I was a French major in college. I have nothing to show for it except for some memories of almost getting arrested in Paris for jumping the turnstile at the Metro without paying. I can also still order a “café au lait et pain au chocolat” at Whole Foods.
One thing that has stuck with me, though, is the phrase “C’est la Vie.” So simple and poignant. “That’ s life.”
I wish I had learned earlier that when faced with challenges and adversity, we have choices. We can resist or accept. We can wallow in the negative, or we can make the best of what is before us. So much of our suffering comes from continuing to resist what is. We get caught up in the victim mode, telling ourselves, “It’s not fair. I don’t deserve this” or we beat ourselves up, “I should have known better. I should have done better.” Fact is, life does not move in a straight and perfect line. It is messy and painful and wonderful and curious. The joys don’t come from having it all and it all being perfect. The joys come from learning how to be present enough in our lives so that we don’t wish to be somewhere else. So that we see and appreciate what and who is around us, even when it’s broken and imperfect.
And, here’s a little secret. No one has the perfect life. We are all struggling in our own ways.
Yesterday was a good lesson in letting go, of being able to say “C’est la vie.”
Let me bore you again and tell you that since I can’t run much, I’m cross-training to get in hours of endurance activity without impact. I have been promised this will help me run the Boston Marathon “to complete not compete.”
Yesterday’s plan was to cycle for three hours. I mapped out my course, estimating that I could do about 50 miles in three hours without totally killing myself. I got my fuel ready:
I prayed my 20 year old bike could take me the distance, one more time. Yes, I have only one water bottle cage. I am a loser. Or just really tough. Water’s over rated.
I even paid a few friends (Ironman types) to ride with me for an hour or two.
I had a parting shot with the dead squirrel we found in the yard.
And we were off.
The first hour flew by. It was warm, sunny, slightly breezy. Suddenly, a few powerful gusts of wind made themselves known. Before friends Leigh and Mark headed for home Leigh warned me : “Seriously, dude, you weigh like 30 pounds. Do not get thrown off your bike by the wind.” I laughed, thinking it was funny, not reality.
I was almost to Boulder when the freaking wind started provoking me, trying to kick my ass. By this time I was riding right along the foothills and was getting hammered. I was almost thrown off my bike into the road several times. A few times I thought, “No eff’ing way. I haven’t come this far to get thrown off my bike and not be able to run Boston.” (…and leave my kids motherless).
I veered away from the foothills and with the wind at my back started flying. As in 30 mph with no effort whatsoever. Problem with that picture was I noticed cyclists coming the other way struggling, crying, having tantrums, shitting themselves and and passing out.
Yeah, 30 mph had nothing to do with me being a stud and everything to do with the wind propelling my ass forward.
I knew once I hit the turn around point at 25 miles I was going to be in serious trouble. I would be riding into the wind almost the whole way home. And the wind had started gusting upwards of 40 mph.
At the turn around I ate a PB & J and took in the view of Boulder. I sighed as I got ready to head into the relentless blowing. TWSS.
It sucked. At first I almost didn’t mind how much it sucked because I knew that the resistance was giving me prime training. What pissed me off was I was going about 4 mph and I continued to struggle to not be thrown into a ditch. I continued on.
You know when you are running or biking and the flags look like this and you can hear them whipping, you are in trouble.
My plan was to be out there for 3 hours. I was coming up on 2.5. I was tired of fighting to stay on the road and tired of battling the wind. I still had 15 miles to go. There was a moment where I stopped resisting and chose to accept. Screw it. I called Ken and asked for a pussy pick-up. He didn’t even mock me. He just made me ride in the way back.
I’m okay with it, I guess. I hate giving up more than anything. Except being flung into a ditch and dying. 35 miles is still 35 miles.
Sometimes our best laid plans get laid to rest before we can take them to fruition. C’est la vie. It was still a damn good workout. And, yes, let’s put it into perspective. There are worse things in life than a windy bike ride.
Ever request a pussy pickup during a ride or run? It’s nothing to be ashamed of.
What are you resisting today?
Yes, my vagina is still intact,