Yesterday, as in, um... yesterday. Friday. Some might be able to make a case for my being a weenie at other times, but I’m not talking about those times. I’m talking about a very specific moment Friday evening.
Friday is supposed to be a party day, or so I hear from partiers. Sure, I’ve had a frothy pint or two after work on some Fridays... I’ll even admit to using them to wash down a Reuben sandwich. But not this day (that is, Yesterday). To celebrate the survival of this particular work week, I hopped on ye ol’ bicycle for a ‘quick’ 15-ish mile road ride.
So you know, this is me NOT being a weenie. Can you do 15 miles? At once? No water break? In the snow? On one wheel? Of course, the answer for half of you (total readership up to 6!) is ‘durrrr.’ The point is, this wasn’t a lazy Sunday afternoon bicycle ride on the boardwalk. I biked up Dewey to Mt. Baker Hwy, continued on up Britton Road, and then back towards home.
If you know the area, you’re now saying, “dude... those are lame hills. Why, back when I did the Death Ride...” blah, blah, blah, “... 10,000 vertical feet ...” blah, blah, blah...
If it isn’t obvious, let me make it so: I’m still not “the best weight for my height.” No hill is still “too easy” even though I’ve been riding now for a few summers. It’s a successful climb if I make it to the top without gasping for air like a concrete-shoe-wearing mob informant.
Anyhow... back to me not being a weenie. Right, I remember:
And then I became a weenie.
As I approached the corner of Lakeway Drive and Yew Street, I thought about Yew St hill and the countless times (ok, 6) I’ve climbed it on my bicycle. To me, the hill is massive (500-ish ft from Lakeway), and I’m just not used to it. Each time before, it was painful. Each time took forever. Each time involved me wondering aloud about what I had gotten myself into (my grammar suffers when I climb, too). But each time after it was over I was glad that I did it; each time I had enough gas to get to the top and cruise down the other side; each time I knew that I’m tougher than the hill.
I thought about the serious, brutal, personal, uncomfortable, panting, light-headed, sweat-inducing 10-to-15 minutes of pain and decided that, since I’ve done this before, I could easily do it again. Some other day.
That’s when I became the weenie. At about 6:30 Friday night.
Two words: 1. We. 2. Knee.
When faced with a challenge, I’d like to think that I always confront it straight on and accomplish it. Vanquish all foes. Eliminate intruders. Eat the whole pizza. Other times I shy away like, if you pardon the Seinfeld reference (used here in a completely wholesome and G-rated context), a frightened turtle. These shy-away times usually leave me with a bad taste in my mouth. I regret ‘em, and I tend to hold a grudge against myself because of it. (You’d think I might be mature enough to get beyond this, but that’s fodder for another post.)
It’s the problem of seeing something you know you can do, something maybe you should do, something you either haven’t done or are afraid to fail at, but you are just too scared, too timid, or too (dare I say) weenie to go through with it. There are too many other things in my life that require me to put my head down and follow through that I can’t be letting this weenie-ness control me during my leisure time, too. It’s a hard habit to unlearn, but I’m working at it. And with all the bad tastes, my toothpaste bill has been astronomical.
Next time, I won’t let myself off so easy. That hill is mine. I ownzor that hill. Yew Street, you are now MY STREET.
So if you see me out there, climbing that stupid hill, just know that I’m not being a weenie anymore. I’m not letting fear or pain or whatever so-called demon it is that’s keeping me from ascending that (stupid) hill and triumphing like the hill-climbing, triumphing, non-weenie bicycling stud that I am.
And toss me some water, for goodness sake. It’s a long way up.