Well today was the day. I’m 40 years old. I didn’t wake up feeling older, wiser or better equipped than I was yesterday. I did feel wiped out and ready to go back to bed. Sleeping is fun. I like it. It’s my happy place.
I woke up to mad chaos as usual. Motherhood is a real monkey wrench in my Radness. One kid had crap literally up his back, another was having a melt down over a nerf gun robot something or other, and the three year old was losing her mind over the cup having the wrong color lid on it. Did you know that the wrong lid can bring on WWIII in my house.Marley just won’t put up with that nonesense ! She said yellow!!!! Just when I thought it couldn’t get much worse the 3 year old busted out with a super clear and glorious, FUCK YOU! I hadn’t even had my coffee yet which I was pretty sure would only be half drank and likely be cold by the time I got to it. At this point I was just happy to have coffee. My teenager by the way just watched in disgust at all of us while she cruised social media and watched out of the corner of her eye.
My bulletproof coffee makes my world go round. When I wake in the am my entire body hurts. Not like a mild ache. Its more like “I got hit by a car” ache. Yes, I can feel a storm coming 3 days away better than any weatherman on the planet! “Yes ma’am we have a cold and wet one coming”. Pretty cool party trick eh. My bones hurt like hell in a hand basket and I still had a full day ahead of me. Ugh what is a girl to do? I just suck it up, suck down my bulletproof coffee,
gag down my 5000 supplements and welcome my day. After a week of deep throating every holiday cupcake, cookie and cheese plate while washing it down with craft beers and bottles of wine, I would say it’s safe to say my body is killing me. Happy 40th asshole, great job! The day after Christmas could be the worst trick ever for a Birthday. Yay I’m 5 pounds fatter. Let’s go put on some spandex.
I have rheumatoid arthritis. It hates me. I hate it. But we are stuck together so we both just live together as best we can. Consider us faithful partners. I acknowledge it’s needs and it keeps me in check. I often wonder what feats I would be capable without it. I wonder how many more hours I could ride without a flare up, or how amazingly smart I could be without its brain fog. I guess this is Gods way of slowing me down. It works for a minute. I wish I could divorce it. Apparently this isn’t an option so I sleep on the couch and taunt it with my great attitude. Lol
So I made it through the morning throws of aches and pains, stomach napalm and serious brain fog to realize we had no nanny and about 45 minutes to get the heck out of the house. Holy toledo why do I do this to myself? Maybe a day at home would’ve been more sane?
However it’s my birthday and I will have fun or I’ll regret it for the next ten years. I need adventure! I must have it in all aspects of my life or I am a crabbier version of myself. Specially on my bday. It’s my day not the kids, not my clients and it’s sure as hell isnt RA’s day.
I got the sprinter loaded, babies settled with our oldest and prayed for the best (please God please let no one have a injury today)…..TODAY I WOULD BE A HUMAN WOMAN, not a realtor, mom or holiday pigged out sick person. “I will have fun damn it”, I said over and over in my head.
Lets be honest for a minute. Every mom has that moment where we are like “My children are trying to kill me.” Yeah I pretty much feel like that daily. Somehow I keep waking up to do it all over again. These kids are like energy on crack. They just never stop. It’s not uncommon for my 1 yr old to push the couch around the house. What the ? Yeah that’s normal. My endurance as a mom is strong and my will to survive is real, LOL. Just keep saying it Holly, “You are a winner and this is just another race….finish strong”. Actually I say things more Along these lines, “These kids are little assholes, and stop being a pussy.” Yep that’s a more honest comment. I do try to finish it off with a positive like, “Someday you will take a bath and a shit all alone.” Not at the same time of course.
We drove out of the driveway with my sexy flat black whip in the back. The teenager, the baby and the three year old we lovingly call “Knarly Marley ” waving us goodbye. I could see the handlebars in my rear view mirror while we rocked beastie boys. The view of the three we left behind faded into the distance. “Please don’t let them burn the house down”.
My hubs looked like the UNABomber and somehow edged out a smile. He was spent. He looked completely nuts. He looked at me, grimmaced and lovingly said, “I forgot to eat”. Of course this was after he fed 4 other little people, wiped everyones butts, saved a dog from a pierced ear and made sure the littles were handled. He was not. I handed him a banana since I am the “knower of all things daddy” and I know he will do this every time. With each child I get fatter and he gets thinner.
We drove in silence. Secretly we both just wanted to go back to bed. But Oh what a glorious sight as we neared Vail Lake. I knew the previous weeks storm had brough on some serous hero dirt, so my excitement was growing, as was my trepidation. Yes I am human and even though I give everyone the view that I am completely at ease with life , I am not. I too at every turn am practicing my mindset. I was just coming off the flu for a week and then an additional week of muscle spasms in my back that would take a grown man to the ground. I was worried I couldn’t perform and be the best I could be. Oh hell what if all my friends showed? These chicks are like national mountain bike champions and shit. I could barely put my shoes on without groaning this am. Let the panic set in………….
As we rounded the turn I could see an absolutely full parking lot. Game on, they all came. Time to shove that barfy stomach, my aching joints and tired body and mind to the side. I will ride and I will ride to the best of my ability. Mind you this isn’t the normal group ride. My friends are epic friends. They were ready to ride knar. There would be pads and wrecks and moments where I wondered what the hell I was possibly thinking. We even had our buddy, a local race director there. He was there to clown us, and take us up a new route they had just completed for the next Enduro series. I loved to see him giggling at the bottom of scary sections. Just like race day it was his favorite thing to do. He builds them, we rode them and then he watches us crash. Well shit, I guess I’ll have to suck another day. Today we are riding!!
I unloaded my rig, got my 10 yr old settled in the bmx area and set out to celebrate my old as shit body with a bunch of complete bad asses. This was gonna be good! What’s the worst that could happen?
First run to the top my heart rate was completely redlining. Two weeks off didn’t do me well at all. Plus I was pushing my Enduro bike. Everything about it is harder to pedal. Big tires, a different position for my legs and harder gearing. However I know my bike would make up for it on the down hill sections. It eats knar for breakfast. Which is greasy since it was breakfast time.
I huffed up the hill with one of my girls. She’s a crazy red head I met at the top of another rad area right before she was ready to drop in. She keeps it real and I was so happy to be with her just Doing what we do…..ride bikes. Another girl friend had worked all night on a nursing shift and came with no sleep as did her husband and their friend. She was hurting but smiling. Our other friends are fancy bike company owners and local legends. The wife’s a national Enduro champion and XC phenomon. The husband is a freak of nature. They ride circles Around humans. They say his name at races like that are presenting Elvis to the crowd. They lapped me on eveveything. But they were smiling. We were riding bikes. My other gf is a rad 60 yr old downhill monster. She is only happy when shredding super hard lines. She was smiling as was her kind hearted Navajo hubby and our local High School phenom that came along. Always smiling because We were riding bikes. A guy I sit on the IVMTB Board with came, and a gentleman I met racing XC in San Diego. My whole body hurt…..but we were riding bikes!!!
In the end I had a complete blast. We high fived, we worked sections, we yahooed, fixed flats, hugged and laughed a ton. We even all tried to fly on the jump line. Wasn’t happening so we just giggled at how stupid we all must look pedaling against the heavy wind and against the soft and slightly slower dirt conditions.
Seriously though at the end of the day even with a painfully defunct body I know that it’s only as hurtful as I let it be. My rides hurt, before, during and after but I am so blessed to even be riding again. I’ve had a full decade of trying to get to this point. And I made it!! I’m med free and doing well in the grand scheme of things.
The best prescription for my ailment is a healthy fix of adrenaline mixed in with gratitude. If I must hurt I might as well hurt while kicking ass with my girls and laying down some knar. I’m going to love my forties. I’m so much smarter now. Who cares if I’m not as fast as my crazy rad friends. They don’t seem to care so why should I? This next decade I get to put into play all the great life lessons I’ve collected and just enjoy myself. I have some huge race goals, professional goals and yes….even some mommy goals.
My main toast to 40 is…….Just “do you” and remember that…….Every Trail Leads To Home.