Four and half months ago – I hopped into the sport of road biking. The obvious reason – to exercise. My secret reason – to meet fit, single men. After all, what woman doesn’t feel her sexiest and most fertile sporting spandex and helmet-hair, sweating profusely and reeking of B.O.? Let’s not forget about the sexy cycling jersey, bug-eye sunglasses, and cone head covering. Heck — I figure if a guy finds me attractive in that garb…from there…it’s uphill in the attraction department.
For those of you whose last memory of riding a bike involved a pink huffy in second grade – listen up. As an adult…your cycling shoes snap into the pedals. So your feet are attached to the bike. There’s no “releasing your feet” unless you unclip. And if you don’t unclip before you brake at a stoplight or stop sign – yep, you guess it – you fall over. Usually in front of a crowd of gawking people. So far, I’ve fallen four times – shedding a small amount of blood every time. Not to mention the numerous bruises.
I’ve learned that “wiping out” gets harder as you get older. Not just with cycling, but with dating. I’ll be cruising at a snappy pace when unexpectedly I’m forced to stop – and — SPLAT — I tip over — in slow motion — unable to get out of those darn pedals. The next thing I know red blood is oozing down my knee — and I flashback to when I was 8 years-old stupidly wearing tin-can stilts riding a skateboard.
In the world of dating – bad dates, breakups and “dude disappointments” feel like a series of bike crashes. And sometimes; you just want to give up and sell that road bike on e-bay. Some real (as always) examples:
1. I recently met a sports medicine doctor on match.com who stated on his profile he was 37. When I arrived for our date, he looked more like 43 (even in the low lighting). At the end of the evening – I asked him his last name. When I arrived home – my fingers met Google with gale force. Turns out the doc was 47 – not 37! I immediately texted him and called him out on his 10 year bluff. Hey, I may be blonde, but I’m no dumb bunny.
2. A few months ago my friend Sarah danced with a guy ALL NIGHT only to have him tell her at midnight – he had a serious girlfriend. This dude was even trying to buy moi, the “wing woman,” drinks!
3. My friend Ann met a man on an online dating website who claimed he was a CEO. He sent her his “real” email address. After further investigation – she discovered he was indeed a CEO – but of his own auto body shop! The she also found his personal email address listed on a sugar daddy website.
My worst and thankfully LAST biking “bust” happened a few months ago when I stopped to quench my thirst in the midst of climbing a steep hill. After stopping, I clipped back into my pedals, but then couldn’t muster enough momentum to climb the hill. And then I couldn’t unclip fast enough. Within a millisecond– I fell HARD on my right side – landing on a curb. I felt my thigh and butt start to swell immediately. But somehow, I powered through my tears, got back on the bike, and finished the ride. That evening – the most horrific bruise I’ve ever seen – popped up on my ass. It looked like something from a car crash.
Later that night I realized, while my ass was bruised, so was my heart. I still struggled with the emotions left behind from a long-term relationship that ended months ago. I was still bruised because this person and particularly his mother – had treated me wrong. I was in a rut – and just when I felt like my dating “road” was clear – I would fall off my bike over and over – keeping that bruise alive — deep and painful.
For my bruise to heal – I was faced with meeting my ex one more time. I initiated a meeting and finally expressed all those things that had swirled around my heart for months. The tears fell as I looked him in the eye and discussed the pain his mother had created and perpetuated. Closure.
Today – I’m back on my bike – riding a few times per week. In the mirror, I can barely see the outline of my bruise.
My ass has healed – and thankfully, so has my heart.