Trek Women
February 16, 2009

Cupid gets his revenge...

Hi everybody, hope you had a happy Cranky Cupid day. I did a spin class and rode on a stationary bike at the gym for about an hour afterwards til my iPod ran out of juice. Kind of boring compared to last year's 3-hour-spin-a-thon -- but my gym gave out free t-shirts, so that was a bonus.

Later, my sis Jen and I saw He's Just Not That Into You - surprisingly, there were a lot of couples in the audience, which sounds like a pretty horrible film to see on Valentine's Day if you ask me. Hey honey, let's go see that movie about men's relationship jedi mind tricks and why I turn myself into a complete nutball trying to guess why you do the things you do. Who among us hasn't become OCD waiting for the phone to ring. I can't decide if the movie left me feeling hopeless or hopeful that it might work out in the end.

I was still pondering that question while taking my usual Sunday morning Step Aerobics class yesterday. With my mind half on a rewind of previous relationships - which shouldn't have taken that long - I missed the step and fell backwards, wrenching my ankle (on the plus side, my abs were strong enough that my head didn't thwack the floor and no broken bones). And then I figured out how to ride my bike home with one leg. Well, at least it's better than wiping out going 18 miles per hour. I hope I won't be sidelined for long.

Foot big

February 8, 2009

Anti-valentine's day cranky pledge...

Open hearts I have added what's-her-face, Jane Seymour, to my ant-Valentine's pledge after seeing her ad for the Open Hearts necklace a bazillion times already. Is it me, but I don't think it looks like hearts. It looks like worms. And while I was riding my bike this morning, I thought of another one. So, here is my pledge to date...

I pledge to turn my nose up at candy that comes in heart-shaped boxes, fuzzy pink teddy bears that you get for free if you buy 3 cards at Hallmark, balloons that say "you're still the one" and play music, ice-cream-color-dyed carnations, Jane Seymour worm jewelry, and terms of endearment like cuddle monkey or schmoopy biscuit.

Anything you'd like to add?? Send me a comment with your anti-Valentine's Day irritations

-- 6 days until Cranky Cupid Spin-a-thon2

August 11, 2008

Happy anniversary...

Laura_at_dumbarton_oaks2_3 I can’t believe it. I missed my own one-year anniversary as a Trek Woman Who Rides.  It was August 8th last summer that I posted my first blog for Trek. (Wo)man oh (wo)man, has it been that long??? I’ve never been one for keeping a diary or journaling – maybe because I write for a living, it felt like work to me. Yet every day, I think of some new thing I want to blog. I don’t always have the time, but I do carry a notebook to jot down ideas or funny conversations and a camera with me at all times .

Back when I started this whole deal, I imagined that I’d write stories about weight loss, training, travel, cool Trek stuff, tasty treats and more. Since then, I’ve gained/lost/gained/lost/gained weight; did my first triathlon and getting ready for my second; traveled to Iceland, Greece, Holland and around the U.S.; talked Trek; got a new job; got certified to teach spin: started bike commuting again; went on some bad dates; introduced you to my family and friends; met some cool cyclists; cooked with Emeril; and basically tried to share my own unique lunacy with whoever cared to read about it. So, thanks for reading, for caring and for sharing your comments.

It has been quite a trip so far. I’m glad you’re along on this trek.

August 6, 2008

Down in the dating dumps...

Heart_keyMy SPAM emailbox seems to be overflowing these days with messages trying to attract me with subject lines like “Local Sexy Singles” “Love for Free” “Truly a Match” “Real Matching”. On TV, scary eHarmony ads,, No matter where I turn, I feel bombarded by couples in luv and it just makes me want to barf. Or maybe I’m jealous. Hmmm, am I jealous or nauseous??? <Sigh> both.

I’ve been avoiding writing about dating, pretty much because I can report no progress. I guess my Single Speed is gone, baby, gone like my scooter and commuter bike. I don’t even have a “chips passing the night” story from a grocery store encounter over fat-free Pringles.  Somewhere, I went from feeling hot cha-cha to hot chub-chub. There’s not much else to say about that except to remind myself to get over it and get out there again. Waiting for some perfect number on the scale, means waiting alone. Why is this so hard.   

July 9, 2008

True me...

Crop_out I wish I could true myself, like you can true a wobbly wheel. You get one of those little adjuster doo-dads and squeaky-squeaky, your own personal spokes line up and life rides like a flat road.

I’d start by truing the spoke that is my training regimen (so-so), the spoke that is my eating habits (not great) and the spoke that is my dating life (even worse).

For me, the bump in the road the past couple months has been change. I LOVE what I do now; but finding your new way takes an awful lot of energy. And, I haven’t had leftover to deal much with the rest of my life let alone laundry.

But I’m changing that. I’ll get my weight down, my shape up and maybe a date one of these days. Once again. And it’ll probably be again and again and again. A true’d wheel doesn’t last forever. I’m always going to have to make adjustments when things change. Squeaky, squeaky.

And anyway, flat roads are boring.

February 13, 2008

Know thyself…

Cupola Dateline New Year’s Day, Athens: Jen and I were stopped at a crosswalk and I had my map open, checking to make sure we were going in the right direction to see the changing of the guard at the Greek parliament. An older, distinguished-looking gentleman sporting a fedora and a nicely cut suit approached us. In one hand he held a fine leather briefcase, in the other a cake with “2008” iced on top.

He asked if we “lovely ladies” needed help. Upon hearing our destination, he invited us to walk with him since he was headed that way. I said, how could we refuse, he had cake. He chuckled and responded “Yes, Athens is a city of cake and kisses. Have you been kissed here yet?” Jen looked like she was ready to run; but I laughed and said, “I haven’t been so lucky, though I still have 24 hours before we leave.”

Turns out, the gentleman is a professor at the University of Athens. He told us the tale of how in Ancient Greece, wisdom-seekers were advised to “Know Thyself” before asking the Oracle at Delphi questions about their future. Strangely, it was the third time I’d heard the phrase in as many days and it’s stuck with me ever since.

Do I know myself? I have a decent idea of what makes me tick and what ticks me off. Am I myself?  That’s the interesting question. When I was overweight, I hid my feelings even if I couldn’t hide my body. Even now, 100+ lbs lighter later, I still find it really hard to put my self out there.  I guess I thought it would get easier.

As my friend Magnolia likes to say, “Can’t never could.” I started my year off with a stranger’s story to “Know Thyself”; but I think my direction for 2008 is to have the confidence to “Be Thyself.” Some cake and kisses would be nice too.

January 29, 2008

This idea's got legs...

Trek_luv Trek Fit for Women Demo chick, Tori, is a genius! Last Thursday, she posted a comment on my blog that her Valentine’s Day plan is to bike an indoor century, which should take about 6 hours. If you haven’t checked out the thread yet, here’s why it’s so perfect for everyone like me who HATES Feb 14 with a passion. Says Tori, “Just think Friday morning when people snidely ask ‘so, what did you do for V-Day? You can say ‘rode my bike 100’ ”

Don’t you love it? Then, Jen Polo added in the married perspective –- you mean you aren’t all swooning over each other? And, Trek Demo chick, Ross, is in to it. (There’s also an interesting sideline about Project Runway if you’re interested.) Then, commenter Sue talked about a 400-mile by V-Day fudge goal she’s got going with her friends called “Shoot Cupid.”

I think we’re on to something! So, I propose that we initiate a First Annual anti V-Day indoor cycling challenge. First off, we need a sweet name for the challenge that snark-ily captures the essence of our ride. Post your suggestions as a comment by noon on Friday, Feb. 1. Then, we’ll vote.

Second, instead of measuring our soon-to-be-named ride in miles, let’s do something different. Regular century rides usually offer different distances: half-metric = 35 miles; metric century = 62 miles; and English century = 100 miles. I thought we could measure in time. Maybe for the soon-to-be-named Indoor Cycling Challenge, our distances could be:

> 1 episode of Sex and the City or guy-equivalent TV show
> 1 John Cusack movie or guy equivalent where things blow up
> Pride & Prejudice – the 5-hour BBC/A&E miniseries with Colin Firth – or guy equivalent miniseries
> Project Runway marathon (!) or guy-equivalent such as Ultimate Fighting Championship
> ______ your own guilty pleasure show or movie

Are you in?

January 24, 2008

Lackadaisical love life…

Nada_cookies Some heartless creature brought iced, heart-shaped cookies to work this morning and anonymously left them in the kitchen for all to “enjoy.”  Not only is it bad enough to be tortured by such sugary goodness, it’s also a nauseating reminder that the worst day of the year is only three weeks away. I LOATHE VALENTINE’S DAY! 

People always blame Hallmark for the V-Day hype. I disagree. I think it’s an evil consortium between Blockbuster, Pizza Hut and Ben & Jerry’s to make single women without dates—who are sitting at home; watching movies where Matthew McConaghy takes his shirt off (all of them); and ordering take-out because good luck getting in to a restaurant and who would want to watch all those lovey-doveys anyway—feel even worse. Someone give me a pint and a spoon. My love life is lacking and e-Harmony ads give me the creeps.

The problem is, I haven’t really been trying to remedy the situation lately. Before the holidays, I had traded emails with a guy “J.” He seemed nice enough, said he was in to fitness and running. We decided to chat on the phone. I asked him if he ran for fun or if he was training for something. “J” confessed that he hadn’t ran in close to a year; but, if we went out for a run together, he’d still have to beat me to the finish. Nice talking to you macho man. Though part of me wanted to challenge him to see who was hacking up vital internal organs at mile 5. His woo-ing needs work. Who am I to talk though? My half-hearted efforts haven’t gotten me too far either. At least I didn’t eat a cookie.

December 10, 2007


Yodel It’s too funny, the reactions that I’ve been getting to my story about The Baron. I was at my friend Joe H’s holiday party on Saturday night and the topic of dating came up. Russ and Wayne start telling the group about the debacle. They were witnesses of a sort since I called them when I escaped to the ladies room during dinner. Of course, they were dying laughing, like I was.

Fast forward to the party, my tragic tale is revealed. The women there were like, “He brought an old man on your first date?” Yep. “Was it his Grandpa?” Nope. “What was he thinking?” I have no clue. “What did you do?” Eagerly anticipate the next freaky thing to happen. “That beats my worst date ever.” Why thank you, thank you very much.

I’ve also gotten a slew of emails including one from my bro-in-law’s Mom, Pat (who I absolutely adore) that she got a kick out of reading the story. I emailed her back with a little nugget that I didn’t share the first time around. Enjoy!

We're at the German restaurant, eating, and I’d already come to the conclusion that the approaching 80-year-old Baron was way more interesting than my date. He starts to tell me about his lady friend who is a MUCH younger woman. Though I know it’s impolite, I have to ask him how much younger. With a twinkle is his eye, The Baron reveals that she’s in her 60s. Yodel-ay-hee-whoooo-boy!!!

I was kind of relieved actually because if he had said she was around my age, I was seriously going to have to reconsider this whole dating thing or consider getting Botox. Pat’s response, “I like the sound of being in your 60s making you a much younger woman!” I like the idea of being someone’s “lady friend” some day. I wonder if has a category for gentlemen callers?

December 4, 2007

A date with the baron...

AlpsAm I too old for a chaperone? I get a message from “R”. We email back and forth, talk on the phone a few times and decide to meet. R seems nice, about my age, likes to run, is an art director by day and a weekend sculptor. He also says he’s a vegetarian, which is fine by me as long as you’re not going to stab me with a spork if I order a turkey sandwich.

We both like German food and R mentions a restaurant in Maryland that a friend highly recommends. We make plans to meet there after work on a Friday –- taking separate cars. Date night arrives and I mapquest directions. It’s at least a 90-minute drive, closer to 2 hours in rush hour traffic. This better be good.

I get to the restaurant a few minutes early. It’s cozy and very Bavarian looking. My cell rings and R tells me he’s running late because he had to pick up his friend.  Scenario (A) that’s running through my mind is that R had to pick up and drop off said friend along the way. Scenario (B) is what walked through the door.

Said friend -- I don’t know what his real name is, but he’s called The Baron. The Baron is 77 years old, robust, with white hair, rosy cheeks and small round glasses. He’s sporting a German-style leather vest and a green Alpine wool hat with a small feather. All he needed were lederhosen to complete the ensemble.

R had mentioned his friend, The Baron, during one of our phone calls.  The restaurant is The Baron’s favorite. The Baron is the one who drove them to the restaurant. Scenario (C), The Baron and R came together; but, he’s joining other people for dinner. Scenario (D) is what really happened.

The host seats R, The Baron and me at a small table. I order goulash and a large beer. The Baron picks the special and R orders wiener schnitzel. I ask R if he knows that schnitzel is made of pork. He says yes. I say, “Oh, I thought you were a vegetarian.” He replies, “Only on the weekends.” I’m gonna need another beer.

The evening rolls on and it dawns on me that I’m a third wheel on my own first date. I excuse myself to the ladies room. Scenario (E) make an escape through the window.  Scenario (F) laugh out loud and see what else could possibly happen.

I walk back to the table and R says to me, “You have a very nice body. I can tell because I am a sculptor.” He says this IN FRONT OF The Baron. I’m thinking, keep it to yourself there meat-eater. Shortly thereafter, our chaperone signals his need to head home. I guess it’s past his bed time. The Baron and my date walk me to my car. We all shake hands. Auf wiedersehen forever. The goulash was excellent though.

Still single, still willing to mingle.