I talked with a man who introduced himself to the guys I was with but not to me, introduced a male friend but not his own wife or any other woman in the circle, and looked at Lucas while answering my question. Then he called me ma’am AND HE LOOKED AT ME THEN. 

Our host gave some of us a tour of the chapel, built in 1897. By the time I got out (Roy and I stayed for extra credit Catholicism questions), Lucas had set up my bike computer. 

Went to a bar (where they allowed smoking inside!) for about half an hour to talk biking strategy for tomorrow with Jack. Alessandra bought us all Jell-O shots. Came back and continued the chat with Sarah J. and Hilary. I’ve been turning to athletic shirts for inspiration lately, so I’m gonna say here that a dream is just a dream. A goal is a dream with a plan and a deadline.

Bed. Crushdog tomorrow???? 



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