Friday, April 17, 2015

girl versus gnarl

not me:  no cyclocross in my future
spring riding means—for me—short sleeve jerseys. with armwarmers or a wind jacket for early starts, downhills, and cloud cover. 
but this spring (until the snowstorm two days ago) has given us plentiful warm, sunny days where nothing more than a jersey is needed.
unfortunately, I seem to always forget sunscreen on my arms, and thus, I have a farmer’s tan, a golfer’s tan, that terrible line across the middle of my bicep where skin changes from sun-kissed to fish belly white.
I was moaning about this to Biking Buddy Bob the other day, and he looked askance at me.

I’m always surprised, he said, I think of you as pretty gnarly, and every once in a while you show that you’re, um---
girly? I supplied.
yes, he said, girly.

I’m really more girly than gnarly.
I’d much rather be in a dress than in cycling jersey and shorts. but it’s difficult to ride a bike that way.
I’d rather be clean, with my hair styled, not sweated into disarray.
I’d rather not have grease, grime, dirt, and dust embedded in my pores.
I’d rather not have white salt stains running down the side of my face, and down the back of my shorts.
thank God there aren’t mirrors in most porta-potties, outhouses, and vault toilets.

my gnarly side is the one that says yes to adventure, I can do it to ridiculous rides.  it is gnarl that grits teeth and swallows pain.

it’s girl that can’t wait for that shower, clean clothes, face cream, a hair dryer.

the problem with being girly is that you miss out on adventure, epic experiences, and fodder for great stories. scars. grease tattoos.

so this girly person has traded some girl for some gnarl, and is happier for it.

well, happier after she takes that shower, dries her hair, and puts her dress back on.