2007-05-06 - Acorn bless the universe
Man, life is so fucking beautiful.
The ride? It couldn't have gone more perfectly. All my training came into play to help me rock out with my cock out. There was SO many people riding, I wasn't by myself at any point in the ride. I was constantly being passed, and constantly passing people. There were riders from ALL walks of life. I even saw a blind guy who was riding tandem behind someone on a bike built for two. Amazing. I saw 2 guys on unicycles. There were a couple of riders who didn't have the use of their legs, and were pedaling with their arms on specially designed bikes. There were fat people, skinny people, old people, young people, kids, everyone was included. Now, you understand, it wasn't a race, it was a fundraiser, so there's really wasn't a sense of urgency about anything, it was all about having fun and finishing.
Rest stops were every 8-13 miles where we could stop, use the pit privy (I didn't sit down to go pee for two days straight - it was so nice to get to the hotel that Sunday night and use a real toilet), get some snacks and gatorade, and rest if we were tired. Rest stops were cool because I got to talk to different people, find out why there were doing the ride. Some people knew people who had MS, were riding for them specifically.
We rode along these back-woods, country, paved roads between I-10 and 290. The scenery was AMAZING, so many wildflowers were in bloom. I came over this one hill the first day to see a field completely full of orange Indian paintbrushes, it looked like the field was on fire, it really took my breath away. This happaned a lot: the scenery would literally make me take in a quick breath because I had all this adrenaline and endorphines running through my body. So did everyone else, you could see it, feel it, the energy aloft was so cool.
Anyway, Saturday night everyone stops at Fairgrounds halfway between Houston and Austin - it was a tent city. My team had one of those huge party tents set up where we ate and hung out (I arrived around 2:30 in the afternoon on Saturday, some people made it a noon - the real bad-asses - the slow people didn't make it until 6:30 or 7 in the evening, no big deal), and I had my own tent that my support crew set up for me which totally rocked. I slept on an airmattress. Although it was extremely comfortable, I only slept 4 hours that night because I'm such a light sleeper when it comes to a new environment, and someone was coughing all night long in a tent next to mine. Bugger.
I had to wait in line for an hour to use the showers - which were in specially designed trailers. I had to get naked in front of other ladies. I tried not to stare at their boobies.
Well, I didn't let the lack of sleep get in my way. Sunday morning I set off around 8 (along with all the other 13,000 other riders) and, well, I have to tell you that as we're riding through all these back-roads, we were routed through all these tiny, Texas, country towns with the townspeople lining the streets as we pull through, waving with signs, cheering, it was really exciting and motivating. It made me think about how these people cheering knew we were all riding for a cause, to help people with the physical limitations of multiple sclerosis. I can get on my bike and ride from Houston to Austin. They can't.
Sometimes you'd come across really random people doing random things during the ride. They knew riders were coming through a certain route, so we'd see a guy with this HUGE PA system, blaring funk music. This other time, it was a hillbilly band with banjos and acoustic guitars. Sunday morning we saw a guy in full Scottish attire playing the bagpipes, that was so amazing. I can't remember all the things I saw, but it really helped carry me through the ride, as it did everyone else, I'm sure.
At the second to the last rest stop, I started to get really tired. I had about 20 miles more to go, 20 miles to Austin, the city where I'd gone to school (UT) 12 years ago and failed out of college, had a lot of bad memories there. I was telling my friend DR how tired I was, I mean, I knew I could make it, but those 4 hours of sleep and 130 miles I had ridden the past two days was starting to take effect, but it wasn't bad, you know? I knew I was going to make it, I'd just have to go slow. Well, DR right then and there said to me, Acorn, I'm going to stay with you the whole way and make it easier for you to finish. And exactly that he did. He was like my personal coach, helping me up and down the hills, around the corners, it was really, really cool.
As we entered the city, it was all me. I was so filled with emotion, I knew my husband was waiting for me at the finish line (thank GOD for texting), all this hard work I had put into this thing since December, all the crap I had gone through the past 2 years with my stupid professor and school, all the emotional craziness I had experienced along with it, I had worked through it ALL. I teared up a bit as we turned down 38th street, straight down to UT, took a left on Red River to skirt the campus, then right on MLK to the finish line. My sister, her new hubby, some friends, Amor, were all there at the finish line with a banner that said, Acorn, you made it! It was an experience I'll never, ever forget. I was elated, as I am now as I type this and start thinking about it again.
I hugged Amor for a long time and didn't want to let him go. Wow.
I sat with my teammates for a bit and had a couple beers and a sandwich, then left with my friends and family to go to the hotel and take a shower and use a toilet that wasn't made out of plastic that I could actually make contant with my butt.
Was I sore? Well, my butt wasn't sore at all, because of all the training I did. What was sore was my thigh muscles (obviously) and in between my shoulderblades - that took about a week and a half to get those kinks worked out.
Other good news - You probably dont remember what happened to me last September, when I fell, my toenail was seriously injured and turned completely black and has been like this weird goat hoof thing the past 7 months. Well, the other day it finally fell off! I no longer have a warped, black toenail! I am so happy about this, you don't even know.
More news - last August I applied to a new job where I'd make more money and utilize my (the future) MS degree, and the interview went so swimmingly that when I didn't get the job, I was really surprised, but wasn't too bummed because I have an OK job right now, although I don't make much money and it's not really hard work at all.
Well, a week from Friday, I was going through the whole scenario in my head and was like, You know, if Company S ever wants me to work for them, which, they are a good company, and I'd still love to work for them they're going to have to call me, there's no way I'm ever going to seek them out again
YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BELIEVE ME, WHAT I'M ABOUT TO TELL YOU...
(Because there's no reason on the face of our dear planet why I would have gone through that whole thought process about how they're going to have to contact ME, not the other way around, I mean, it was such a random, powerful thought...)
Not 30 minutes later, I get a call on my cell phone from a number I don't recognize, and I rarely pick up a number I don't recognize, so I let the answer system pick it up.
You know who it was? The lady who I interviewed with last August, saying the position was open again, did I want to interview with the team.
I almost peed my pants, but then this "ah ha" moment went though my body, like the universe was all telling me secrets.
So anyway, I have another interview this Thursday, wish me luck.
More good news: Francis isn't so depressed anymore. We hung out Friday briefly and it was nice.
Well, Amor's off work, home, and we're going to go hang out and drink beer.
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