Saturday, August 16, 2014

the one where i'm an athlete

This might come across as shocking, but I've never really considered myself an athlete. I know, I know, my physique would have you guessing otherwise. But in reality, something just never really clicked when it came to speed, strength, or simple coordination.

I mean, I was sort of a badass in rec league softball. But really, I just learned to hit the ball really far so that I wouldn't have to run as fast. And there was that time that my friend Sarah and I took up rollerblading during the summer between middle school and junior high, and I ended up bouncing off the curb because I didn't know how to stop going downhill. And I tried jogging, but I just ended up with sore lungs and spitting a lot.

So why I thought purchasing a bike was a good idea, I DON'T KNOW. I JUST DON'T KNOW, okay? I'm just going to blame the boyfriend, because it seems like the best answer. But I did. I bought a '69 Schwinn Collegiate off of Craigslist, and it really is a thing of beauty. Bells, lights...it's pretty. And let's be honest, I prefer form over function.

Anyway, this bike. I'm not sure what sort of devil possessed me, but I thought it was BRILLIANT to ride our bikes from my house to the local brewery. No biggie, right? Except the brewery is closed on Mondays, and that was fairly disheartening. The boyfriend suggested that we ride our bikes to Dickson street for dinner instead, and because I AM A PLEASER, I cheerfully agreed. Even after he mentioned that "there's this one hill...", I was still 100% on board.

BECAUSE I AM A CYCLIST WITH A BIKE THAT HAS A BELL AND A LIGHT, DAMNIT.

And so we set off on the bike trail, and it was really quite lovely. After we had gone up a moderately inclined, s-curved hill, I remarked that "that one hill..." was a piece of cake! I was so proud of myself, because here I was, Wendy Alexander: Total Athlete. The boyfriend sort of shook his head at me, and pointed up.

Before me was the steepest hill I have ever seen. Do you know that show, Ninja Warrior? Where at the end there's this IMPOSSIBLE warped wall that they're just expected to scale, no issue? Make it steeper and then add a bicycle.

The boyfriend started to gain speed so he could get up the hill, and I started behind him. Except that despite my furious pedaling, I was not moving an inch. And I'm not trying to be all figurative, here. I mean I literally didn't move an inch. I did what any self-respecting person would do, and got off my bike and walked it up the steepest hill on earth.

After meeting back up with him, the rest of the ride was pretty uneventful. It was downhill, which felt like the ice cream you get after bringing home a report card full of As. When we reached our destination, the boyfriend casually asked "So...you how long has your bike been in the highest gear?"