Category Archives: Cycling

Music Monday: Feelin Groovy, Simon and Garfunkel

My banjo teacher used to call me “High Strung.” Some how, I don’t think that was a compliment. I’m always in such a hurry to finish up whatever we are working on and get to the next plateau that I don’t enjoy the moment.

I’m the same way with losing weight, mastering cycling, and my career. My eyes are on the mountain tops. The next gig, the next movie, the next song.

8 months with my leg in a boot has changed that.  8 months of sitting on my front porch overlooking the cove brought such incredible peace. No late night gigs, no rushing to finish projects around the house. no exhaustion. I just got to be.. 100% wholly me and no one else for 8 whole months.

I’m not sure I want to get back in the fray. The mania of striving and networking.

I want to build my garden at the Cove, write poetry, play my banjo on my front porch, go to church, take my time cooking fabulous meals, and spend time with friends. Maybe write my book and sling some jokes here and there when I feel like it.

Rebuilding a “suitable” web page that brings “results” doesn’t have the appeal it did a year ago.

Neither does being a star.

Or chairing yet another board at church.

Sounds crazy to me though.

Meeting Howard this weekend reaffirms that change.

Howard is a luthier. It can take him a year to make ONE violin. He has 10 more he wants to make. It took him a year to rebuild ONE clock from Germany. His father purchased a real log cabin for $20, took it down row by row, transported it back to his house and rebuilt it, row by row.

I’m guessing it took longer than a week.

How is it that at 48, I can still be in as big of a hurry to grow up as I was at eight?

Slowing down is good for sure.

What does it mean to fight like a girl?

I’m slow to this party. This video already has over 20M hits and I can see why. When did “like a girl” become an insult? I think this is totally worth watching…

I want to show it to the Tulsa Diva’s and every woman I know. WOW

I really did have a screw loose

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“Born an American, Saved by God’s Grace, Rebuilt by IKEA” – Mark Cosgrove

It’s officially two weeks post op and I’m off pain meds, which means I get to write again. Yay!  Some people have asked me what exactly they did and why I’m out for the cycling season. This X-Ray shows it all pretty well.

What has really surprised me his how relatively pain-free I am in comparison to last time. I really think a lot of that is due to the fact that doc stabilized my tibia. I have two plates now instead of one. I have one in front and one on the side. There are 7 or 8 screws holding them in place. The fuzzy part in the middle is my hip bone. This part needs to stop being fuzzy and make nice with the rest of my leg before I can walk.

If all goes well, I won’t need the ankle replacement. That is my goal.

I just had a really crooked tibia that rubbed on my talus and made my ankle hurt. Our docs down here are awesome and some of the most creative orthopedic surgeons I know.

I’m still out for the season no matter how you slice and dice this.  In the mean time, I’m rockin the banjo and making the most of my down time.

The Tulsa Tough Diva’s are Back!

divas2Most of you dear readers remember my past stories and adventures while I ventured out into cycling back in 2011. I remember the thrill of doing my own research, going to Tom’s on Peoria and buying my very first street bike. My husband liked my bike so much he bought one as well. Personally, I think it’s because he was jealous that my new bike was faster than his.

Then I  did the Tulsa Tour de Cure on my own for the first time in 2012. I had so much fun I captained my own team in 2013.  Then my husband and I got our own dirt bikes, because you know dirt bikes are fun.

I even lamented on occasion about how I only know male cyclists (including my GYN and yes I posted snarky jokes about that. Hopefully he does not know this blog exists.), how even on the web there just weren’t that many women cyclist bloggers, and if I read one more story about man-scaping I was going to barf.

Well, things have changed.

Say hello to the Tulsa Diva’s.

I remember writing about how thrilled I was last year when the Tulsa Diva team started and how I was going to ride with them as soon as I got back from Nashville, only I didn’t because I fell and hurt my leg. Well, that and I totally wussed out because I was afraid I couldn’t keep up and that my leg would give out again. I totally regret that because they treat newbies like me so well and now, at least for this year, I’m not allowed to ride. — My tibia is in three pieces and I’m still working towards getting a full ankle replacement. I’m down for the whole 2014 season. I missed out.

Don’t be me.

There are a lot of great things to be had with the Tulsa Diva’s.

  1. Support – these women do a great job in including and encouraging riders. They have a Facebook group where they post up coming rides, tips and encouragement.
  2. Knowledge -- You don’t know anything about cycling? Great! Tulsa Diva’s host clinics for everyone on all aspects of riding. How to fix a bike, being properly fitted, rules of the road, how to ride with a group, mastering the three sisters,  racing and so much more.
  3. Fellowship — It’s not just the group rides. Everyone is included and invited to post ride fellowship, parties, and other events. Great friendships have already been built because of the Tulsa Diva’s. I’ve even made friends with a few on Facebook that I am looking forward to getting to know in real life.
  4. Events — the Tulsa Diva’s do more than just Tulsa Tough and weekly training rides. Throughout the year they participate in numerous rides like Tour de Cure, MS-150, Gran Frodos, biathlons, marathons, triathlons, CAT Races and whatever else they can come up with. When you sign up for any kind of cycling event or whatnot, you know you are not alone. There is a Diva Sister there with you for fun, encouragement, and support.

Women Cycling in Tulsa! Can you believe it?

Even though I haven’t made it to a group ride, these women (and the guys who help run it) have been wonderfully encouraging, passing on information, and giving me ideas on how I can still train while my leg heals. (Like swimming).

Oh, and their kits are awesome.

Check them out at TULSA  DIVAS

You can bet come next Spring, I WILL be riding with them. Hope you’ll join me.

Better yet, join now. You won’t regret it.

Music Monday: Don’t You Forget About Me, Simple Minds

Do you know what scares me the most? Being forgotten.

My leg is broken. My ankle is shot. It will be over a year before I am well enough to perform again.  It’ll be 2015 before I’ll be allowed to ride with the Tulsa Diva’s.

All proof that I ever did comedy is in a video camera that was stolen last summer. I keep my Facebook page alive simply because I don’t want to be forgotten. I’m not alone.

Most authors, comics, actors,athletes,  hope for just some small piece of immortality. We want to know we make a difference. That we matter. This song is for us.

 

Standing Witness

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Sometimes, when I’m being honest with myself, I have this secret fear that I am not enough. Did you know that? No matter how hard I strive to control or contain reality, I get afraid.

Doc had to break my leg in order to make it whole again. That didn’t seem right to me and yet, because of my pain, I allowed it. I’m tired of limping. Tired of hiding my injury. Tired of staring at the ground when I walk so that I don’t accidentally trip and fall. Again.

Funny how that happens. Pain drives us sometimes. Sooner or later though, hopefully, we get tired of the pain and become willing to do whatever it takes to make it go away. This was really no different. I knew it meant being down for almost six months and frankly I was so tired, I really didn’t care.

Jeff came with me for the first two weeks, making sure that I followed the doctor’s orders by staying off my feet. Major surgery takes a lot out of you. Having your tibia broken in half, shifted, and new bone grafted in hurts. A lot really. I couldn’t be alone. At least not at first. And he, being my husband wouldn’t dream of leaving me to care for myself until he knows I am capable.

Fall has just come to the cove when I begin my recovery. The trees still have leaves on them and they are just beginning to turn. The weather is still pleasantly warm. There was a gentle breeze off the water and I spend the first six weeks of my recovery resting on the front porch with my leg up as the doctor ordered.

I watch the pelicans and ducks play across the cove chasing shad and each other back and forth every morning before settling in together. The cows from across the way come down for their morning drink and some mornings, if I am really still, deer come down as well.

In six weeks, I read four books, write five chapters of my own book, play banjo till my fingers bleed, and watch the leaves turn from green to bright yellow and then fall away, leaving my trees barren against the sky. Geese come and go their migratory way. So do the monarch.

A full season comes and goes. I witness all of it. Unhurried. No deadlines. No boundaries. No striving. No fear. Just being present as summer takes its last breath and fall prepares a covering for winter’s slumber.

Caught now in winter with Christmas behind me and full recovery only weeks away, I miss my front porch. The tightness in my chest is returning. I find myself planning my next bike ride, my next horseback ride, my next comedy show, my next banjo lesson. Everything that I think defines me is just out of my reach.

My thoughts, fears and worries that I left behind sometimes sneak out from under my bed while I’m asleep and scare me awake.

“You’ll never ride with the Diva’s. You’re a full season behind. They started training last year. You can’t keep up.”

“What if you fall off the horse? You’ll break your leg again, worse than it was before. What then?”

“Your banjo teacher will never take you back you know. His schedule is probably full. Besides, even if it isn’t, do you honestly think all of that time you spent practicing will be enough?”

“Do you really think people will remember you after taking six months off? There are plenty of comics in Tulsa who’ve been gaining a ton of stage time while you are gone. No one will remember you. You’re rusty now.”

“And what about that book you are writing? I mean seriously who are you kidding?”

If I’m being honest, sometimes I give in to the fears. I get up and go downstairs, pour myself a drink and light a cigarette in my garage and let them have their way with me.

Other times, I close my eyes and remember that summer ended, fall bloomed and passed, birds played, cattle lowed, coyotes yipped, wolves howled at the moon, (yes there are wolves in my cove) pelicans fished, and the monarchs continued on their way all while I sat as nothing more than a witness on my porch. And it was enough.

How often can we say that?

Come what ever may be as the result of my hiatus, life will continue with or without my help.

Perhaps I should follow winter’s example. The world is asleep. Spring is three months away. I’m only half way through my hiatus. I have time.

Now is not the time to let fear whisper to me like a thief in the night.

I have another season to bear witness to, Winter has lessons to teach but only if I’m willing to learn. It too will come and pass without my striving.

Another season without riding, without horses, without music lessons, without running the show – only me as a witness, nothing more, nothing less – a chance to rest and learn that even without my trappings, I am enough. May it be so.

Listening to my heart.

“Writing is cutting open your chest, pulling out your own trembling heart, plopping it down in front of someone and asking if they can feel you. I keep on doing it because every now and then, they can.” — Lori Houston Eizinga

It has been a while since I’ve allowed myself to just free flow blog. I’m not entirely sure why really. Part of it is because I’ve been busy and, part of it is fear. Two of my stories went viral this year, well viral for me anyway, and while I do think that’s cool part of me freaked out a little.

Neurotic thoughts of “how do I top that?” abounded in my brain. And then it happened, someone posted a rant in the comment section. A hateful nasty snarky rant aimed at me and my alleged stupidity. It was personal. But it was a stranger and even though it stings it is okay. And then someone misunderstood my heart in a different post. I’d shared a story from The Elephant Journal, Can We Be Lovers Without Having Sex, and while I love the whole premise of human connection and how we’ve lost that today, some people only see the sex part Oh well

I have at times been unfriended, blocked, rebuked, and prayed for, not by strangers mind you, but people who know me. That hurts my feelings. And that comes with the territory.

The same thing happens with comedy. One person’s clean is another person’s edge. Then someone writes and says thank you, I thought I was the only one, and it’s worth it.

And that’s the writer’s life. We will be loved. We will be hated. We will be misunderstood. And we will do it again tomorrow, because if we don’t, a piece of us dies.

fall at the coveI am currently at my cove recovering from the first of two surgeries on my right ankle. My leg is a little crooked and I am getting it fixed. They took out a piece of my tibia and grafted it back somewhere else. It’s being held together with a metal plate and screws. Once this heals, they will go back and add a castor hinge and more screws. It will be at least March of next year before I’ll be able to walk. That means no traveling unless it’s a family emergency, and no stand up. and so I rest on my front porch, read a ton, write even more and practice my banjo.

I really ran myself ragged  last year what with all my have-to-accomplish-now goals. I hit the ground hard when my youngest graduated high school in 2012; Teaching, speaking, writing, 30 college credit hours, stand up comedy (with strong internal pressure to master that over night) banjo lessons (ditto), art classes, acting classes, auditions, contests, building a platform, and becoming a cyclist (that one never really took off). Three weeks of staring at water at my cove revealed a moment of “duh!” I am exhausted. That so far has been my greatest epiphany. Well that and metal inside your leg really hurts when it’s cold outside.

Funny thing is, I entered this recovery/sabbatical with a to do list as well. I scratched everything out and simply wrote : listen to your heart.

Slowing down is good. Being present in the moment is even better.