Category Archives: humor

Wicked Cross-hairs

2I had to come back and check that this photo was still here, since I had heard that my cancer and surgeries were a figment of my imagination…and the imaginations of those who visited me, changed my dressing, or partied in my hospital room the last time (2011).

To know that there are people so sick and ugly on the inside to spread vicious lies about others, whether about me or anyone else, makes me sad instead of angry. I cried long, hard, ugly tears upon hearing the awful gossip and lies as I recalled the numerous surgeries I have had since 1999, 4 of which were between 2009-2011 and were very public. I don’t owe anyone, especially virtual strangers, photos of my medical procedures. I don’t even owe them to myself, as all I need to do is look in the mirror to see the scars that no lie or piece of gossip will ever remove.

I am sorry that some people believe that cancer patients can only be either a Lance Armstrong or sick in bed and nothing in between. I do not apologize for being a mediocre bike racer or sub-par angel; I blame neither on cancer.

3My heart goes out to anyone who has come in the cross-hairs of this angry lady (and those in her circle who assist in the spreading of the lies and gossip), as I sadly realize that I am not alone. I sincerely hope that she seeks help and finds peace within herself to change her path and her heart. I will love her/them because she/they cannot.

Dear Tipper: 

One day, you will tire of me and leave me. I will not be sad, but happy for you. You have my love and well wishes. You always have. 

xoxo

-Me

Lunatic on Wheels: The Story of a Princess Tomboy and Her Quest for Sanity and the Fountain of Youth

1The following is an excerpt from a guest post that I wrote for A Pabst Smear.  You can read the post in its entirety here.  Enjoy!

Lunatic on Wheels: The Story of a Princess Tomboy and Her Quest for Sanity and the Fountain of Youth 

By Gory Dreadmond

When Sasha came to me and asked me if I would write about a piece about why a 40-year old woman rides her bike, I thought, “HECK YES!”

Writing and cycling!  Yays all around!

Then I thought…

Hmmmm…Why exactly DO I ride my bike?

I mean, I know I ride for the obvious benefits of fitness, health, and vanity, but did I have a deeper reason?

Not really.

I mean…YES!

Of course!

I ride my bike because I am an undiagnosed lunatic.

If I didn’t have bike riding as an outlet, I would lose my bleeping mind…cry a lot, eat my emotions, and possibly cause bodily damage to others.

I am forty (4-0) years old and started to feel really old and useless when I was 30 and pregnant.

In the middle of my pregnancy, I had an overwhelming urge to get back on the bike after a 16 or 17 year hiatus.

I mean, I was never a bike racer or anything cool like that when I was a kid, but I rode everywhere and I rode long.

Once I became an adult, I was like those crabby-ass adults in the Frosted Mini-Wheats commercials…and I REALLY wanted to be the kid.

My then-husband took his Cannondale hybrid (He is 6’1” and I am 5’6” so that was a good option, yeah? No, it was not.) apart to get it ready for me to ride when the baby was born instead of getting my own bike that would actually fit and also be ride-able.  It stayed apart in pieces on the basement floor for another 18 months. I left.

I finally got back on the bike when I was 32; I felt 80.

My rather small A-cups were even saggy and my ass just sort of hung off my back and drooped to my leg tops.

(I paint a lovely picture, no?)

I wasn’t overweight at that time (though I had been many other times in my life), which is why the whole “ass situation” was even more disturbing. I always pretended like this did not bother me when in fact I was freaking right the fuck out.

I started riding and immediately, I became an asshole.

I mean, it was pretty instantaneous as I rode my sweet assed 5-yr-old hand-me-down MTB around Forest Park like I was effing boss yelling , “LEFT!” and freaking the shit out of rollerbladers and baby-jogging mommies.

(continued at A Pabst Smear)

Who Am I? Questions 81-90

DUDE(S)!  We’re almost done!  SWEEEEEET!

Here we go with The Feel Good Tribe’s 95 QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU FIND MEANING AND HAPPINESS

What makes you feel comfortable?

  • Knowing my kids are safe
  • Raycer (dog) snuggled next to me
  • Yoga
  • Reading
  • Writing things out
  • 20 minutes into a bike ride
  • Seeing my kids when I get home

What’s something about you that has never changed?

Aside from my physical features:

  • My willingness to forgive
  • My stubbornness has evolved, but not changed
  • Hopeless romanticism
  • Hunger for books
  • My ability to soothe myself
  • My belief that it will all somehow be alright

What will be different about your life in exactly one year?

I will have learned a lot; tried new things; met new people.  I do not know all that will be different, but I know I will not be going backward.

What mistakes do you make over and over again?

  • Trust others over my own instincts
  • Ignore red flags
  • Assume there will always be another day

What do you have a hard time saying “no” to?

  • My kids
  • My dog
  • The expectations of others
  • Bikes

Are you doing what you believe in, or are you settling for what you are doing?

Ouch.  I am working for a company I believe in, doing a job I believe in…though not what I would do if responsibility wasn’t so cool and trendy.

What’s something that used to scare you, but no longer does?

  • Walking away
  • Falling
  • Dying
  • The Boogie Man
  • George W Bush

What promise to yourself do you still need to fulfill?

Forgive and love myself more.

What do you appreciate most about your current situation?

I appreciate that regardless of the naysayers, I did in fact land on my feet.

What’s something simple that makes you smile?

  • My daughter’s giggle
  • When son pretends to be his alter ego, Skittles
  • My dog humping the other dog’s ankles
  • Bike shops
  • memories

 

Who Am I? Questions 71 – 80

MORE!

More is good!

Here we go…

95 QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU FIND MEANING AND HAPPINESS

This is a fun/deep one…

Maybe not as funny as some others, but all good.

What fascinates you?

  • My children
  • My dogs and what they might be thinking
  • The way a trail changes with the weather and seasons
  • Art supply stores
  • Beautiful legs, hands, or feet
  • Strong veins
  • Nail beds
  • Bottom lips
  • Listening to my friends discuss their non-sexual passions
  • Watching other friends blush over their sexual passions
  • Resilience / mental fortitude
  • The mind v. the body

What’s the difference between being alive and truly living?

The difference is and always has been quality v. quantity.  Knowing that you are staying true to yourself and not the wants of others, whether it is with regard to medical treatment, a job, a relationship, a trip, or an event.  You have to do what makes yourself happy and know that you did it without the intentional infliction of pain to anyone else.

What’s something you would do every day if you could?

  • Have dinner with both kids
  • Ride the trails alone for an hour
  • Kiss someone passionately
  • Poop

At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive?

When I climbed up the hill to the finish at The Burnin’ at the Bluffs.  I felt like I could do anything.  I’m pretty sure that I can…if given enough time.

Which is worse, failing or never trying?

Never trying!!!  Is this even a real question?!?!?!  I am now adding to my fascination list that there are people who ponder this and feeling sad that I know it to be true.  If you are one of those people…TRY IT!  At least you’ll know…and knowledge is POWER!

What makes you feel incomplete?

  • Being at odds with my people
  • Days away from my people
  • The hunger inside me that I hope I always have but that still sometimes backs up on me.
  • Instances when I let someone get in my head about:
    1. Inability to create babies (even though I would not make new babies if I could make new babies)
    2. Missing/deformed body parts
    3. Whether I am a dedicated enough racer
    4. All the things I could have done differently
    5. Other people’s expectations to which I didn’t live up

When did you experience a major turning point in your life?

Wow.  This is a big question.  When didn’t I?  haha  I have led a fantastic life filled with BIG moments!

  • That one dark night when the lights went out and the worst hell I have experienced in my life rained down on me with pain, blood, and a violence I could never have imagined… (90)
  • When my grandpa died and I was disowned and homeless… (90)
  • When I found myself alone with a tiny infant alone in the big mean world… (92)
  • When I moved to strange, far-away place with $35 in my wallet, a new job, and knew only one person in the state… (96)
  • When I stood up for myself for the first time… (98)
  • When I was diagnosed with breast cancer a few days before my 27th birthday… (99)
  • When I decided to remove my breasts… (99)
  • When I decided to go through chemo… (99)
  • When I decided to not terminate my pregnancy with the most beautiful little girl in the world… (02)
  • When I decided to go thru chemo the second time… (04)
  • When I decided to stop… (04)
  • When I got back on the bike after 19 years… (05)
  • When I entered my first cx race… (08)
  • When I entered my first MTB race… (10)
  • When I walked away… (10)
  • When I forgave… (11)
  • When I walked away again… (11)
  • When I knew every little thing was gonna be alright… (12)

…What else ya got?

What or who do you wish you lived closer to?

  • Lisa, Chris, and Sergio.  I wish other people lived closer to me, like my family (minus the horses, goats, or other things that eat too much and poop too big.  Or the cats.  Ehhh hem.  I guess they are all staying put.)
  • I wish I lived closer to Spain…like IN Spain…but Colorado would work well too.

If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be?

We’ll figure it out.  Be good to yourself and others and it will work.  It may work out differently than you imagined or hoped, but that isn’t always a bad thing.

What’s something you know you can count on?

Myself.  I know myself with all the good, bad, and ugly and I am as constant as the sun.  I know that no matter what happens, when shit hits the fan, I’ve got my back…and likely yours too.

The 6-Minute Fail

Last week I raced the 6-hr solo at The Burnin’ at the Bluffs.

This past weekend, I raced the shortest cx race I have ever raced.

EVER!

While technically, I raced for longer than 6 minutes, it was about 6 minutes into the race that it all simply fell apart.

I knew it would fall apart at about 2pm on Saturday when I exited the Xtreme Krav Maga Womens Self Defense Workshop with Steve Sulze with Cristel.

We had kicked each other’s asses.

We were bruised, bloody, and sore.

As we nursed our Starbucks and cry-laughed at our awesome badassery and utter lack of grace, we knew.

We knew the following day would suck.

We knew we would never again disagree about anything.  EVER.  We knew now what the other could do and better to use that against others than each other.  You cannot un-know once you know.  We knew.

I immediately took an Aleve and smeared Icy Hot on my almost everything when I got home.

I laid down and awaited the arrival of my 5-foot baby giraffe and prayed that I could drink enough water to make the pain disappear.

Frankly, I had done just about everything a person could do wrong all week long, save smoking a little crack or going on a bender.

In recovering from The Burnin’, I decided it would be an awesome idea to run a 5K on Tuesday after work.

I felt “great” for someone who loathes-running-less-than-swimming, but it was still clear I am not a runner.

I finished in 29:55 and laughed because I have skipped longer at a faster pace and this only cemented the fact that I will likely always skip in any triathlon I do in the future.  Without a doubt.

RECOGNIZE, BITCHES!

My legs sobbed heavily the next day and I feared I would become an Aleve junkie.

My co-workers just shook their collective heads at me and laughed.  I am a lucky girl.  I am loved.

I went to the gym and tried to spin it all out of my legs on Wednesday, but my legs were not having it.

While I was spinning, tiny trolls came and hit me with hammers and rocks.  It hurt.

I got a massage.

Everything still hurt.

I ate sushi on Thursday because sushi makes everything better.

It didn’t help.

I got a massage on Friday.

Still pain, but at least I could walk.

Sure, I walked like Tim Conway, but it was walking.

So, Saturday’s class was not a great addition to my schedule.

I had done everything possible to bait Cristel into canceling too.

She was not to be swayed.

I needed this class…and I needed to do it with one of my closest friends, because we both knew I was going to be a hot mess.  (I was.)

So, after the class, I was physically and emotionally spent.  I had nothing left, except a bit of drool that I was too tired to do anything with.

I laid on the couch awaiting either death or my adorable daughter and was nervous that either would have been acceptable at that exact moment.

We were going to The Fabulous Fox to see Les Miserables that evening and all I could think about was the pain of having to sit mostly still and upright for a very, very, VERY long time while also being quiet and not having a potty mouth.

In hindsight, this was a pretty awful plan.

I sucked it up and we had a great time.

I fell into bed at midnight and again wished for fast sleep…or death.

(Not really the latter, because that would be pretty awful actually.)

Cristel had told me that she was riding MTB early in the morning and that I had that as an “out” if I didn’t want to race…

…but in the morning, she was without a sitter and so I put on The Pink and headed out with the Sass to race.

I had never raced at Sylvan Springs Park, but I knew enough about it to know it would be a good course to remind me of the pain I will experience at Harbin Park in 2 weeks…and I needed a good ass-kicking.

I again smeared myself with Icy Hot and chomped some Aleve and became exhausted looking at the course while I stood in the registration line.

Every bone and joint in my body hurt.

The ends of my hair hurt.

Even my eyelashes hurt.

I lined up at the very, very back of the field and tried to make myself laugh.

I said I would “BAAAAA!” at any and every lady I passed because if I was passing you on this day, you were in worse shape than me and also, sheep sounds are funny.

The only people getting a free pass was the girl on the MTB and the first-timer.

Unfortunately, I took off hotter than I planned because I also did not want to get hung up behind turns as there were some triathletes there and as much as I have love for my tri friends, I love my skin more and also knew that if I went down, I was maybe not getting back up.  I really needed to stay up.

My hands were swollen and cut up and I knew turns were going to be tricky enough for me without a triathlete in the middle of it.

It was really best for all of us if I just rode away.

That was working out pretty well until the first descent.

I almost took out a pole and then turned onto a climb.

I had moved up to 5th and was struggling to hold it…

Ugh.

The Pain Trolls threw rock hand-ups and wet cats at me and I felt my insides shredding.

I could feel my bruised ribs screaming as my lungs kick-boxed them.

A few more nasty (for me) turns and one in which I actually squealed in fear that I was about the eat shit and I had moved up to 4th wheel…

Then we headed toward the lovely climb.

As soon as I hit the base, something awful and pain-filled happened to my legs.

As the chasers closed in on me, I allowed them space to pass and as my wheels slowed to an almost stop at a dip in the climb, I bit it.

Hard.

Worse?

I could barely move to get up and struggled picking up my bike, which weighs like 2 lbs.

That was 6 minutes into the race.

I had to run to the barriers and died a million deaths stepping over them.

I lost 3 spots.

FUCK!

As I descended the hill, I nearly slipped off the handlebars and wrecked myself.

How in the hell was I going to do this multiple times?

As I rode through the Start/Finish, I felt awful, but carried on…

…until I saw it.

The mental-fuckage that I never realized existed until that very moment.

We all have “that girl”.

Hell, I am “that girl” to a few people.

She is the person against whom you mentally tell yourself you did “fine” in a race so long as you beat her.

There she was.

What was worse was that I couldn’t do anything about it because I could not shut down the pain and make my body move.

I had told myself that I could always just ride around the course and at least ride, but I wasn’t even able to do that because the descents were dangerous for me and the climbs without the fun of descents is just lame.

When I saw her in front of me, my head dropped and I knew I had just ruined my race…or what was left of it.

It was a dick move for me, but I own it.

I let a couple tri people go and sighed out loud…loudly.

I admit that I was not in a good place confidence-wise to be OK with it, and I walked away right before taking the big climb again.

I later found out that this person I had used as a catalyst for my quitting had accidentally cut the course, thus missing the big climb, but that mattered little if at all to me.

If I was able to walk away from the race that fast, it would have been some other lame excuse in some other lap if not this girl; the problem was me.

I did what I could to not burst into tears as I told Larry I was out and rolled with my head down over to my daughter.

Thankfully, I never have to make excuses to her and could tell her that I quit and that I didn’t have it.

Mentally, I had stressed myself out about it being my first local cx race of the season and running into people I would rather not.

I continue to be amazed at my ability to sabotage myself and be a head-case as soon as you pin a number to me, but at least now I know it while it is happening.

The next step will be to either get past it, or walk away from the cx racing thing entirely.

Let’s be honest though…the latter is not likely to happen so long as I have a pulse, so for now…my therapist is on speed dial…and thankfully, he is amused.

The Humor Police

There isn’t a whole lot that I take seriously in this life.

Most pieces I write are filed under “humor” and most of the time in the real world you will find me smiling, laughing, or sticking my tongue out.

When I post something smirky, snarky, or tongue-in-cheek to my social media sites, I tend to add the ” :-) ” or a ” :-p ” to help people along.

You know what?

Fuck that shit.

I am forty-bleeping-years-old and do you have any idea how ridiculous I feel making smiley faces to reduce the likelihood that people who offend easily or who just don’t get me don’t freak the fuck out?

I’m not the prom queen.

I am not running for office.

My job does not rely on public opinion of me as a human….as a matter of fact being a ginormous asshole would improve my advancement in my field.

I can’t ride my bike better (or worse) based on my public popularity or lack thereof.

My immune system is not affected by a thumbs up or thumbs down symbol.

My dog doesn’t like me better based on my personal views and whether they align with his.

(For the record, they do not.  I loathe both peanut butter and assholes and he is very pro both of these items.)

We still love each other greatly and I don’t judge his love of those items which I find both disgusting and joyless.

No doubt, someone will let me know their feelings on my dislike for peanut butter now, and I will have to shake my head.

I’m shaking my head right now just thinking about it.

I fucking hate peanut butter, people.

(Note the clear absence of smiley face at sentence close.)

I do not give a shit if you bathe yourself in peanut butter and have 20 adorable puppies lick it off your ball sack.

I do not care about whether your mom breast-fed you with peanut butter-covered nipples and then got hit by a train leaving you with only fond memories of peanut butter.

I do not give a shit in general…but I will never try to convince you that you should stop liking peanut butter simply because I think that shit is nasty and filled with bugs and awfulness.

Your personal love for peanut butter is your thing and I am happy for you to have it.

I am not some asshole who didn’t try the many different selections of peanut butter or read the nutritional information and blindly decided against it; I did the right thing.  I tried it.  I informed myself.  I still decided against it.  I have that right.

Arguing passionately your case on peanut butter and/or being offended that I am serious in my loathing of this product is sort of a ridiculous thing to do…and does nothing except make me seriously ponder one’s logic with regard to tolerance and acceptance of people who are different from you.

I am tired of posting smiling faces to make people comfortable with the fact that we are all different.

I am tired of feeling the pressure to walk some neutral line because some people cannot handle differing opinions or likes without their sky/world/mind collapsing.

I don’t like peanut butter, dammit.

I don’t like grape jelly either, while we’re at it.

I don’t care if you think I am going to burn in hell.

I don’t care if you hate me for it.

I don’t care if you are judging me as a human for my dislike of [insert topic/product/person here].

What I do know is that if someone posts something with a candy-assed smiley face or labels it “humor”, it is your job to lighten the fuck up and not take that nonsense so seriously.

You want to talk serious topics?  We’ll talk serious topics.

You want to know what I don’t joke about?

  • Child abuse and rape
  • Sexual abuse and battery
  • Animal abuse
  • Genocide
  • Oppression
  • Sexual orientation
  • Gender equality

I joke about cancer, my naked body, politics, religion, cats, and that one guy with the yellow bracelets.

I tell jokes at funerals.

I’m not on this planet to agree with you.

I am not here to convince you to agree with me.

I am not here to educate you, guide you, or hold your hand…unless you exited my previously existing uterus…or you are my dog.

(If you ARE my dog, we are going to be bleeping RICH when I sell out and capitalize on your wicked blog-reading capabilities!)

Life is short, people.

Chill the fuck out.

Politics (all politics) in this country are amusing because we are a hot mess as a nation and it really doesn’t matter which side you are on…so have a little fun with it because we are going to cancel each other out at the polls anyway in many cases.

Feel happy that we live someplace where we CAN make jokes about our leaders and prospective leaders without getting shot or stoned.

If you ARE going to take it *that* seriously, please run for office and BE part of the change instead of beating others down with your personal opinions.

If you can’t do that, go feed a dog peanut butter or put Post-Its on a cat’s paws and have a good laugh for a minute.  You’ll thank me for it later.

Don’t police other people’s humor; just ignore them if their humor is so unbearable.

I have grown tired of jokes about farts, poop, blow jobs, and doping in cycling…but I allow other people their own brand of fun….especially because it is harmless fun….and you know…FUN!

Again, life is short…so go make some actual smiley faces…with your actual face.

*Disclaimer: This blog is not really about peanut butter.  If you think or thought that it was, please slap the snot out of yourself repeatedly…but post said slap-fest on YouTube, Vimeo, or SocialCam so that I can enjoy that shit too.  Yes, I really do hate peanut butter.  If you are personally offended by my loathing of peanut butter, I don’t know what to tell you because I am not apologizing for it.  Sorry for not apologizing.  (You like that?  Good.)  Yes, I sometimes eat peanut butter even though I don’t like it.  I have done the same with broccoli and penis; sometimes you have no other options.  However, like with penis, if you shove peanut butter in my face or down my throat, you will not enjoy the end result, so maybe just let me do my thing and you do yours and we don’t discuss it.  I am pretty sure I will survive your leaving my life over something as superficial as peanut better, so if you feel this strongly on the topic, please exit now.  Likely if you are reading this, you are one of those people who either love me or loathe me and your mind is made up either way, so it won’t matter.  Don’t allow our differences to ruin your day or life.  Differences are good and interesting…to the right people.  I mean, not the Right people or the Reich people, but the right people. (Did you get that?  Good.)  I am funny.  I just typed it so it must be true.  All things on the internet are true and serious.  Serious and true.  I love you.  No I don’t.  Maybe a little.  Nah.  I love me and those who are actually important to me.  I’m sure there are people to whom you are important, perhaps the good people at Jif, Skippy, or Peter Pan…?  If not, come see me and I will give you a big ‘ol hug and send you on your way.  Life is short.  Remember that.  It’s important to be happy while you are here.  Peace.

Who Am I? Questions 61 – 70

Yay….MORE!

The Feel Good Tribe’s 95 Questions to Help You Find Meaning and Happiness

I don’t know, I am feeling pretty happy since I got that giant monkey off my back and kicked the snot out of the ginormous elephant in the room…but still.

More is sometimes good, especially when it involves feeling good, so let’s do this shit while I am still hopped up on DayQuil-that-feels-like-NyQuil…

Here we go…

What are you glad you quit?

  • My last job;
  • My last relationship;
  • Racing crits;
  • Blaming others;
  • Codependency;
  • The State of Florida;
  • Red Swedish Fish

What do you need to spend more time doing?

  • Laughing;
  • Hanging with my daughter and dogs;
  • Riding my bike;
  • Sexing;
  • Reading;
  • Painting;
  • Relaxing

What are you naturally good at?

  • Loving my kids;
  • Sarcasm;
  • Kissing;
  • Shopping;
  • Cooking;
  • Falling down

What have you been counting or keeping track of recently?

  • Lies received;
  • Promises broken;
  • Psychos acquired;
  • Drama-free days;
  • My daughter’s giggles;
  • Race medals;
  • Red blood cells,
  • Hours slept

What has the little voice inside your head been saying lately?

  • Everyone suffers on the trail;
  • You deserve happiness and love;
  • “Every little thing is gonna be alright…” (In Bob Marley’s voice coming from my dog, Raycer’s head.);
  • Screw ‘em if they can’t take a joke;
  • It’s almost boot season!

What’s something you should always be careful with?

  • The hearts and minds of others;
  • Life;
  • Your children’s hopes and dreams;
  • BB guns, razors, and broken glass

What should always be taken seriously?

  • Quiet people;
  • One’s health;
  • The elderly;
  • Debt;
  • Abuse;
  • Midgets
  • Cat 4 Roadies

What should never be taken seriously?

  • Pro sports;
  • Crits;
  • Conversations about poop;
  • Anyone owning more than two cats;
  • Anyone who says they are serious…unless they have a weapon/bomb attached to their person.  (Use common sense here.)

What are three things you can’t get enough of?

  • Time with my kiddos;
  • Sushi/sashimi;
  • Happiness;
  • Love;
  • Lemonheads (candy);
  • Bikes;
  • Mud;
  • Shoes

What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?

I do/say as I please now…but my social community would collectively throw a tantrum to rival any candy-robbed toddler if I held my tongue any less.  I worry less about judgment from others and more about the sheer noise of the communal pout.

The Burnin’ Virgin

Thank god that there are still some things that I can claim “virgin” on…

…and up until Saturday, The Burnin’ at the Bluffs was one such thing.

(I will not name the others because mystery is good and also I don’t want to make my mom cry/faint.)

The Burnin’ at the Bluffs is an endurance MTB race that I have been in awe of since I first hopped on the saddle of my cute little 26’er hard-tail back in the quite recent 2008.

Traci Berry (Mesa Cycles) took pity on me and introduced me to trails beyond  the flats of Castlewood and with the patience of a saint, taught me how to breathe and how not to endo.

I mean, technically I had my very first endo with Traci, but that is when she told me how not to do that…and made me re-ride that log until I didn’t endo.  The fact that I still endo from time to time has more to do with the fact that I sometimes ignore good advice and other times I am just a skills midget.

*sigh*

I soon bought a 29’er because I told myself it would be better for someone of my limited talent.  I tell myself a lot of things…

After Traci introduced me to the trails, she also introduced me to some really fine MTB ladies.  Two of whom would become dirty little idols of mine…and remain that way.

These two ladies, Karen and Lo, were endurance freaks.  They did long ass races the likes of which I had never imagined.

6-hr, 12-hr, 24-hr races…

What the hell?  I struggled riding a MTB bike for 15 minutes before feeling like I was going to die, but 6 (SIX!) hours…or more…straight?

Shoot me!

One weekend, I met Traci out at Castlewood to cheer on Lo and Karen in a 3-hr race.  I watched the start, where they ran (RAN!) to their bikes and then headed straight up a ginormous climb.

UP!

That climb (Lone Wolf) still makes me feel like death and I have now ridden it more than a few times…and raced it.  Rename it “Death Wolf” I always say.  Ugh.

Over and over, I watched Lo and Karen climb it and I am pretty sure I felt myself shrink  in the shadow of their badassery.

Many months later I had an opportunity to ride with them and a great group of ladies from Team Rev at Lost Valley.  It was my first time there.

I felt so amazing riding with them and thought maybe there was hope for me on the bike.  Then, while feeling awesome that I was not lost or dead, I clipped a tree with my handlebars on a fastish descent and wrecked hard.  HARD!

I was a bloody mess and everything hurt.

I had a wedding to attend in a few hours and was humiliated about sucking at yet another discipline on the bike.

I licked my wounds and acted like a sad baby and was amazed at the patience Karen and Lo demonstrated with such a pouty newb.  I was a mess.

I felt like I could never ride with them again because I didn’t want to ruin rides with my blood and falling.  Basically, I resigned myself to being a huge pussssay and hung up my MTB bike.  Just like that.

That was Feb 2009 and I sold my 29’er  a few months later…to someone who regularly kicks my ass on it.

(See?  It’s not about the bike.)

Anyhoo, after the big wreck of 2009, I stayed on my cx bike and just rode that on the trails.

For some reason, I felt more comfy on that than the MTB and for some reason, I became very (VERY) daring on my sweet Cannondale cx bike.

I took that bike down descents that scared the crap out of me on the MTB and I still have no idea why I did these things.

I endo’ed a few more times, because…HELLO!

CX bike ridden by graceless freakshow!

Gawd…I LOVED it!

As luck/fate would have it, in 2010 I was ready to race a road race (circuit race) called The Babler Xtreme!

(Sounds badass, right?  Like you want to make a growling sound right now?  Go ahead; I just did and I am alone in a room with a keyboard.)

“GRRRRRR!”

It feels good!

The Babler Xtreme is/was a badass race that is/was cursed.

God hates that race because God bitch-slapped that race with crappy weather for years and now everyone just sort of gave up on it.

In 2010 though, it was an “A” race for me, which is funny because…

  1. bike race on the road in a circle
  2. bike race on the road on a road bike
  3. bike race

Also, HILLS!  (Yay!)

God said, “NO!” and rained down baby kittens and spiders and made the park sad and the ranger canceled the race the day before…which pissed me off because I was there that day and pre-rode the course and felt really good about things…for once.

However, Awesome Mesa Cycles was having their own race.  They were having a race in the dirt at the location of my last MTB wreck…Lost Valley.

So, I did what any other idiot would do and rented a bike from Awesome Mesa Cycles and signed right up.

I wrecked.  I bled.  I came in 2nd.

I was HOOKED!

I had so much fun hurting and bleeding that I couldn’t wait until the next race!

Sadly, I was broke and could not buy another bike so I sat the rest of the MTB season out and focused on cx.

In 2011, Mesa made my dreams come true and made it possible for me to ride and race MTB on the most beautiful bike I had ever seen.

I signed right up for my first 3-hr race, because that is what you do.  You race one 60-minute race and 6 months later you sign up for a 3-hr race on a bike you have had for 5 minutes.  Don’t act like that is weird.  It isn’t.

I had a lot to learn in those 3-hr races, but as I lined up for my 2nd 3-hr race, Karen (who was also racing it) calmed me and gave me great advice and immediately I knew I would be alright.

I was so thrilled to be finally racing in the same race with her that I spent the first  few laps smacking myself.  I mean, she was gone and I never saw her again until the finish, but still…I was THERE!

This year at the same race, Lo was there as a spectator and cheering us on and each lap that she called my name, I felt immensely proud that I could race longer than 15 minutes and hoped I had acquired at least a little dirt cred.  A little.

This year, I lined up at The Burnin’.  To me, this was the biggest race on Planet Cory…if only because it was a mythical beast of a fantasy that I used to listen to Lo and Karen talk about.

I dreamed of racing The Burnin’ and even as I have had a pretty decent year doing the marathons, I had genuine fears about tackling a 6-hr solo race on a course I had never ridden.

That fear increased when a bunch of people I knew were able to go ride the course the weekend prior to the race and I was not.

Karen, who has done races that continue to impress the shit out of me while simultaneously terrifying me, was going to The Burnin’ this year and I was so excited to be there with so many ladies I have grown to admire…and I didn’t want to be a big baby in front of any of them.

When we gathered for the racer meeting the morning of the race, there they all were…

Karen, Kerri, Mia, Emily, Laura, Mary, Carrie, Heather, Wendy…

Every one of these ladies is a badass and are on my Dirty Idols list.

I had the flu all week and felt like a pansy, but knew it was sink or swim time.  If I was there, I had to give it all I had and forget any fears and/or reservations I had.

We lined up and I played it safe at first…completely absorbing the awesomeness that was the event and smacking myself that I was FINALLY doing it!

I rolled up to Chris Ludwig (Mesa Cycles) and let him pace me my first lap.  Chris was doing the 12-hr solo and even his 12-hr pace was a lot for me.

Chris is an amazingly patient and consistent rider.  He kept me sane on the long climbs and though I did not always take the same lines, he kept me from doing stupid shit that I would have done had he not been in front of me.

When I finished my first lap, I was so tired that I wanted to take a nap.  Ego and pride sent me back out.

This time I was without Chris and what I learned about myself was that I am still quite the mental case on a long course.

I talked to myself the entire lap.

At first I tried to pretend Chris was still pacing me, but then I started cramping hard and kept telling myself that everyone was in pain right then and not to freak out.

I kept taking in my hydration but it didn’t seem to be doing its job.  I was too dehydrated from the flu and nothing I could do during the race would fix that.

8 miles into the 2nd lap, I got a sharp headache and started to cry a little/lot.

Thankfully, I cried mostly on the inside because just then Dwayne Goscinski, “MTB demi-god” came smiling through the rock garden as if he was being carried by Oompa-Loompas.

Dwayne Goscinski is made of candy and dirt.  Dwayne was going the slowest I have ever seen him go and he still passed me as if I was standing still and still had time to be kind and encouraging.

He has a gift for making you feel like a superhero and a lazy lard-ass all at once.  That said, he always gets me to suck it up and move my ass.

Who wants to suck in front of Dwayne?

NOT this girl!

The first time I saw him was at this park for Rim Wrecker in 2009 (I was a spectator).  He was covered from head to toe in mud and was lapping the field.  He shits boulders, that one.  He makes people look and feel like they ran the course carrying their bikes.  Get a Dwayne poster if you can and tape it to your ceiling over your bed.  Thank me later.

I watched him go, drooled on myself a bit, felt inspired and got back at it.

At the end of the notorious/famed rock garden, I promptly fell right the hell off the trail backwards and slammed my back onto a downed tree.

THAT was awesome!

I immediately started laughing because:

  1. Stover had warned me about what to expect at the rock garden something close to 500 times in the previous 10 days;
  2. It was my SECOND lap, so I had already been there;
  3. It was the most stupid fall/wreck ever and it didn’t even come with a cool story.  Bloody and painful injuries that do not come with a cool story are like those times your parents got you the coolest electronic toys ever on Christmas and then forgot the batteries and every store was closed and also they did not love you enough to go to that one convenience store on the corner…

Storyless wrecks suck like “batteries not included” on Christmas and in adult toy stores…

Lame.

The only good thing was that Dwayne and everyone else was everywhere else and no one saw anything.

(Later, Mia and I laughed about it and she told me to make up something cool and that was even funnier.)

I finished my 2nd lap without actual sobs, but took a good long break before the last lap.

I knew I needed a placebo for the pain and took 2 Aleve, ate a sammy, and finally buckled and grabbed the iPod.

Music was my only chance to finish the race and not throw myself in the lake and hope for a kayak rescue.

Well, that and the fact that thanks to triathlon, I now avoid any water that does not come with soap and bubbles.  Fuck that lake.

I set out for the third and final lap willing myself to just ride consistently and not backwards.

My inner asshole, who is still developing, was hellbent on the podium.

I had the flu and was taking time away from my daughter to race, so it better be for something.

I mean, I knew (KNEW) the First Place and desired buckle was out, but I would run the whole 13 miles if I had to to make it on that friggin’ podium….and I have to admit, by the 5th hour of the race, I was more than a bit concerned that I would have to do just that.

Darla was behind me and she trains with Karen and Kerri and she was hellbent on killing this race.  I fear Darla because she is just calmly confident and so self-assured that I had zero doubt that she would close in on me and gobble me up…nicely and politely and then maybe hug me.

As I saw the sign for the 12 mile marker, my eyes started to burn and my throat started to tighten.

I was almost done.

I knew I had one murderous mile of mostly climbing left and I was hoping Dwayne would come by again and let me hook some tow-rope to his frame to pull me up that monster.

As I crested and hit the flats and could hear the Finish noise closer, I relaxed.

I let it all melt away and complete zen (and drool) took over.

As I crossed the line, there was The Sass and my awesome friends and spectacular cheering strangers…and some guy who said, “I forget your name…but good job!”…and everything was magic.

I took 3rd….and I am amazed/fantastic with that.

I have learned a lot, I have a lot to learn, and even more to do.

As this race closes the book on my 2012 MTB race season, I look back on the fears I have conquered this year and feel excitement about the new ones I will conquer next year.

I will do the 6-hr solo again next year, and the following year I will take a run at the 12-hr solo…but after that, I hope that I am fast enough to give it a real go on the team events.

This weekend truly was inspiring to watch.

I am amazed by my friends and how amazingly awesome they all are.

AMAZING AWESOMENESS!

I am eternally grateful that I have such people to inspire me daily.

Every single person at The Burnin’ is a total badass and I am honored and humbled to have raced/suffered/partied with you.

Thank you for taking my virginity in such a fantastically memorable way.

Who Am I? Questions 51 – 60

WOW!  I have feeling fallen off the wagon regarding this list, huh?

What list, you ask because it has been so long…?

The Feel Good Tribe’s 95 Questions to Help You Find Meaning and Happiness

Yay!

Who wants to feel good?

*raises hand like toddler in a unicorn store!*

OK…here we go!

If you had to move 3000 miles away, what would you miss most?

Assuming that my children, dogs, and bikes are coming with me, I would miss my local friends and the Missouri trails.

What would make you smile right now?

In no particular order:

  • The arrival of a kickass lunch in a picnic basket with a bottle of red wine…
  • Said basket being delivered by George Hincapie and Jens Voigt and they are both wearing loin cloths and have had pedicures…
  • My boss calling it a half-day and sending us home with pay…
  • The winning Powerball ticket…

What do you do when nothing else seems to make you happy?

I am a believer in creating my own happy and have always been a big walker-away from the chronically unhappy.  There has never been a time when I could not turn my unhappy around, so I am pretty fortunate.

What do you wish did not exist in your life?

What I wish for me, I wish for all…

  • No hate
  • No needless suffering
  • No cancer
  • No abuse
  • No chaos
  • No drama

What should you avoid to improve your life?

Certain temptations, certain individuals, and swimming.

What is something you would hate to go without for a day?

  • My sense of self
  • Clothes
  • Bathroom doors

What’s the biggest lie you once believed was true?

There are two and they both hurt equally but differently…

  • That a non-friend was a friend
  • That someone whom did not love me did love me 

What’s something bad that happened to you that made you stronger?

Oh, how could I choose only one…?

  • My mom left when I was 10
  • Cancer
  • Sexual assault
  • Physical abuse
  • Plus the answers to the previous question

That seems like a good place to start…

What’s something nobody could ever steal from you?

  • My sense of self
  • My dignity
  • My accomplishments

What’s something you disliked when you were younger that you truly enjoy today?

  • Who I am and the story of me
  • My extended family
  • Broccoli
  • Running (because it was replaced by swimming)
  • Christmas

Well, there you go.

Today’s list was sort of a bummer, but sometimes you have to put yourself there to see what’s up.

I know what’s up…Do you?

If I Did It…

NO!  Not like OJ!

I’m not talking murder…though to me it would feel like the business end of being murdered…

But if I did it…if (IF) I were to join one of those dreadful dating websites or enter the dating world in general, it would be comical.

Hell, I have already been informed by a few people that we dated, and I guess I am fine with this because if I am unaware that we dated, then there must not have been any drama/spark…and also you must suck in the sack, so sure.  Good.  OK.  That story works for me.  Keep telling it.

Anyhoo…I know that putting me on those awful dating websites would be comical because I did it a long time ago and put in exactly what I wanted (which I didn’t think was so much), and it spit me out three (3) potential candidates.  Once I saw their photos, it was narrowed to one.  It was awful….for dating, but I did make some buddies that I still have today.

Truth?

I am awful at dating….and so I don’t do it.

Frankly, I just don’t like that many people in general, let alone feel any sort of attraction toward them.

You are going to have to have more than a penis and a pulse to get on my radar.  Just sayin’.

Top that off with the fact that I am incredibly selfish with my time and also lazy about things that don’t promise a healthy R.O.I. and you have a recipe for Spinster Bisque.

A while ago, one of my girlfriends asked me what I was looking for in a fella.

I was in a jovial mood at the time that she asked and responded with exactly what I thought at that moment.

I heard crickets after she read it and there were 5 sentences!

CRICKETS!

Then, last night The Sass and I were watching How I Met Your Mother and the scene was going over Barney’s awful but hilarious pre-nup and I found myself agreeing with some of the items he listed and then I just started laughing…

The main item that struck me?

“No hair below the neck”.

YES!

None.  Zip.  Zilch.

No hairy toes.  No patch on the small of your back.  No micro-garden around the jewels.

Nothing.

While it is certainly no secret that I am not a fan of hair, it made me happy that is was a point in some fictional character’s pre-nup and it gave me a smidgen of hope.

So, I dug up the email between my girlfriend and me and found what I had typed to her.  I have amended it a little, but I think this would be the “perfect” fake-ad-that-is-actually-true:

  • Must be fit, funny, intellectual and possessing common sense.
  • Should be self-aware, self-secure and non-violent.
  • No one older than 50 unless uncommonly hot and/or is George Clooney or Indiana Jones.
  • No grandpas (unless Jim Carey).
  • If rides a bike, great!  If no bike, should be into some athletic hobby (not including Wii Fit).
  • No golfers, unless it is limited to work functions.
  • Should have a job,  not live with parents (unless caring for them if ill), and not be a virgin.  This is not a Judd Apatow movie for feck’s sake.
  • No smoking unless it describes their level of hotness.
  •  Must be hairless from the neck down.
  • If a parent, child(ren) above 3 must be potty trained; if above age 5, said child(ren) must not urinate on carpet, sinks, or trash cans “for the hell of it” and must instead possess a creative imagination to explain such an incident.
  • Parents of poo-flingers and booger-wipers are excluded from consideration.
  • Ideal candidate will not have “Mommy issues” or psychotic ex-wives.
  • If drives a vehicle with sliding doors, I am not your girl.
  • The same goes with decals of Calvin pissing or bullet hole decals.
  • If your car has window flags, that effing Mizzou tail (other than on game day and you are traveling on the highway to/from Columbia, MO), or those cute family stickers showing you are either an over achiever in the sperm donation department or simply truly awful at rhythm, then no.
  • If your wardrobe has more than one crew neck sweater possessing more than 2 colors, no.
  • If you routinely wear Vibrams, Crocs, or your ex-wive’s/GF’s heels…no…for multiple reasons.
  • Must not own pocket pooches or dogs that tremble and piddle when excited.  (Wag more; pee less I always say.)
  • If has cats, no more than 2.  (I have many Post-its and a YouTube account…the possibilities are endless.)
  • Should be able to boil water without burning and speak/type in complete sentences.
  • If still likes Legos and playing with dough/clay, cool.  If still plays with GI Joe and is childless, no.
  • Must know how to properly pronounce “Italian” and be willing to throw snark at Provel.
  • If sensitive; great.  If cries more than me, then no.
  • Must be 5’10” or taller as I have fantastic footwear and I intend to wear it.
  • Should know that Yin/Yang is not merely a popular tattoo from the 60’s/80’s.
  • Should like music and know how to mimic old Kung-fu movies.
  • Should be excited every time Q drops a new movie.

Start there.

See?  I am a ginormous pain in the arse!

Another friend I were discussing just yesterday how if you are going to date, you should go for exactly what you want or don’t bother.

As I watch friend after friend suffer through the muck that is dating in general, I found myself plugging in the rechargeable batteries and downloading a few more books to the iPad.

I am raising a glass(es) to my friends in the dating world and cheering you on….and just like with OJ,  am encouraging all of you to “wear your gloves”.

*wink wink*

Your crazy, spinster friend is prepared to be your Goose, your crying shoulder, and maybe your bridesmaid (so long as the dresses aren’t fugly and/or floral or peach).

Alrighty, go get ‘em…I’m gonna just sit here and lick my wallpaper of naked Mario Cipollini.