Today, I don’t want to ride my bike. I want to keep hiding in my garden where the only external feedback comes from a few dead kale plants. Where am I? Seriously. Where is the woman who used to rush with excitement from one activity to the next? The one who used to plan long miles and adventures while also grading papers, cooking dinner, mentoring students, listening to friends, training at an elite level, and trying so hard to do it all? I never thought I would say this, but I miss her. I haven’t seen her since November. October maybe.
The one class I’m teaching right now is an insult I keep getting stuck on: you worked your ass off for the English Department this last year, but we didn’t choose you. We still need you, though, so we’ll rehire you as temp for less pay. The class is a metaphor, actually. For bike racing, relationships, work.
A night ride is in order. Alone, out the backdoor, somewhere on the southern tip of the Colorado Plateau where the more-exciting-then-spooky thought of a nearby mountain line will snap my brain into focus. Where the thrill of flying down dirt roads in the dark will remind me to be grateful for my dog, my bed, the friends who’ve checked in on me, my bike, and even the garden where I keep hiding out.
If I want the Arizona Trail Race in October, I have to do two things:
1) take a break from calling Arizona’s dead end unemployment call center, looking at job postings, worrying about details, and crying on the floor (always, all of these things, with my dog perched on my bed, looking down at me, asking for a snuggle)
2) then, I have to walk past the tomato plants, the kale, the broccoli and take my bike out of the shed