This post actually doesn’t have much to do with me having Shingles (I feel like I should capitalize it out of respect, it was so great and hideous) except that for the three weeks since this thing felled me like a tree, That song’s been kicking around in the back of my head as the funniest and most persistent earworm, and I hope to pass it on to you so I can be rid of it. (It hasn’t worked so far.)
I take that back – this post does have something to do with Shingles… it certainly doesn’t have much to do with the sweater I’m knitting that still isn’t finished…though I’m on sleeve island, so not too much longer.
That knitting on this sweater is seen here perched at the top of my knitting bag, where despite going most places with me, it’s still not done. Mostly, I haven’t been going anywhere except to the hospital to see my Mother-in-Law, and mandatory Bike Rally meetings – oh yes, I can feel your envy from here, so exciting is my life. Here. Look at a flower from my garden. It will perk things up a bit.
That’s a Snakeshead Fritilaria. It’s the most interesting thing in my garden right now.
What’s more interesting about the last several weeks isn’t what I’ve been doing. It’s what I haven’t been doing – and that’s training for the Rally, fundraising for the Rally, essentially doing anything for the Rally that doesn’t make it amazing for the other cyclists and crew. (Did I mention that I took an expanded role with the Rally this year? I took all leave of my senses and took on the role of Co-Chair, which is a great honour and a big responsibility and absolutely an indication of how I feel about this cause and the organizing for that has been sort of a lot and I was thinking… wait… What was I saying?) Nevermind. What I’m trying to say is that between all of that and the completed or attempted edits to my family… No Bike.
Training rides begin at around 30km, and work their way up to 130km. (That’s about 80 miles, for my American friends.) One of the most beautiful things about the Rally is that it is totally doable by an ordinary person. If that person shows up for at least one training ride per weekend (and the occasional two in a row close to departure) then they are going to survive the Rally. It’s a challenge for everyone who does it, but for those of us less gazelle-like than your average long distance cyclist (let’s say you were a slightly dumpy knitter a few weeks shy of her 50th birthday) you have to get married to that training.
Here’s the part where I tell you the scary thing. The training and I have not been married. We’ve actually been legally separated, first because I was in Port Ludlow. (Fair. Everyone has a job.) Then I missed one because of Elliot’s first birthday. (Again, legal excuse.) Then I was at the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival, then the very next day I gave myself a stern talking to about how now that I was done all the travel I had to get really serious, and the very next day Carol had a stroke. Shortly after that I got the accursed Shingles, and if I were going to be explicit about where I got them and the interaction between Shingles and a pair of bicycle shorts you would totally understand why there was zero chance I could get on a bike, and then just as I have started to feel better, Carol had open heart surgery and (she’s recovering so beautifully, thank you) and now… oh man. I’m getting so stressed out. Here’s another flower.
(That’s a Trillium under my tree. Do you know I used to think there were white and pink varieties? Turns out they’re the same one. They start white, and change as they age. Who knew?)
Now the training ride lengths are already up to 70km and I am freaking out. It seems like a very difficult place to start – and I haven’t properly started fundraising or doing Karmic Balancing Gifts and there are still some in my inbox from last year when my Mum died and I felt like it was all to much to finish and instead of doing what I have been thinking about doing all day, which is breathe really shallowly while I freak out and wonder if I ever make any good choices… I am going to do something else.
I am going to start fresh. I am just going to start. On Sunday morning I have to leave for Montreal with my Co-Chair and a few other planners, to make sure the route is good and make some arrangements. That means the Sunday ride is out, and so tomorrow it is. It’s going to be 70km. I am going to ride it, and it is going to be okay. I don’t think it can kill me. I think the worst thing it can be is really, really hard, and that’s okay. Considering my life since my Mum died last year, I am absolutely specializing in really hard stuff. We’ll just have to hope I’m getting good at it. When I come home, I’m going to get a post up about fundraising and Karmic Balancing gifts, and in the meantime, please feel free to give Team Knit a boost. This year our mighty family contingent is:
The guys aren’t riding tomorrow – I think they’ll all be on their bikes on Sunday, so tomorrow I’m braving it alone. I’m going to turn the page, start fresh and boldly go. It’s going to be okay. Right?