* This is a series of posts I'm calling my Attagirl Portfolio. Using this poster (available @ www.allposters.com) as my inspiration, I am creating a series of life-enriching (not empowering, heh!) posts. These are to be hauled out and re-read in case of emergency when the only other option appears to be the liberal application of apple fritters directly to my ass.
I am Bold. Hmmm. While this is a word that I would like to use to describe me, I'm hard-pressed to think of an actual example. I'm probably not bold when it's about self. The only time I can recall getting bold is in the defense of others. I can remember calling out schoolyard bullies when they were harassing the shy kid in our class. Oh, and I do remember another situation. Looking back, I'm not sure it was bold or perhaps just fool-hardy. It was years ago - Pebbles was probably under ten years of age and we were in a fast food restaurant out in Burleson. We were sitting in a not-too-crowded taco joint when a man, woman and boy, maybe ten came in. The man and the boy were in boy scout uniforms. I cannot remember how all this went down, but the crux of it was that this man started yelling at the boy and the woman. They started to cower in the booth across from him. He wouldn't shut up. Food was dropping out of his mouth. This guy was rabid. The management of the restaurant did nothing. He was out of control. I sent Pebbles out into the car and told her to lock the door and not to open for anyone except me or the police. And I confronted the guy. I don't really remember what was said, but you can bet that my weight came into the conversation - because boy, that's always an easy target. Another woman in the restaurant came to assist and I don't really recall other details than that. Other than the very next day, I got on the phone to the boy scout association and reported this guy. No way in the world he needed to be a boy scout leader. I don't remember if there was a name on the uniform or if I just gave a description. Burleson was a small town - if the BSA wanted to figure out who he was, they could.
Yesterday was an absolute treat! My very bold and brave friend Talia rode 22 miles with me yesterday. We took it slow and easy, but she had never been farther than 7. It was so very cool to see her sense of accomplishment and wonder. She was just awe-struck at her own awesomeness. She was just giddy. "I can't believe we did that. I had no idea I could do that. When we started out today, I had no real plan but I can't believe I rode to Garner and back."
Her husband was waiting for us in the parking lot when we arrived and there were high-fives and hugs. It was a thrill to be a witness to someone just realizing what they might be capable of. And oh, we had fun. Except for the snake! Holy Crap. I am afraid of both frogs and snakes.
We were on a rails-to-trails ride and thus were able to ride side-by-side and talk the whole way (except for the uphills) and just as I was riding by what I thought was a fallen branch of a tree, I could see it was a head-up coiled snake! OMG! OMG! OMG! Talia said she looked over as I was screaming (so much for bold! ha) and it looked like I had my feet up over the handlebars! Later she asked me what kind a snake it was.
"Was it a rattlesnake?"
"I don't think so, it didn't look like any boots I've ever owned."
"Well, was it a copperhead?"
"Talia, I don't know. I'm not from around here."
"I'm getting you a snake identifying book."
I thought of Kelly and knew if she had seen that snake, she could probably identify it. And she probably wouldn't be screaming through the woods with her knees up around her ears either. I consulted the Googles after I came home and have id'd the snake as a racer - a non-venomous snake of the region who routinely travels "head up" to be able to see through the tall grass. Very creepy and sort of cool at the same time.
But apart from the snake, it was a perfect, perfect outing. I cannot wait to do it again. No crowds. No traffic. No strollers. No MAMILs (middle-aged men in lycra) to ride by in stealth mode at a eleventybillion strokes per minute and startle the crap out of me. Nope, this was a hard-packed trail, so no road bikes.
I'd love to take the kids back out there today, but Pebbles will be on Slater's vintage road bike, while he'll be on his new mountain bike, so the trails it is for us. I know Pebbles would prefer the rails to trails, as she hates riding by the river. She's sorely afraid of landing in the drink. Today promises to be a wonderful day, as well.
Take good care of yourself. Be kind to others. Be bold.