Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Cyclist

She rode for an amateur women's mountain bike team. She even had a spread, a modest one, in a sexy team calendar. I was driving down the road today and caught a glimpse of her. It has been two years since I said goodbye. Yeah, I was only one of the many to see her go to another job, but she was nice, a friend to me when I wasn't feeling very attractive. It meant a lot to me.

She now rides for a true professional team. I'm sure she's made up with her ex-fiance and is now married. She wasn't leggy, even for a cyclist. Pretty damn trim. Probably one of the best fit women I've ever seen. She always looked like a woman no matter how hard she was training. She kept her light brown hair long, which I like: sometimes up in a sexy twist, or Indian braids. She rode GT's. That is pretty damn sexy.

I remember telling me about her childhood racing horses in steeple chase events in Illinois. She won a championship at 14. Damn, she was a competitor. Still is, I guess. I looked up her finishing results, after I had my little blast from the past today. Mostly top tens in the first part of the season, but lately has had some DNF's and places in the 30s and 40s.

I don't know where to start. I met her when I was a total fat fuck--my words, my explanation....don't get offended. Before that came to pass, I was that guy who hiked it, biked it, skied it either downhill or cross-country. I was still a big boy, but a trim healthy one. Somewhere along the way of having setbacks, family trials, watching my friends get married and move on to successful careers, I got lost...and morbidly destitute in spirit. I don't think I can really explain the details here, or to anyone, really. I will say that, in the end, I restored my integrity and my sense of morality. I didn't cross any lines that couldn't be uncrossed. I think that I have pretty much left out the last sixish years to those that I have talked to here. I just make like I stopped at 2000 and started back up at late 2005--that was that. If I can't be honest, then I just won't talk.

I finished school, but was hell-bent on exploding in that vacuum of isolation and prison of self destructive behavior. I thought that going back into religion would fix me and it seemed to only set me in strange patterns of "good/bad" cycles. I immersed myself in learning electronic theory. I was buying bulk obsolete semiconductors for awhile and trying to resell them on Ebay in smaller lots for a higher price. I just ended up walling myself in with creation after creation. I ate and ate, didn't go out much. I ballooned to 260 pounds. I was a fat fucking mess of a man. I shut myself off from friends. It was horrible.

I should have sought help, but I didn't. I was a psychology graduate (B.S.), had taken my GRE and made good scores. I applied for graduate programs and got to a final interview at one school. It was in that interview that my faith in psychologists and psychology was shot to hell for a time. I was told by this professor that she knew my "type", she was trained to see this--like it was a bad thing--all while I was making this Hail Mary pass for my life. I was right in the middle of destroying myself and took a chance to make an improvement. This lady never sought to help, only to make my fault shine like a fucking chromed lump of shit. I called her a stuffed shirt and that pretty much blew that interview. Hey, at least I was an alternate for a few months. Besides, they picked only five out of 160. I should've given myself more credit for making it as far as I did, considering. I didn't, however.

I thought that whatever "type" I was, I wasn't going to let anyone touch me. If they were going to ridicule me, which is what I thought, I would either just quit life or fix myself. So, I started to fix myself.

My first attempts were pretty undisciplined. I just tried the self analyzing. Too subjective, you can't make a proper diagnoses this way, not what's going on in your head. I coasted for a year. That is when I was called on some jobs that took me to the occupational therapy suite. It was there that I met a pretty girl. Yeah, her, the cyclist. She was the type of girl that I would see on the trails when I was that young buck rider. I felt self conscious and ashamed at first around her. I don't know why. I guess I felt like she'd never see that former "me" that would have had so much in common with her. I was thinking that she would pretty much laugh me off, or think I was a creep if I started talking shop--noticing all the bike paraphenalia--like I just picked up on whatever just to bug a cute girl. I mean, would she believe this fat fuck? Yeah, it turns out she did, and she was impressed with my little stories of certain trails and trips. Hell, she even took some of my trail advice. I don't think she ever knew how much this all meant to me. I felt like a man again, and more importantly, human.

I was always a bit shy. Having to look at myself all distorted, distended, and bloated, I couldn't quite muster up enough to ask her out. I did get to flirt again. I'll tell you, that was nice. She was involved, anyway, but I couldn't help but hope. I always made comments on her hair, and she would change it up for me so I could see what she looked like in different styles. When her team's calendar came out, I got one. Man, she photographed well. I was lust struck. I was also heart broken when she quit to pursue her pro mountain bike career, taking part-time work in that locale.

Whatever the case, I was different after meeting her. No steamy sex, or make out sessions, but I just felt valued again. As part of the self therapy I came up with, I made some cards with specific statements on each one. I have read these to myself each morning and night since about that time. I won't go into what the cards say, but I have been on the steady up and up since. No more of those dreaded "rope flashes".

Since blogging, I have met some very special people. I have had some ups, downs, heartaches, and lessons learned, but these people have helped me out big time, too. They have been those people that give out Gatorade at certain points of a marathon. This particular marathon is not over, but their Gatorade to me came at the right time, just as Jennifer's did. Oh yeah, that's her name.

I don't seem to be able to own much of any of these friends. I have to cherish what I have and just let it be. That is the hardest part for me because I never forget or completely let go of people. It seems easy for them to do so and I admire that--I wish I were more capable and could move on easier. I'm getting better at it, I suppose.

Back to today: So, I decided to not be creepy and try to pull over and stop Jenny while she was training. I didn't even know if she would recognize me, now that I am trim. I wonder what she would have thought? I guess I won't know. Hell, I don't even know what she was doing down here in the first place. Maybe I'll see her around. I'm getting my bike tuned and ready.

(Note: I don't recommend anybody take the course that I chose to take care of my issues. Just do yourself a favor and get counseling. As for me, I guess I am both smart, blessed, and lucky to have this thing work for me--I am an exception.)


Crystal said...

no matter how far away we seem, we'll always be there.

and you should have stopped Jennifer, Grunty. what were you thinking?

Clearlykels said...

I am glad that you are better and happier.

Also, distance is relative.

NiolK said...

Your post strikes a chord with me bro. While I've no way had the grief it sounds like you went through. I've had some very similar shit that I'm still trying to get through. Cheers for bein so honest.

I totally wouldn't have stopped her either.

OutInLeftField said...

Tht was a very moving bared all and thanks for that...not many bloggers do. I'm glad you got to wear you wanted and needed to be, and hopefully you will continue on a great path (no bike pun intended) in life! :)

Chris said...

You didn't stop her because she is not the issue. You are the issue. You recognized that. Good move.

Vera said...

Your post shook me. I appreciate everything that you have shared with us, your readers, and with me as your friend. You're valuable to me, Grunt. An irreplaceable and pricelss asset. Thanks for sharing part of who you are.

PS: Now I'll stop being a bluddy effin' sap if you will! ;)

Scott said...

Glad that you wrote this post. Love to hear that you are doing better with things and love to hear about people like this girl on the bike.

Also glad to hear that yours is getting tuned up, there will come a day when I am out at Moab and need a riding partner my friend.


Queue_t said...

we must have this bike vibe going around. I tuned mine up , but then realized i really don't fit that well on it anylonger LOL - i am trying to decide to get a " cruiser bike " instead.

Thanks for sharing a bit about you and so honestly. I lurk and read and am connected. You can drop me a line anytime if you need my e-mail just post me a comment.


Gentleman-hobbs said...

nice peice, perhaps it is my twisted mind but it reminded me of a joke

Sheila, the Aussie housewife, got out of the shower and slipped on the bathroom floor. Instead of falling over forwards or backwards, she did a splits and suction-cupped herself to the floor.

She yelled out for her husband, "Bert! Bert!"
Bert came running in.

"Bert, I've bloody suctioned myself to the floor," she said.
"S'truth," Bert said, and tried to pull her up. "You're stuck fast girl.

I'll go across the road and get Cobber (his mate) to help."
They came back and they both tried to pull her up.

"No way, we can't do it," Cobber said, "so let's try Plan B."

"Plan B," exclaimed Bert, "what's that?"
"I'll go home and get my hammer and chisel and we'll break the tiles under her," replied Cobber.

"Spot on," Bert said, "while you're doing that, I'll stay here and play with her n*pples."

"Play with her n*pples?" Cobber said, "Not exactly a good time for that mate!"

"No," Bert replied, "but I reckon if I can get her wet enough, we can slide her into the kitchen where the tiles are less expensive."

Jules said...

Grunty - You have me in tears. I hope you realize just how much you mean to us... me... You are SO WORTHWHILE, my friend, and I, for one, am so blessed to have met you. Thank you for being you, sweets! And you know what? It's all that "leading up to now" stuff that makes us who we really are inside and who we shape ourselves to be in the future. It's good if you can always remember that.

Luv Jules

Outdoorsy Girl said...

Wow...You were right about meeting some really good blog friends! What nice comments and thoughtful comments!

Of course, I think you are an awesome and special person, too. Thanks for sharing this story. It's wonderful that you can allow yourself to be so open and honest about things. I struggle with that a lot (not with the honesty part, but with the opening up)so this post was very inspiring to me.

I also have a hard time letting go of people in my life. I do believe that you meet certain people for a reason. Sounds like Jennifer's effect on your life in the past was to help you realize that you are deserving of a good life and that there are people out there who will value you. That realization helped you value yourself.

Maybe the reason you saw her today was to remind you of this again. (Sometimes we need reminders when going through a rough time). Maybe you will see her again and have the chance to catch up.

Always on the Move said...

WOW, Thanks so much for sharing that Grunty.
I've heard a lot about you from a great friend Jules. So I thought I'd start reading your blog. It sounds so exciting already.
I can't read to read a lot more of it!
Take Care and I hope that everything will continue to go up hill for you!

Always on the Move said...

I meant to say
I can't "wait" to read a lot more of it...meaning your blog!
Thanks for sharing this from the bottom of your heart!

The Grunt said...

Chica~ Yeah, I don't care how many boyfriends you have: you ain't ta getting rid of yer Grunty=)

Kels~ I have relative distance from distant relatives. I'm in a good mood now, so I'm all jokey. Sorry.

Niolk~ Yeah, I try to break out of the Haha's once in a while. Glad you got something out of it.

Outinleftfield~ I hope I keep moving forward too. Thanks!

Chris~ Yeah, I also think that she would have been a bit annoyed, but I guess that I'll just have to keep my eye open for her and play it by ear. I would more like to just talk.

Vera~ Even big strong maple trees give off tons of sweet sap.

Scott~ Shit yeah! I still have my old Rock Hopper. No suspension baby!!!

QT~ Thanks! I know you are around here lurking, you lurky lurker you;)

G-Hobbs~ What, no family themed stories? HAHAHA!

Jules~ If it's tears you want I'll just take off my boots. Really, I'm touched that you were touched. See, now we are touching each other.

O-Girl~ Yeah, I need to be reminded once in a while. Thanks for being one of my blogger friends=)

Always~ You are welcome here. I keep a good tidy blog with many distractions, hahas, and deep bits. I am glad you came and slept on my couch. See, we are already off to a great start.

Photogirl said...

Great post Grunt! very heartfelt.

LindzyPinzy said...

wow Im in tears from your post and the comments people have wrote. good on ya for sharing your story and being so honest. I enjoyed reading it.smiles:)

Egan said...

Fantastic work. It was a lengthy read for me, but I loved it. I think you should be proud of what you've accomplished. It sounds like you've come a long way from where you once were. I"m sure something as personal as this isn't easy to share, but this is what makes blogging so great... instant fanbase.

Grunt, you're a great guy and I will make sure to stop by more often. I like how you're proactive about your life and keep a positive attitude about things. Have a great Thursday.

/v said...

sap schmap!

The Grunt said...

Celeste~ Thanks for reading me. It does mean a lot to me.

Lindzy~ I write the posts that make the young girls cry....

Egan~ Thanks for dropping by, man. Your comments are supportive, and I don't care how manly man I feel, support is always good.

Vera~ Shaddupa yo mouth, you!

Egan said...

You deserve the support for sure. Now, I have a new post of yours to read.

Sun Follower said...

You're an inspriation, Grunt. Thank you for sharing this and for blogging - glad I found you on here.

LindzyPinzy said...

i just love love your blog its a fave for sure!

The Grunt said...

Jeez, you guys: Egan, Sun, and Lidzy. I'm starting to get all emotional, for reals!

Logophile said...

I am both late to the party and forgot to bring some wine.
However, I have a nice big bottle of Vault here to try and make amends.
I'll help wash the dishes though if you want,
I will talk to you while you washing them.
How's that?