Bragging rights

Remember those Christmas newsletters that some people send?

“…Blaine completed his double major at Harvard and graduated summa cum laude, after spending his last semester drilling drinking water wells in a remote Andean village. Kaitlin just finished her dual doctoral degrees in biomedical engineering and nuclear physics and has landed a lucrative position at Biotech Fusion Industries. My husband Drake has been promoted to First Czar of Initech, after leading the executive team on an Outward Bound trip to the Himalayas. I have finally completed my antique tea cup collection, having excavated the tea cup used by Dolly Madison while she was sewing the first American flag, at a recent archeological dig in colonial New England…”

I cleaned my desk!

Yeah. THAT kind of bragging. There’s nothing wrong with it, but most of us don’t enjoy reading that kind of over the top newsletter, except possibly to make fun of it. (I admit it –  I do enjoy mocking them.) 

Yet, in life, we have many proud moments of large and small accomplishments, and it feels good to share the happy glow that we get from setting a goal, working hard, and meeting our goal. Often our accomplishments are not “Christmas newsletter worthy” though, which is why long ago  I started writing only satirical news in my Christmas newsletters, and saving my everyday but real news for those who might actually be interested.  (The newsletters later became the basis for the satire in this blog.)

I biked on a triathlon team!

Then there’s the small stuff. I lowered my cholesterol! I cleaned out the closet! I’m excited about these small accomplishments, but let’s face it, they’re not newsworthy to others. In our electronic world, we can share the minutia of our lives seconds after events occur, possible delving into the TMI area if we’re not careful.

Still, it is important to celebrate. What are your recent accomplishments, big or small? How do you share and keep that happy glow that comes after a goal well-met?

(Reading the accomplishments of bloggers Kelly and Lisa inspired me to write this post . Congratulations to them both for meeting their big goals! )

© Huffygirl 2011

Too old to start the training, OR Mr. Toad’s wild ride

I wake up, wondering what day it is, what time it is, and why am I wrapped up in extra blankets while the fan is running full blast? My neck hurts, my knees hurt, my feet hurt, my quads hurt, my shoulders hurt  and I’m pretty sure my hair hurts. What happened? Well, fast-backward twelve hours earlier.

Twelve hours earlier

I’m on my bike, clutching the handlebars as tightly as I can. My hair that is not contained in my helmet is whipping across my face. I’m trying as hard as I can

The demon trainer (© Huffygirl 2011)

to keep up with the biker in front of me.  After all, only a short while earlier I had taunted this demon – “Go faster” I said – “I’m getting too close to you.” Jeez. What was I thinking? My right hand is numb, my left shoulder aching. Was that a pothole back there? I just missed it. I’m going so fast (well fast for me anyway) that I’m not taking in all of my surroundings. Where are we anyway? I’ve done this ride before, the landmarks should be  familiar, but I’ve really got all I can do to keep up with this speed demon, let alone watch the scenery.

Okay, now we’re going up a hill. I gear down, but that’s not enough to keep up with this demon, so soon I’m standing on the pedals, cranking away. I did it! But at the top, he’s off again. Finally, we’re at the flat part of the ride. “This should be a cinch” I think, “I’ll show him I know how to keep up.” But it seems that we’re going into the wind. I struggle to keep up on what is usually the easiest part of the ride, watching my average speed drop and drop and drop, farther from my goal. We stop for water at the corner before the turn.  “Well that was hard going into the wind, but we’re turning now so it should be better,” I say. But the demon trainer points out “Nah, that was just a crosswind, when we turn we’ll be going even MORE into the wind.” I don’t see how we could possibly be going MORE into the wind and scoff at this, until I notice the flag on the corner, spread out wildly, flapping away from the direction we are turning.

And so we continue: flats, uphills, downhills for 25 miles. I’m watching  the pedal rotations of this demon man (and his impressive calf muscles) and notice that most of the time I’m pedaling twice as fast as he is, just to barely keep up. And he’s not riding at his full potential – after all he’s taking it easy on my first training ride. 

By the time we get home, I’m feeling accomplished, but aching. I didn’t ride pretty, but I did it. My bike computer tells me I did this ride exactly six minutes faster than the last time when I was just phoning it in. All this and only six minutes? Still, for me, whose only boast is  being the slowest biker on the road, this is progress. Next time it might be seven minutes, and then eight and then…oh heck, I’m freezing and aching and need a shower.

By the time I’m done showering I’m chilled to the bone, from all that cold wind rushing quickly past me no doubt, and despite the summer heat, wrap up in extra blankets and a heating pad to crawl into bed.

So now flash forward twelve hours again. I untangle myself from the extra blankets and get up to turn off the fan. It turns out I can still walk after all, and isn’t this why Tylenol was invented anyway?  So, will I let my husband be my trainer again? Absolutely!

The Huffys, on an easier ride (© Huffygirl 2011)

© Huffygirl 2011

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