Friends from Years Past

Thursday, December 23, 2010 by Michelle

I just had the pleasure of spending the evening with two friends from my university days (I graduated in 1991). We drank tea and talked and laughed the evening away. There's something important about the knowledge of who we were that is embedded in those friendships.  My husband may have heard stories from that time of my life, but the richness of that history really comes out when he hears it from those who took part in the escapades and hilarity. These friends, one whom I've kept in contact with over the years and one only last year reconnecting because of a death of a friend, are treasures to my heart. I am grateful.

San Francisco on a bike (or, whose idea was this?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 by Michelle

As written yesterday (Monday, Aug 16, 2010)

"Oh going to the Muir Woods from here will be great," the young bike rental woman says. "It's not too far." With way too much self-confidence, I set off towards the iconic Golden Gate Bridge;hundreds of other cyclists are doing the same thing. "Hey, this was MY idea." I have to admit, grinding it up one hill and having a fit young man cheer me on with a heart-felt "great job" as he stops to push his bike up the rest of the way bolsters my confidence; I can do anything! The bridge, shrouded in SF's famous chilly fog, is beautiful, graceful and ridiculously crowded with pedestrians and cyclists. I stop and ask someone to take a (rather crappy) photo ofme; make note to self, always assume tourists will take shitty photos.

Once off the bridge, and after some oohing and aawing at the lookout, I set off for Sausalito. Feeling strong and full of energy, I enjoy the town as a breeze by on my bike; it's a tad too kitchy touristy for my taste thanks. I head towards Mill Park on the map, then realize there are easier ways to get to the Muir Woods. Mistake #1. First, though, lunch...

Foregoing the cafes and restaurants, I find a Safeway and get a great assortment of healthful snacks; fruit, yogurt and nutbars fill my bag and soon my belly. Oh, and some organic lemonade. Best thing I've done today for sure!

So the "better route" turned out to be a mind-blowing trip up the side of a mountain in an expensive neighbourhood, with no shoulders on the road. What the hell was I thinking? At least there's a"WEEEEEE" all the way down the hill. Feeling a little shaken, and shakey, I continue on. "Hey, that looks like an easier way to get to where I'm going." Mistake #2. You'd have thought I would have learned.

Another twisted road, a little less hilly, but still hilly and this time well-travelled. Are there no shoulders in this town? Weeeeee all theway down again, my quads screaming from the abuse and my lungs wondering who the hell does she think she is?

Finally, with a dose of humility, I head down the right road to mydestination. By now, the smallest of hills make me wimper and I push my bike up hills that I usually breeze over. My quads are fried. On the trail, I continue along until I see an enormous hill that I have to climb. My legs refuse to budge and colourful words emit from my heart and, knowing that I have to actually get home tonight, I say, "fuck the trees, I'm heading back." A big deal from someone who rarely just gives up.

It was with no small amount of relief that I met a young fit couple from Liverpool with a similar experience and a similar, "forget this shit" attitude. We enjoy a good chat on the ferry about annoying perky young bike rental women and depart at the pier.

What to do first? Sleep or shower? After a shower, I take the bike back. Yes, I know it was good for 24-hours, but if I see that damn bike in the morning I'll probably collapse wimpering on the floor. Perky woman at the bike rental place has long gone home, probably drove too.

Dinnerat a lovely organic place on the pier (again), and a glass of wine later, I head for bed at 9:00. Yes, I'm in bed at 9:00, with a growing realization that my skin will be red as a lobster in the morning. Okay, so it was foggy and cold when I left this morning. Sigh.

Tuesday is better; no bike, no fried quads and lots of walking. Cable cars it turns out have me singing "Rice a Roni" commercials from my childhood (I hope that was in my head and not with my outside voice). Did I mention that I was sunburnt? Time to heaad down to the waterfront and enjoy a dinner I bought from Safeway :-D

Back in the saddle again…

Thursday, April 1, 2010 by Michelle

Got an annual gym pass and am off and running.I figured I'm less likely to skip workouts if I have to pay every month. Today's workout was a bit of cardio terror followed by a ladder workout (shortened because it was the first time in a long time and I didn't want to completely do myself in). Despite burpees being pretty rough, they have really good "WTF is she doing?" appeal. Note to self: don't put push-ups so early in a ladder workout.