What do you think about when you ride?

Me? Some days riding is like a form of meditation; I can feel each pedal stroke and hear my breath as it cycles through my lungs. But more often my mind is like Hammy the hyperactive red squirrel in that animated film Over The Hedge, ruminating (the opposite of meditation) over ALL OF IT. Work, family, exes…

Not that I have a lot of exes but I find myself with more exes than nows. Or said otherwise, I’m single despite having been a serial relationshipper for most of my adult life. Between being married or dating there has always been someone else to consider (even though it seems like I spent a lot of that time on my own). Unless you count my career. My career always made me feel needed and wanted.

No diss meant to my partners, I had an amazing job; I used to make bikes for a living. I was actually a Product Manager but people often don’t know what that means so I just say that I used to make bikes for a living. And I made bikes at some pretty well-known companies and friggin’ loved it. I mean, I FRIGGIN’ LOVED my work. I got to travel, work with amazing colleagues, play with bikes, make cool new stuff, ride, it was glorious.

But a few moves, a few years, a failed marriage and a failed business venture later, I don’t have “living my best life” in my Instagram bio and now I feel like I’ve somehow become a watered-down version of myself. 

I have since returned to my hometown to help care for aging parents and now that I’m here my greatest fear is, have I already had my best jobs? They don’t make bikes in my hometown so I’ve gone from loving what I do to having a basic job (this is a risky admission because I am employed now and beyond grateful on so many levels especially in the current ‘rona climate). But my job was my identity before, and it provided a lot of purpose. I tried a remote production gig for a while but was laid off and man, was that a kick in the knackers. I went from being recruited to being unemployed in a blink. Talk about rejection. Adding insult to injury, during that experience I was splitting with a man I had dated for over a year that I really liked. Well, like.

The attraction was immediate. He was pretty cool (is). I felt like we had so much in common. He rode a bike and hey, I ride bikes (clearly that’s a deal-breaker anyway)! And we did stuff together. Lots of cool, local stuff. We found the best coffee and pastries, we paddled, we went to microbreweries after ‘cross races. It was fun. But I was not the best version of myself and he just wasn’t that into me.

Well I know how this works. Have you ever seen the movie He’s Just Not That Into You? How about Never Been Kissed or Fool’s Gold or basically anything with Sandra Bullock? Hit like three of five basic sub-plot lines and you’ve got yourself a Romantic Comedy. They have a predictable outcome that either the girl gets the guy or she meets a better match on her path to self-improvement and ergo self-discovery.

Have I too many plot parallels to not take advantage of this and grab myself a little happily ever after? I could TOTALLY win that guy back (or meet someone new in the process)! What could possibly go wrong?

RomCom checklist:

  1. Bad habits to overcome. Check. Let’s face it, this list is too long to enumerate under [in fewer than] a thousand words but suffice to say, no more Cheez-Its and red wine for dinner.
  2. Physical makeover. Check. I’ve stopped getting on the scale and am down to wearing only my stretchy pants. I’m pretty sure I weigh the most I EVER have in my life. Hello crash diets and overly-ambitious exercise plans.
  3. Big, fat cycling goal that leads to a path of self-discovery? Check. I’m not committing to this in print yet but I’ve got something in mind that I’ve wanted to do for a while.
  4. Be awesome and win back the guy!

I think we all know what happens now—a montage of me improving myself. Early morning yoga, bike intervals, 19-percent-grade hill climbs, weights, meditation, salad, professional continuous learning. So up next, phase one. How hard can it be to ditch some bad habits, improve my health and physical appearance? I’m shooting for a Rocky IV meets American Flyers kinda thing. 

My hope is that this doesn’t end up more like the drama 28 Days (though Sandra Bullock is a capable actor who also performs great in serious films). 


Follow along. There will be a new Hideas every first Monday of the month starting in November

Join the conversation
  1. Hautacam says

    You had me at red wine and Cheez-Its.

    Hello from the (usually) soggy side of the state!

    1. hiflycycling says

      Hello back at ya’, Hautacam!

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