I can tell you that I was NOT looking forward to the New Year last year. I wrapped up the year unhappy and uncertain. I can tell you this year is different. I am not the type of person who makes NewYears resolutions. If there are changes I need to make in life, I do not need a lunar calendar to mark them or list them out for the fridge. 2009 was full of plenty of accomplishments and failures that could not have been put on a simple check list. But here is a brief recap:
- I have four words for you that I need you to repeat to yourself if you ever see me…NO MORE SHORT HAIR. Early in the year, I went and chopped off my hair and I mean CHOPPED IT OFF (about 7 inches). Now, most girls cut their hair off because of a boy or some horrible break-up….I was more curious to see what it would be like really short. Well, now I know and one year later, it is still not quite as long as I would like. Special notes to my close friends, if I EVER mention cutting my hair short again, you are to tackle me to the ground and beat me over the head until I change my mind. If that is too drastic just remind me how FAT my face looks and that should snap me back to reality real quick.
- The year not only started off with bad hair days but also HORRIBLE weather. First we got snow, and I mean a lot of snow (the kind that people from Chicago talk about) but then the beautiful crisp white snow was covered in a layer of thick, cold ice. It added an extra full week off from work and that made fun times for sledding but most of the city was without power. I spent one morning cooking pancakes for 10 people in my small condo including a dog and two extra cats.
- I dropped some serious money on a bike. I sat down and wrote a large check for a bike almost as a Valentines Day present to myself (nothing says love like a bike). I have not owned a road bike since I was 15 and without seeing the bike, riding it, or touching it, I bought a frame that I have absolutely NO regrets about. The entire process of choosing, buying, building, and caring for this bike have given me more education than a set of cycling encyclopedias (is there such a thing?). I cannot imagine all the time I have clocked in researching bikes but I promise you it is a daily fix now.
- Speaking of Valentines Day. Few of my friends are into stuffed plush hearts and chocolate coated bobbles of love. Such discussion usually induces mock vomit sounds. So the ladies loaded up in the car to hit the gun range which actually was a farm in Waddy, Kentucky (yes, there is a place called Waddy). The afternoon was spent with a bottle of bourbon offered as payment to shoot some $60 worth of shells at a target that we nicknamed whatever "issue" was bothering us for the day. It is hard not to think of Charlie's Angels, although none of those ladies shot a shotgun with their feathered hair (wussies!).
- With the onset of the bike came two new ideas. One….in the kitchen of a friends house over dinner while the frost was still on the trees outside, my friend and I decided that we were going to do a century ride even though my rode bike was not built and she had only put 100 miles total on her bike in two years. Looking back at that time, neither of us had ANY idea what we were getting ourselves into but we made the commitment to complete the Old Kentucky Home Tour (OKHT) over a peanut butter dessert "thingy" and never looked back. The second idea was the mere fact that I needed to get serious about my fitness and taking care of myself. I stopped drinking any soft drinks and cleaned the diet up quickly. The recent diagnosis of hypertenstion was definitely a motivator and a wake-up call to get serious about my body. The pay off has been a leaner and more energetic girl (is that even possible?). I still binge on McDonald’s French fries but I still rarely have a Coke. Progress is slow people!
Late May-through September-ish
- With the decision to complete a century and only having three months to train, I poured myself into the bike for one of the BEST summers to date! The rides, the adventures, the pain was all worth it. Every ride, some new obstacle was overcome and although ALL of my spare time was spent spinning, it paid off in September. I met some amazing riders this summer and acquired a ride partner that really challenged me on all levels. It was a fun experience to be with your friends on a new level of suffering.
- While I thought the OKHT would be the one of the hardest challenges of year, instead I found another challenge as I watched my office flood one early Tuesday morning engulfing my car in five feet of sewage water. I learned a lesson in materialism. You cannot control the environment around you and when faced with raw sewage, rain, and being stranded in your own hometown, my car seemed a pretty insignificant loss. It was a minor setback but the first thing replaced was my bike helmet (lost in the trunk of the car). Afterall, with or without a car, training went on.
- The morning of the OKHT, I woke up like I would for a foot race, early and nervous and hoping that coffee would jolt the system to do all activities (you know..."activities") before I was out on the course in the middle of nowhere. I was more worried I would forget something or neglect some vital part, that I nearly caused myself a full blown anxiety attack. Lee and I rode our own slow pace with only the goal to finish, but something happened along the way. WE HAD FUN! We laughed the whole ride and took turns poking fun at one another’s snot rockets. The last twenty miles were a struggle but not deterring. We finished and I have never enjoyed a bed so much as I did that night. I was more impressed that I was NOT that sore…no blisters, no wrecks, no injuries. When I rolled in Sunday, the best thing I could have seen were my mom and dad standing there…and yes, I cried, only because I was so tired.
- Following the OKHT and now fully addicted to cycling, a few of us signed up for the Harvest Homecoming which is normally a rambling stroll through the foothills of Southern Indiana. It happened to be one of the coldest days of the year that morning. Again, my co-riders strapped warm weather gear and we still did the ride complete with an afternoon of pumpkin picking, sangria drinking, and the smells of fall allergies in the air. In a sense, it was the close of the cycling season....officially anyway (we still tried to sneak rides in until the time change).
- I turned 33 this fall…I am not sure where the years went, but they are gone. I feel 23 on most days but I know that this upcoming year is 34 and I admit, it freaks me out. There are so many things left to do on my life list ….somehow, 33-years have shot by and I am not sure how. I am not done yet. I am just getting warmed up people--stand back!
- The year is done. It flew by so quickly. There have been so many changes, so many moments to try and recall. I like to think of the New Year as a clean slate or the "play" button on the reel of life. When done, we simply start all over. I wish I could make the best guess as to what will happen next but I do not know. I can make a few predictions. I do know that without my friends and family, I would not be where I am now...wherever that is. Bring on 2010....let's roll.