Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty.
Been down, isn’t it a pity,
Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city.
Ok, now that you have The Lovin’ Spoonful stuck in your head, it is a reminder that summer has, at long last, arrived. Along with summers arrival is the 30th anniversary of RAAM. The 2011 race starts today. Solo Women on June 14th, Solo Men on June 15th, and Teams on June 18th. In exactly 12 months, we will be toeing the start line in Oceanside. We will be trained, we will be prepped, and we will be shaking with anticipation of what could be one of the greatest adventures of our lives. I, for one, cannot wait.
I am being careful, however, not to wish away an entire year. I am enjoying all that summer has to offer. The long-awaited warmth, the longer days, swimming and watching the sunrise as I alternate between watching the black line on the bottom of the pool and the dawn creeping across the sky and illuminating the mountains, and – you guessed it – getting on my bike. I do my best thinking while riding, which probably says a lot about the level and depth of my thought process. Thoughts can only be deep enough so as not to take my mind totally off the road and can only last long enough to blot out the sound of my labored breathing and pain of straining muscles. So, short and shallow. Huh. I am pretty short . . . .YIKES!
Today I was thinking about RAAM. I had just received a call from Marie, one of our stupendous crew members from The Denver Spokes 2010 edition and soon to be just as stupendous in 2012, even though she doesn’t know it yet, who was at the start line in Oceanside. I could feel the excitement mounting in the background from her call and I began remembering and fantasizing about what 2012 will be like for all of us on RMR. My first thought is that we definitely need better speakers for our van. Oh yeah. Some big, thumping, gigantic speakers, so we can actually hear the directions being shouted at us from the crew watching our derrieres. We are all over 50 – ok, average age is over 50 – ok I’M over 50 and I need to hear directions. Sorry about that. But I also really want to pump some tunes through those big, thumping, gigantic speakers so I can feel cool. There it is. Short and shallow.
Last year, as I was feeling a teensy tired, our crew chief (Lark) called my youngest daughter and put her on the loud-speaker to shout words of encouragement (minus any obscenities) to me while I was riding. It threw me into such a tizzy that tears sprung to my eyes and I couldn’t see the road. Let it be known that my youngest daughter isn’t exactly a baby; she is nearly 23 years old. It didn’t seem to matter. I heard her tiny voice through those stupid, miniscule speakers and suddenly, I became aware of the enormity of the challenge and of the people I love best in my life. Sometimes loving people the best is the biggest challenge out there. So zooming down the highway in somewheres-ville (Mexican Hat, perhaps?) with my daughters’ voice encouraging me from behind was something I could have never, ever anticipated experiencing in my lifetime. Ever. Nope. And even though it was for a very short time (but not shallow), it will make a longstanding memory. Let it be known, Lark didn’t do that one twice.
So, I have decided to live in the moment, make sure we find some enormous speakers, and get my girls to work making enough mixes to get us across the country. Sometimes short and shallow isn’t so bad.