My big adventure involved a bike.
My one-speed Huffy. I’m old school like that. I believe in keeping it simple. That’s why I basically stopped playing video games once they got more complicated than this.
Yep. I didn’t take to the idea of a smart phone right away either. I’m not afraid of technology, but I don’t really see my need for most of it. I don’t have time to take classes to learn how to use these things. Seriously, we rented a car for a recent job I had and the owner’s manual was only a few pages thicker than the manual on how to operate the in-dash navigation, music, blah, blah, blah system. Ugh! Not for me. I figure out how to do the basics and leave it at that, because I’m happy with just that.
And now I have gone far down a rabbit-hole. Back to that BIG adventure. Ok, maybe it wasn’t so big after all, but I think there’s a lesson in it.
I am training for a half marathon, my first half marathon actually. First of many or the one and only? We will see when December rolls around. I’m in week five of my twelve week training program and since I began this I have encountered what is a new obstacle in my running experience of the last three years- shin splints. It’s really just my left shin, so I guess it’s just a shin splint, singular. Anyway, whatever it is, it’s uncomfortable and I don’t like it. Every time it seems to vanish, it tries to sneak back up on me. Creeper! The last two runs I did this week were really fast for me as of late, which I was proud of, but the phantom shin splint had once again taken hold, so after the previous day’s speedwork training, I realized I probably needed to take a day off before my long run day of eight miles. But a day off that was not scheduled felt like a wimpy cop-out, so I decided to go for a bike ride instead.
Where I live, we have many walking and riding trails that connect at various parks and such. It’s really a beautiful area and it happily encourages the many older people of this once primarily retirement community to remain active. And then there are the younger people like me who also get to enjoy this beautiful fall weather (in Florida that means we no longer feel as though we will melt when we walk outside further than the mailbox).
So I’m riding along, enjoying the peacefulness, smiling at and good morninging the other pedestrians and cyclers, admiring Bambi’s mom as she runs across the trail a mere ten feet ahead of me, and then I’m coasting along with a disconnected bike chain. I pulled my bike off the trail and attempted to reattach the chain. How hard could it be? And it wasn’t so bad getting the chain back up on the large gear, but the little one was not cooperating. I tend to be clueless in these matters, but I sure wanted to give it a try. Secretly, however, I was hoping for a more Disney movie scenario, where the deer would come back and somehow be able to either help me fix the bike, or give me a lift home. Neither occurred. I had been riding for almost six miles and the distance between this spot and my home was probably only about three more miles or so back, and since I was capable, and I had no other choice, I began to walk my bike home.
I don’t often ask for help from strangers, and I probably wouldn’t have known how to ask the deer either, so even as I saw a few friendly faces along the way, I kept walking. It wasn’t so bad because it was a gorgeous setting and the weather was clear and as brisk as it can be around 75 degrees. Then thoughts began to turn to my impatience. Some time back, while I was still a high-strung teacher, an inconvenience such as this would have been a huge dilemma and I’d be muttering under my breath because it would now take me longer to get home. After all, it’s not like I could run…with a bike. I had to walk. Then I remembered a tee shirt my husband I and should have bought when we had the chance because one can no longer buy this treasure- I’ve looked.
Obviously the same case applied to walking, but it would just take longer. Patience is important and it’s something I’m learning about. Instead of growling at squirrels or stomping my feet, I figured the walking was still good cross training for my shin since it wasn’t hurting and I resolved to enjoy the beauty around me. And so I walked 1.1 miles until an older gentleman asked if my bike was broken. I told him my chain had come loose and I couldn’t quite get it back on. He stepped off his bicycle, asked if he could take a look at mine, and he fixed it in about thirty seconds. He had me test it out and I thanked him as we both went our separate ways. In another 1.79 miles on my bike, I was home. It was a good day.