I don’t know if you’ve heard, but I’m a runner now. I started running on the treadmill at my Orangetheory classes last year, just thirty seconds or so at a time. And then I kept running, getting up to sixteen slow minutes in class. Then I decided to take it outside in August to see if I wanted to be a runner yet. I’ve been on this road-to-running many times in my life, but maybe this time it would stick. Not that it has to. My dad was an asshole about a lot of things, including “fitness,” but in his old age had mellowed. If it doesn’t feel good, don’t do it, was the advice he gave me in the past decade or so. If I didn’t enjoy running, I wouldn’t do it.
I hadn’t ridden my bicycle in a couple of weeks, due to holiday travel and holiday sit-around-the-house reasons, but I finally got in a ride today, and wow, I instantly felt so much more like myself than I have in some days. It was a beautiful day, finally sunny, blue skies peeking out more and more as the day went on. I rolled down the hill, made a quick stop at my gym to earn the 100 bonus points you get for checking in to the gym nine times in a month (a very on-brand choice, if you know me in real life), and then down to Harbor East to meet my work wife for lunch.
I spent the end of last week in New Orleans, a short trip that was needed for a long time. I hadn’t been back in three years, previous visit attempts thwarted by cancer, the inability to make a travel plan because of cancer’s ptsd, and, of course, hurricane warnings this July. I made it, finally. I spent time with friends and their lovers, friends, children, and pets, and it was such a treat to peek in on so many lives and say hello! I’ve missed you! I’m still here too!
Today’s ride took me down the hill and to the left and over to Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center at 601 North Caroline Street, though it’s not really on Caroline Street, as far as I can tell. I’ve been here many, many times. I remember posting a similar picture when I rode over to meet with my breast surgeon for the first time after my diagnosis with breast cancer, almost two years ago–November 21, 2017 is when the news came in, but I knew it was cancer a bit before that. Radiologists know, and mine told me. If the biopsy comes back benign, I’ll know the pathologist made a mistake.
Today’s ride took me down the hill via the Maryland Avenue cycletrack, a right on Lombard to the bike racks at Greene to pick up the shuttle to work. I take this ride all the time, and I know its asphalt really well. it took me a few years to figure out the phantom drop just before Saratoga, but I mostly know it all by heart now. I still keep my eyes down, though, because you never know. And today it was this sad dead rat, looking sleepy but most definitely dead, in the middle of the right lane around 24th Street. I went around it and kept on my way. I locked up my bike, headed to campus, worked and worked and worked, and then turned around, got on the shuttle, walked to my bike, and headed uphill.
It’s been a minute since I blogged, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been riding my bicycle. When it’s the way you get around, you always get to ride your bicycle. I’ve had some fun rides, but mostly it’s just me, pedaling to and from work, to and from the gym, to and from meeting friends here and there. It’s such a gift to be at ground level when getting around, instead of stuck inside a car, behind all the other cars. This is especially true on days like yesterday, when downtown Baltimore was in complete gridlock due to a suspicious vehicle leaking gasoline, and then yet another water main break. I took the shuttle into the city from work, hopped off at the second stop, and two blocks later was on my bike and heading home, able to walk and ride around the traffic. Suck it, cars!
I was on a beach vacation in Florida all last week, so no bike riding–just beach sitting and wave bobbing for me. It was a glorious treat, but I was happy to get back to Baltimore, too. I’ve ridden my bike every day this week, because that’s what I do when I’m going places, and it’s too hot to wait for the bus.