Sunday, December 13, 2015

The "Pony" Tale

'Twas the seconds before Ironman...

And I was in a panic. I had lost my hair tie. A level of dread suddenly rose in my chest. Could I survive the next 12 hours without something to hold my hair back? Ugh! I guess. But it would not be fun. No. No, I needed a hair tie. I fell to my knees patting the ground in search of the black elastic “pony” that had disappeared while I was securing my swim cap.

The National Anthem had been sung and athletes were beginning to file toward the swim start.  “Help!" I shouted.  "Can anyone see a hair tie on the ground?” I understood that most men wouldn't have a clue a) why I needed that tie b) why I was in such a state of stress and even c) what a “pony” even was.

But one friend did. SHE dropped down with me in search of the needle in the haystack and then jumped up and ran away. I thought she was headed toward the start with that “oh well” attitude. But seconds later she returned with the prized possession in her hand, begged off the wrist of a nearby lady spectator.

I secured my hair, gave her a hug and we joined the others down the boat ramp to start our day.

Now this may not seem like such a big deal to most. But I will never forget this act of kindness that filled my heart “three sizes that day”. In the midst of my turmoil, SHE thought not of herself, but of me.

In the spirit of Christmas and the upcoming New Year, may we be more like HER: A little more selfless, a little more loving and a little more kind. Happy holidays, friends. May your new year be wonderful and secure.



Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Let's Go Ride A BIke

If you've never witnessed the demeanor change in someone the minute they get on a bike -- I'm here to tell you, it's real.  I'm talking about the magical smiles that appear when a child or an adult straddles a bike and pedals off into the distance.

Working in a bike shop has taught me something about this great phenomenon.  There are times when a cyclist or triathlete comes in to pick up their hot new race bike with electrical components and lightning fast carbon wheels and aerodynamic frame.  It's like Christmas.  They oooh and aaah at their new ride, stroke it softly and crouch down to admire the gearing and pedals.  They roll it outside the store and carefully cradle it onto the bike rack and drive home with their precious cargo in tow.

Then there is the "off-the-street" casual consumer strolling by who gets a glimpse of our fat tire cruiser bikes.  They cross the street with a smile on their face to get a closer look at the delightfully colorful two-wheelers, imagining the slow speed cruising they could do around the neighborhood, or even better, as a vehicle for their next pub crawl.

Oh, but the kids are the best.  They come racing in the store to see the bike mom and dad just bought for them.  You can see the smile spread across their face and their eyes light up.  Instantly that child has a new sense of freedom.  They anticipate the feel of the wind rushing through their hair or the ability to have a little independence of their own.

If you get a chance -- go ride a bike.  Some of my favorite memories are renting the City Bikes in Washington, DC to quickly navigate the national monuments with my family.  And in Austin, my friend and I rented the City Bikes there to explore the wonderful trails and byways that were practically hidden by buildings and trees.  We laughed and smiled our way around the city for miles and miles.

It's no wonder that John F. Kennedy was quoted as saying "Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of riding a bike."  Take it easy or take it slow, whatever your pleasure, go ride.

Que lindo es sonar despierto.
How lovely it is to dream while you are awake.

Dreams That Have Come True