Pulling Head Out of Sand: Outlook Bright!

Last week was a challenge.

It was one of those weeks where everything bad that can happen seems to be taking its turn.  The furnace breaks and it goes on from there.



My business travel on Thursday and Friday was more time-consuming than anticipated so Friday’s workout was truncated.  It was still good, but I was grumpy about having to edit it.  I was also grumpy because I ended up having to go to the gym late on Friday night to do it.

I hate the gym.  It completely brings out the misanthrope in me.

All these people exercising in place.  All these people half-assing it.  The shitty, tinny music echoing out of bad speakers.  Fluorescent lights making everyone green.  Manly men hamming the free weights, cardio bunnies watching E! from the eliptical machines. 

I hate to sound like such a downer but, man, the gym is just terrible sometimes.  And it doesn’t help when you go into it in a sour mood to begin with.

I put on my mean-face and made eye contact with absolutely no-one.  I was keenly aware of two girls watching me as I ripped out sets of pushups on the mats, sweat dripping in a stream from the tip of my nose onto my towel below. 

On Saturday I woke to see that the recent barrage of absolutely awful weather had broken.  The sky was dry.  The road was dry.  By god, the sun was out.

Sal called from downstairs: "My eyyyyyyyyyyyyes!  My eyes are burnnnnnnning!"

Indeed – the great ball of flame had appeared triumphantly outside the kitchen window. 

My spirits soared.  I packed my things for an assault on Sauvie Island.  I planned to run one 12 mile loop and then hop on the bike to ride 3 or 4.  I wanted to be dead at the end of the day.  Crushed.  Demolished.  Gone.  Done.

At 9am I was driving to return the rental car I’d acquired for my business trip. 

All of the sudden, I realized I was supposed to be in a photography workshop.  All.  Day.  Long.  Starting in an hour.  On the nicest day in months. 

I cringed.  I cringed and drove faster realizing that I now had less than 50 minutes to somehow get back home after dropping off the car (I’d planned to run as it’s an easy 2.5mi), change and become presentable, drive to my studio to pick up my gear, and then get to the workshop.

I hit the gas.

At the rental car place I sweet-talked the clerk into driving me home.  At home I did a 5-minute miracle transformation to create the image of a photography professional.  I sped to my studio, threw together a camera bag, and made it to the workshop only 15 minutes late.

I hate being late.

The workshop was phenomenal.  I loved it.  I love it even as the sun shone outside, mocking me… taunting me.  I loved it even as I got out late to see the sun going down. 

I went home and sulked.  Sal took me to tea and rallied me.  A baked yam with lime, salt, and cilantro raised my spirits. Bike friends arrived later that night and we sat in my living room speaking in a language that only bike-geeks can speak.  Cogs and teeth and groupos and geometry.

We woke up on Sunday and rode.  I rode alone, grinding out the workout I’d been waiting for – working hard while they rode in a threesome, enjoying themselves.  I did not want to enjoy myself.  I wanted an angry ride and I got it.  I picked up a red-bearded buddy near the end of my sufferfest and unapologetically drove a blistering pace. He thanked me when I finally sat up at a stoplight.

I waited for my friends at the coffee shop in Ladd’s Addition when I was done.  We rode him in a pack, laughing.

The North American Handmade Bike Show was phenomenal and entertaining, despite my exhaustion. Sexy bikes for miles.  We lusted over the Pegorettis.

I need a benefactor. Any takers?


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  1. I’ve been taunting Mother Nature on most my runs lately, “Buckets of rain? 35 mph wind gusts? Is that ALL you got?!”

    It sounds like she is taunting you in return.

  2. good for you for getting to the bike show. I met some of the IF boys Thurs. night and saw some of their beautiful bikes…that’s all I needed…anything more and I would have cried…straight up tears!

    p.s. could I have asked for a better day today? I rode home in short sleeves and no gloves…oh how nice! happy birthday to me!! :)

  3. I did not make it to the showand was a little bummed, was really bummed to find out that they don`t annually return to Portland! Had a great ride in the sun Saturday though!

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