It’s not always often you go to the beach for a fun afternoon and end up at the police station. It all started when my kids and I decided to take my sister to the beach for a few hours on Friday. We chose Wrightsville Beach as opposed to Carolina Beach because WB is just a lot bigger and wider. It was a lot of fun and the weather was great. We picked up some food at the store and ate while watching the kids play with some other kids they met in the water.
On our way back to the car, we had to cross a normally busy road. The light was green for cars to cross the road we were crossing and no cars were around in any direction, so we crossed accordingly without pushing the button so the thing would flash for us to go. My sister and kids got through the intersection fine, but when I was close to reaching the sidewalk, a big red car came hurdling towards me to take a right turn. She stopped her car VERY close to my legs and I could tell she was noticeably irritated that I didn’t have a crossing sign and that I was in the road, albeit, barely in the road. I stopped in my tracks. She then was pointing at the crossing thing (What the heck IS that thing called???) mouthed, “WHY DON’T YOU JUST GO?!” to which I responded by standing right where I was, holding my arms out and saying, “Are you KIDDING me?”. . Yeah, pretty dumb. For both of us. I was probably about two feet from the curb. This lady was in such a hurry that she barreled her car by me, skidding her tires as she went. (And she wasn’t some goofy teenager, she was 62 years old – old enough to know better.) I was holding two big beach chairs on my right shoulder, and when the car went by, it hit my chairs. I did my best to hold my chairs as close to me as I could. Part of me was so shocked, I didn’t know what the heck was going on. Who does that???!!!! Part of me was hoping to scratch the hell out of her car as she grazed by me, feeling lucking that I had the chairs as a barrier.
I looked at her car as she sped down the road and realized there was no way I could get her plate, so we just went on. A few minutes later, I started shaking. As we were putting our beach gear in the back of my Escape (I have to say it the way Dori does in Finding Nemo – “es-CA-pay”), another lady drove by and told us that she saw what the other lady did and got her plates, then made an effort to find and give it to us. She agreed to be a witness if it came to that.
Upon my sister’s repeated orders to GO TO THE POLICE, I did. No pedestrian should be accosted by a driver. I wasn’t crossing a street full of traffic and without caution. There were NO cars there, plus the light was green to cross. Yes, we will now wait for the little walk guy from now on, but still. Her hitting me was no accident, that’s for sure. Thankfully, the police were so good to me, showed my kids the fire trucks as I was doing my reports, and hopefully this will help teach the driver to slow the hell down.
It made me really think. We are so fragile. Had I been in front of her instead of beside her, she could have run over my foot, broken my leg, or given me a head injury. Yup, I should have kept going. We were both wrong, but I wasn’t the one in a vehicle that could easily kill someone. Part of me had the “deer in headlights” reaction, part of me had the “fight” reaction, which is why I stood my ground. Maybe the driver was in a hurry. Maybe she was upset. Maybe she was super late. I don’t know, but there’s really no excuse for doing what she did, especially when there were two kids right there. Part of me felt sorry for her.
On Saturday morning, bright and early, I started out on my ride. I was on my own since I couldn’t find anyone to ride with me. I only stopped twice, once to take my underwear from the innermost part of my crack, and another, to eat my test meal. I can’t remember what it was exactly, but I’ll be buying more of them. Yum. At the first stop, I pulled off to the side, and I totally fell down because I totally forgot that I was clipped in. It was quite graceful, and thankfully, it didn’t hurt. I actually laughed and said to myself, “Well, I’m guessing that’ll be the last time I forget I’m clipped in.” Hopefully so. I readjusted my handlebars and went on my way.
I was on a highway with cars zipping by at 50-60 mph. Because of what had happened with the car the day before, I was a little more sensitive to the fact that these cars were so close to me. At some points, I was probably a foot away from a vehicle that, had the driver not been doing his/her job, would totally kill me. Some drivers gave me plenty of space when they passed, others couldn’t be bothered and gave me my foot and passed so close where I could feel the power of the car.
Life is so fragile. Not to make light of it, whenever I say “fragile”, I am always reminded of “The Christmas Story” when the dad gets his leg lamp delivered. Here, watch this.
Where am I going with this? Well, I think that we go on about our days, one after the other, many of us in a hurry to get to work, to school, to our kids’ sports, to our workouts. We get impatient at red lights, at a slow driver, at bikes in a two-lane road. We run in the street, believing the cars will go around us. While we go on with our business, we need to remember to be aware of our surroundings, to be a little more patient with others, whether they are driving WAY TO SLOW or just a pedestrian crossing the street after an afternoon at the beach. We need to be diligent while running, always paying attention and assuming the car doesn’t see us. Let the car go and use the pause button on your Garmin. Give the bicyclist an entire lane when you pass. Just slow down, wait for the moped driver to turn right instead of barreling around him/her. Don’t text and drive!!!! Leave earlier if you must. Get there late. It’s not a big deal if you consider that being in a hurry could cause you to make a decision you wouldn’t ordinarily make. Don’t live to regret that decision. Life is so freaking fragile.
That being said and because I haven’t posted much recently because I’m trying to absorb the last few weeks of summer break with my kids, here’s my last week’s workout recap:
Last Thursday, I went to the pool to work on my swim drills and get a mile in. It wasn’t very pretty and I decided it was ok that I never turn into a really good swimmer. I need to continue working on my drills to improve form while getting the distance in, whether I
hate dislike it or not.
Friday was an easy 3 mile run with my dog while my kids rode their bikes along side.
Saturday was my 60 mile bike ride. It went well until the last 10 miles. I only said fuck twice too, so that’s good! Ha!
Sunday and Monday were off.
Tuesday was a 5 mile run with some faster paces worked in there.
Wednesday was an hour on the bike with some strength – ended up with 17 miles, which isn’t great, but I wasn’t feeling it. While at my son’s football practice, I got a 3 mile run in. It wasn’t speed per se, but the average pace was under 8, so I was happy with that. I know at some point, I got to a sub-6:00 pace. That didn’t last long, but hey, I did it! I love running.
This morning: Oy. Back to the pool. I REAAAAALY didn’t want to continue past a quarter mile. I knew that would be a really bad decision and would regret it, so I made it a mile. Am I crazy to even consider a full IM if I hate swimming just one mile? Is this normal? Do other triathletes have one sport they just don’t like but do just to be able to do triathlons???
I feel like I’m cheating on running while doing all this biking and swimming. I miss it. I miss the real stuff, the speed, the distance, the tempo runs. I’m looking forward to getting back to the track next week. Ahhhh, running!!!!
What’s everyone else up to? Dreading the end of summer like I am?