Sunday, April 17, 2011

Don't panic. Mom's having (another) midlife crisis.

Today I decided to get on a bicycle.  I know.  What's the big deal, right?  Well, I am going to tell you The Big Deal.  I haven't been on a bike in about 15 years, it was a BMX bike, I had a full face helmet on (very attractive), and my hubby and my kids expected me to go up and down these wild dirt bumps (that if they had SNOW on them would be moguls) called "rollers" on our pump track out back.

You are probably thinking, "Sheesh.  Whose idea was that???"  Right???  Well, it was mine.  Call me crazy (I have been calling myself that all day).  I have been trying to figure out why in the HELL I would want to do this.  And, I can't quite put my finger on it.  Here is my list so far:

1.  I am having a midlife crisis (another one).
2.  I am going insane.
3.  I have a death wish.
4.  I have become obsessive about fitness.
5.  I want to conquer a fear I have of anything that might hurt.
6.  I have a competitive heart (I know.  That one is REALLY a long shot).
7.  I haven't been able to roller derby or write a book so I figure riding the hell out of a bike and not killing myself could quite possibly be the next best thing.
8.  I want to spend more time with my hubby and the kids (say what???).
9.  I thought about taking up knitting, but the bike and the helmet were here already.

So, enough about WHY.  Let me tell you what happened.  I think a timeline would be good.

10:00 a.m. - I was confident that I would be able to do the rollers after a little practice on the rest of our 100 foot loop pump track.  I happily put workout pants and a long sleeve t-shirt on and headed out back.  I wore hubby's full face helmet (which is really HEAVY) and used one of his bikes (more about the bike later).  It took me a few minutes to maneuver the bike back to the track.  When I put the bike on the track (which, sadly, is the first time I have looked at the track from the track) I realized there is NO SAFE PLACE to practice on the track.  My six year old told me the best way to start was to get on the top of a bump and just ride down and start riding up and down.  It took me a while to actually get ON one of those bumps (which, I have to say at 10:00 in the morning - and from the top - looked more like small mountains). 

10:05 - I was finally at the top of a roller ready to start my first ever ride around the track when I just froze (in fear) and began to tip right over.  This was really crazy (and very funny to my kids, apparently) because I wasn't actually going anywhere.  I just tipped over - not all the way.  I caught myself and hubby very gently said, "Babe.  I think it might be good if you practice a little in the cul-de-sac."  I did not take this condescendingly and promptly got off the track and onto the pavement out front.

10:15 - It took me a good 10 minutes to maneuver the bike off the damn track and back to the front where it was safe.  I had done NO ACTUAL RIDING and I swear I could have downed a Gatorade, and I am pretty sure I was sweating under that 20 pound helmet.

10:17 - I was on the PK Ripper in the front wondering how in the hell you ride a bike when hubby said (a little more forcefully), "Go, babe!"  Now, the PK Ripper is a tiny little (clown) bike which has an actual technical name (that I can't remember) and is used for an actual technical purpose.  (That purpose is not to have a mother of four riding a bike for the first time in 15 years.)  Before I could take off I had to show hubby that my knees were hitting the handlebars of this clown bike and that I thought it was too small.  "It's supposed to be like that, babe.  Anyway, you don't sit down.  Just ride standing upGo!"  I think it was at that point that my nine year old chimed in, "Mom.  Are you sure you know how to ride a bike???  I mean, did you learn when you were a little girl???"

Meanwhile, I am thinking that I am not really up to testing the adage, "Once you learn how to ride a bike....blah, blah, blah."  Not to mention the fact that I was not sure I remembered how to  RIDE STANDING UP???  At this point I was sure I had not fully thought this midlife crisis out.

10:19 - I did my first spin around the neighborhood on the PK Ripper.  Well, technically it was just about 20 yards to the mailboxes, but the kids were all cheering for me (and I am pretty sure hubby was rolling his eyes at me behind my back).  I did not fall down...but, I did not stand up. 

I must digress to tell you readers that I distinctly remember as a child riding standing up most of the time.  It took little to no effort.  HAVE YOU PEOPLE TRIED RIDING STANDING UP LATELY???  Jeesh.  Not only is it a trick of balance (of which - I have NONE), it requires strength.  Now, funny story about strength.  This midlife crisis has been building up for quite a while, so I have been working out.  I have been working out with Kim Kardashian (KK), some Reebok lady, and with my 30 pound baby, her 30 pound stroller, my Nikes and the hills right here in my neighborhood.  Well, none of this prepared me for standing up on the damn bike.  It was hard.....when I finally did it.

10:25 - After I felt I had mastered "to the mailboxes and back" I decided to try standing up.  It didn't work out too well.  I was really wobbly.  Hubby told me to get off the PK Ripper and get on the cruiser.  It would be safer he told me.

10:30 to around 10:40 - I rode around (standing up) on the cruiser on the pavement in the cul-de-sac.

10:40 - The kids got tired of cheering me after my first ride and started racing each other and trying to "stay out of mom's way."  My youngest biker (who is 6) started asking me if I was ever going to ride the track.

10:41 - I felt fairly accomplished and so my six year old and I headed back to the pump track.

10:45 - 11:00 - I tried to do the rollers.  My six year old coached me.........very patiently.  I started to tip many times and then finally I did one side of the rollers (well, if you don't count all the times I put my feet down because I was SCARED).  Just to feel accomplished I did the rollers three times while all the kids and hubby breezed around me.

11:10 - I took the helmet off.  The nine year old said, "Mom, are you done???  You are really sweaty.  Are you okay?"  

11:15 - I came inside and promptly fell sound asleep on the hardwood floor downstairs while the kids screamed and played around me and baby peed her pants.

So, where do we go from here?  I have no idea.  I have a deep desire to conquer the rollers, my butt hurts, my kids are less enthusiastic about me riding a bike than they were before today, I think hubby thinks I am a little nuts, and KK is going to be pissed at me when I can't work out with her tomorrow because I can't lift my arms.

Check me later.  I will either be racing at the actual track or knitting a large afghan.  Either way - another crisis down.


davidc said...

Pictures, please ...

Monica said...

@ davidc: hey, hey, hey. not a CHANCE. this is something you would have to see in person and then i could hit you for laughing. ;o)

Marty said...

I would love to have seen that...

Shannon said...

1. OK you simply cannot publish that without posting a pic. Seriously you cannot!
2. Do you not remember what happened to the last middle-aged woman to ride a bike on your street? That would be me. Do you remember the summer I had TWO broken arms? Do you remember me lying in the street screaming after I went over the handle bars? News flash you can't even wipe your own ass when you have TWO broken arms. Are you sure you E. to do that for you?
3. Knitting is safer, I will buy you some cute knitting needles with little giraffes on the top and give them to you this summer.
4. If you persist in this can you give a demo this summer? I'll bring the beer.

Monica said...

@shannon - i am on a horrible fitness kick. it's just awful and i can't help it. i MAY still be doing this torture when you are here. and then YOU can post pics and video. ;o) trust me i look uber UNATTRACTIVE. ;o) and YES - i totally was thinking of you the entire time which is why i was incredibly frightened.