In between rain storms, as the clouds part enough to work in the yard, I’ve been putting the last few infrastructure touches on my garden. Some of the seeds I put in the greenhouse last month have sprouted now, others were lost to the learning curve of too-damp soil and an inadequate greenhouse heating plan. I’m on round two of germination. All of my fruit trees made it through their first winter, though, and the blackberries are in full bloom.
When I should be tending to the HOA-mandated grass-length in my yard, what I’m really doing is what appears to be beating the hell out of myself and my new mountain bike.
I’ve been out three times with Kat on various trails now. The last time, yesterday, was moderately successful from a medical standpoint (even if he did leave me wandering my way back out. . . one is never truly lost in the woods if you are already content and able to just stay there indefinitely, no?) The last ride I ended up scratching my calves and thighs all to hell and ended the ride with a broken finger. I would’ve gone to the emergency care clinic on the way back home, but I didn’t want to leave my new bike unsecured. And besides, I told myself, what are they going to do with a broken finger anyway except give me one of those little metal foam thingies to wear?
My second ride left me with dinner-plate-sized bruises on my hips because that was where I tended to land. I’ve since purchased a better set of padded shorts.
Momma looks at me with the kind of side-long wariness that indicates she’s probably like to say something, but counts her blessings that I’m not on a motorcycle or trying to pick up a redhead. The boys are loving the unexpected first aid lessons that happen after each ride. (“Hey, Squirrel, come splint daddy’s finger and bring me the peroxide.”) My neighbors are casting significant looks at my front yard when they drive by to pick up their mail. . . but is it my fault that I can’t mow when it rains and when it isn’t raining, well, there’s trails I haven’t fallen down yet. (okay, yes, I guess it is.)
To get through late Fall and Winter, I signed up for a martial arts gym. Intermittent krav and jujitsu classes have been serving the dual purpose of catering to my little-man syndrome while also letting me sweat through coming to terms with my early 40’s through getting twisted and pummeled by folks almost half my age. I’m going to have to let those classes slip until next Fall, though, because it is too pretty outside to be inside. One thing that has significantly helped, though, and is why I mention this here. . . I spent a lot of time learning how to fall, practicing falling, and being dropped/thrown/rolled in those classes. I didn’t realize how much that muscle memory helped me until I took up a hobby that seems to involve me falling off of things and landing on other hurty things.
I’ll end with this, because I know he reads it. . . but I wonder sometimes at Kat’s power of persuasion over me. “Hey Mattdaddy. . do you like walking?” (not particularly) “Let’s put heavy things on our back and stomp up this mountain!” (Yeah!) “Hey, Mattdaddy, do you like riding bikes?” (um..well..when I was 10. Not so much since then.) “Let’s do that, except on a mountain and with more falling down and bleeding!” (Yeah!) So I was walking my bike up a particularly steep (well, for me) incline because not only could I not find the right gear that allowed me to successfully counteract the persuasive force of gravity but my legs hurt and I was tired, it gave me time to reflect on why I keep getting into things that are – in the moment – so potentially miserable but so stinking fun at the beginning and end?