Jack Bauer, Kate Austen and Ann Brennan – what do we all have in common? According to my sixteen year old son, we are all bad-asses. I am aware that Jack Bauer and Kate Austen are usually busy kicking ass and taking names and that I am not quite on that level, but apparently 40 year old moms are not held to the same standard as television heroes. For a while I was teetering on the scales of badass but those scales where tipped in my favor after this morning’s 35 mile ride in the pouring rain. That’s all it took to make my 16 year old son think I was one cool chick. Okay, not his words but I know that is what he meant.
And to think, I almost didn’t go out there this morning. I woke up at six and it was still dark outside. The rain and wind were pounding the house and I decided, before my feet hit the floor, that I would not be stepping out that front door. As though to reinforce my decision the window thermometer read 50 degrees. So, the new plan? Take the youngest to preschool and come back home and sit on the couch with my coffee and my latest Kindle purchase. A nice relaxing morning at home sounded just about right. At least, it sounded right until that little voice in my head said, “You are going to be stopped by a little rain? And you think you are going to qualify for Boston this way?” The voice won.
I dressed the littlest one for school, covered myself from head to toe in my best waterproof biking gear and loaded my bike on the back of the car. As I did this, I sent up a small prayer of thanks that the rain seemed to be slowing down. By the time I was walking my youngest into school it was hardly raining at all. Maybe I was being rewarded for my decision to persevere.
And then again, maybe not. The minute I pedaled away from the school the skies opened up and for the next two hours I was pummeled by the rain and wind. I was forced through puddles up to my feet on the pedals, and I was splashed by every car on the road. For the next two hours I went from praying that the rain might ease a little, to begging God to let the rain ease just a tiny bit, to raising my fists to the heavens and asking “Why, why, for Heaven’s sakes why?”
In the end, the rain did ease and I did complete my two and half hours on the bike. As I stood beside the preschool wringing out my gloves, I raised by fists once again, this time in triumph. I had not been deterred by the rain, wind and cold. I had not turned back when the puddles became lakes. I had persevered. It wasn’t easy but I realized while I was out there, that I didn’t sign up for this marathon training because I was looking for easy. I signed up because I wanted to push myself.
I didn’t set out today to become a bad-ass. But apparently that doesn’t matter to a sixteen year old boy. What impressed him was the stream of water that continued to flow off of me even after I had finished, my pruny, purple feet that had been marinating in my biking shoes and the buckets of water I poured out of those shoes at the end. What mattered to him and what really tipped those scales in my favor is the fact that I was out there in the rain and wind and cold pushing myself while most mom’s were home having their morning coffee. I hadn’t taken the easy path. Next time I wake up to the sound of rain and wind, I will probably still pause before heading out the door but, for fear of losing my “Badass Status,” I know I will do it all over again.