Yesterday I got this card from my friend Andrea in the mail. It wasn't for any occasion, just a note about life. In fact, I have to send her one since it's her birthday next week. We had a garage sale a few weeks ago to get rid of stuff and since we dragged everything out, before we put some back I was compelled to actually sort my box of stuff. "MY" box of stuff. When I first moved out of my house I just put everything in my room in a box . So when I say 'stuff' that can be pretty much anything and everything; cards, pictures, cds, address books, diaries, university papers, projects, yearbooks, books, notes; which now includes cards from our wedding and my kids' birthdays. As I sorted through what I wanted to keep and what wasn't important.. an ability I don't think I had until I was at least 25, and I read through a bunch of the random cards Andrea would send me but I'd forgotten about. It made me realize that I might not have ever told her that I've always appreciated what a fantastic friend and truly thoughtful person she is. So I sent her a note saying so.
I suppose I used to like the idea of the people who matter in your life the most just knowing how you felt; and now I realize that was probably really easy for me to think that way since I totally ignored the fact that people woud tell me how they felt all the time. It is a luxury in life to always know where you stand with someone, especially ever since you were 12, and it's all about things like this.
My Dad and I used to be really into biking around town. As uncool as it sounds to hang out with your Dad, I either did not know of this or it's because my Dad is honestly a little different than your Dad. Whatever the case is, I had fun, although I think it all started because our washing machine and dryer broke one day and his car was out of commission earlier that month. Having laundry for 9 people, you can imagine it had to get done right away. My parents own a lodging home, not a caravan of gypsies or foster children, just FYI there. So my Dad and I threw as much laundry in bags as we could, straped it on and around us.. oddly enough we probably did look like gypsies.. and biked down to the laundromat, hung out for a couple hours, folded it, biked it back. Then going for rides on the bike just happened to be something that we liked to do after that, seeing how far we could go on trips and down by the bay where there was a nice view. Because of my parents work situation, and the fact that we had an entirely fucked up sleep schedule when I lived at home, we were only able to go for rides at night. This is why going for a bike ride on a cool summer night will always be one of my favourite things to do.
This is the exact spot where I probably should have died in an accident.
Three days before my 16th birthday we went for a bike ride in the west end of town at night. It was the end of March so not the optimal summer biking weather as the wind had a little bite to it. My Dad always rode ahead and this street is a long slope down, so after he crossed the 4 lanes from right to left.. I tried following but hesitated. The wind made my eyes all blurry and because it was dark the headlights all bled into each other when I looked behind me. The slope just made the bike go faster as I waited.. and waited. My Dad called out from the other side to me a few times to cross because I was running out of time. So at this point here in the photo, a few blocks after my Dad had crossed and I hesitated, I decided I would just cross. My Dad says it's ok so I decide I will just go really fast to be sure, because I honestly can't see anything. I bolted across and my Dad started screaming at me, so I thought he meant go faster, but actually it was to slow down. I crossed too fast and I was later told it almost looked purposefully, was heading straight in front of a car on the far left lane. The only indication I had that there was even a car there was when they slammed on the breaks and swerved at the last second. They drove up on the sidewalk to avoid me but still hit my back tire. I jumped off my bike a few feet where my Dad was looking at me in horror. I was fine. The guy from the car walked out immediately askingif we were ok and what the hell was that and why did you come out of nowhere and DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA I COULD HAVE KILLED YOU JUST NOW?
He seemed pretty scared.
I didn't hear anything after that, or care about what happened. I don't remember how much time passed before the guy got in his car again and my Dad said to get back on our bikes and ride over to the parking lot of grocery store because he needed a smoke right away. He used to smoke then, he doesn't now. I felt completely fine. I almost felt like I wasn't even involved. In fact, from the moment I saw the car I felt fine. My one and only thought from the entire thing was oddly enough all about math.. if he hits me going this fast, where will I land because there was a metal fence right where I would have landed. But I felt fine about that. The only thing I remember was that when I got back on my bike I heard a really weird shuddering noise and calmly looked down to see where it was coming from.. possibly my tire got hit worse and I didn't notice? It was actually the noise my feet were making from shaking on the pedals.
I've been through many lifesaving courses so I knew that it was because I was in shock. I thought it was interesting I was experiencing something I read about first hand. By the time we got down the two blocks my whole body was shaking and I made a comment that I wasn't even cold. Was I? My Dad looked like he was about to have a heart attack, smoked a bunch of cigarettes, calmly agreed I was in shock and we rode home.
To this day I think it's the only thought that makes me feel ok when I hear about people who die in an accident. To know there was a really good chance, maybe not 100% but still a pretty good chance, that if it had to happen they felt completely alright when it happened. Not sad, not scared, not remorseful. Not hoping for one more hour. That's about the closest I'll ever get to believing that anything at all happens after we die. 3 days later I had the best 16th birthday party ever.. everyone from all my classes signed a huge card for me, we had a spooky ghost story sleepover with all my best friends, my Dad jumped out and scared everyone so bad my friend Roxanne punched someone in the face, we had a dance party, videotaped skits, and at my request my birthday cake was chocolate Deep and Delicious.
This summer I've gotten into being more active ever since I had a partner to do it with; my friend Lorraine. We decided for something new let's do a spinning class at this new place that opened up, that also does TRX suspension training. We've gone for the past month, spinning only, and it's been pretty interesting. I was amazed how non-crazy the spinning was the first time we went and, really, honestly it wasn't that bad. I really enjoyed myself and our instructor was great and was available for questions afterward and so on. There were tonnes of newbies so he really encouraged everyone to just go at their own comfort level or hang back if they felt the need. It wasn't at all boring because they turn all the lights off and have sort of a club light and music show going on and have a giant screen of footage from bike trails all over the world. Hawaii has been my favourite so far.
The second instructor we had a few classes later was a little different. Overall I liked her best. She still encouraged everyone to do their own level but was a lot more motivating/torturous about it. I think she does professional cycling. She did a few different things on the bike than we did before and I really felt that when she told me I couldn't slow down... I didn't want to find out what would happen if I slowed down. But at the end of it she was fun, reminded everyone when to drink their water, the class was pumped to be done and you felt like you really accomplished something.
We thought for some reason let's do an early morning class (not their earliest class or anything, which is 6am) because they had childcare there. Normally we stick to the night classes so we haven't had the third instructor. By the way the guy at the reception looks like Joe Jonas and it's super hilarious every time we go, I want to call him jo-bro.. just wanted to add that in before I go on. You see where I am going with this already though.. every class gets nazier and nazier. I'm not saying that approach isn't preferred by some, or doesn't get results, I'm just calling it the way I see it.. the brutal systematic extermination of flabbiness. This instructor wasn't just anyone, she was the owner, she does all the TRX training.. and somehow we were the only two people booked for this class. We got some special attention, and was given the offer that if we like we can split up the whole hour into half spinning and half TRX class. How can you turn that down, right? The owner is going to specifically train just the two of us for a whole hour.. and we get to try something new! Awesome.
NOT AWESOME EVERYONE. NOT. AWESOME.
She was without mercy. Aside from being in labor three times, this was the hardest hour of my life! She actually had us do push ups in the middle of the spinning class.. so by the end of the TRX I was so sweaty, and so red, I looked like I was actually sunburnt. I had a wasp sting me the day before and even that was getting itchy and throbbing again. I liked the spinning class, I even liked the TRX.. it was really interesting.. but together, never again! My entire back and arms are so sore two days later that I almost cried. And when I got home I had a medium bowl of pasta for dinner and then later that night... I was so hungry I had 4 and a half tomato sandwiches. The best part, my partner was doing her best so I was trying to encourage her, at the end of the class we both commented we worked pretty hard and are happy we got through it because it was kind of difficult to do both.. the instructor was like really you thought so? YES, LADY WHO OWNS A SPINNING TRX STUDIO, FOR US MORTALS THIS WAS OUR BEST. I'm not sure if that was supposed to be a different kind of motivation but dammit, stop playing with my mind!