Sunday, July 19, 2009

Next, there will be people in floating chairs.

Today's workout I've dubbed "Hell Ride's Big Brother". It was slated to be a ride of about 75-80 miles, the most I've done since Ironman Couer D'Alene last year.

Hot, hot, hot and a stiff headwind. WINDY. By the time we were near mile 65, I knew I was in trouble. I was drinking gallons of fluid but hadn't gone to the bathroom in 4 hours. When we started climbing Tramway the thousand feet back up to home, I was drowsy. Really drowsy. My eyes kept closing while I was on the bike. My right hand and foot were numb, too, and so finally I pulled over and decided to walk a bit.

Baboo had other ideas - he deposited me in the shade at a mini-mart with lots of ice cold gatorade and a frozen fruit bar, and headed home to get the car. He returned an hour later with ice and cold drink. I'm less drowsy now. Oddly enough, though, I felt a bit like a failure for not finishing the climb up Tramway in what was probably nearly 100 degree heat there on the blacktop.

Such is the life that we live now - I am surrounded by tiny, lithe bird people who train far more rigorously than I. So that, when I have to stop after 63 miles into a ride from heat sickness, I feel like a deadbeat.

Of course, when I sit an observe people, such as I did while waiting
for Sweet Baboo to come pick me up, I realize that I am part of a very small group. I watched people argue and honk at each other over who got to get to the gas pump first. On a Sunday. I watched a fairly well-dressed man pull a half-smoked cigarette out of the ashtray, brush it off, and ask someone for a light. I saw very heavy parents offer their children chocolate bars "since we didn't have time for lunch today".

The more time I spend out observing the masses or watching popular TV, the more real life is starting to remind me, frighteningly, of the movies Idiocracy and Wall-E. Don't laugh. When's the last time you went to a large discount store and saw perfectly able-bodied people driving those motorized carts around? And how much more can Discovery and The Learning Channel dumb-down their content? Pretty soon, there will be a new, educational show on about the adventures of a Pawn Shop owner.* Yee.

So today, we were sitting in the shade for a bit at San Felipe pueblo, and a woman came in with her daughter. The daughter, perhaps 6 or 7 years of age, could clearly walk, and so could the woman. But not finding a parking space to her liking, (there were many empty spaces about 100 feet away) she simply parked next to a gas pump. Nobody could use it to get gas because she had decided to simply park there.

Meanwhile, while she was in the mini-mart, her passenger flicked cigarette ashes out the car window toward the gas pump. yes, you read that right: lit cigarette ashes. gas pump about 2 feet away, as I looked around cautiously for the big red button you push to shut off the gas in an emergency.

Earlier last week, I observed a man with his 8- or 9-year-old son at a mini-mart. The son was looking longingly at fruit juices, but Dad then asked him if he wanted a RedBull. He then reached for a large RedBull. "You want one of these?" and and then handed it to him. I leaned over to Baboo and whispered, "2 hours from now he's going to scream at or smack him because he won't settle down."

A family come out of the mini-mart; one of the children carrying a large cappacino drink. We talked about that: I remember asking my mom for a sip of her "Suisse Mocha" coffee drink, and she would give me one, but I wasn't allowed to have my own because "Coffee stunts your growth." Sweet Baboo, meanwhile, shared with me that he was told that coffee was a grown-up drink, and he could have some when you're grown-up. Now drink your milk.

As a teacher, I had assumed that kids bought their own energy drinks that they brought to school. Clearly, it's likely that their parents bought them in bulk and gave them to them every day. Where I got a thermos of milk, today's child gets a Monster drink.

Yikes. No wonder people are on meth. By the time they're in their late teens, caffeine no longer has any kick. Not that they'll need it, with their floating mobility chairs.

Just my two cents, as usual.

*Not kidding. Check your local listings.

12 comments:

  1. Listen..there were some in our group that "thought about climbing Tramway" and after feelin' the heat "no way!" So rest in knowing you probably did more than we did and I did not pee for hours too. HOT does not describe it!!
    Good job sweetie!!

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  2. Sixty-three miles on any road earns my respect. Don't sell yourself short.

    It was funny (in an ironic way) that you wrote this post. I wrote a post this morning (which I haven't published, because sometimes that happens) about my observations of people around me.

    Take for instance what happened on Friday when I took my son to the pool. I saw and heard a mother say to her daughter, "I want you to stay right here, don't move. Do you hear me or will knock you out!"
    Ah..mothering in it's finest moment.

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  3. Glad you're ok and you weren't out there alone! (smart of the two of you to train together)

    To give you some hope - the two folks I know with kids under 1 year are making their own baby food and their kids love veggies. My friend with a 9 year old and 6 year old has always given them water instead of juice when they were thirsty, 2% milk once she was told she could, and her kids eat raw veggies or fruit and homemade fruit/nut mix for snacks. They get the occasional treat - but it's occasional. My friend (while she was employed) was at the gym at 3:30 am working out before the kids got up so their first sight of the day was mom post-workout, the whole family goes to karate classes (both kids, both parents), and swims, and the kids have tried try softball, soccer and other sports, all with parental support and enthusiasm (as long as the homework gets done). Lots of work, but she knows it's worth it.

    It is getting very scary out there however......(easy for me to say as I'm not a parent and I feel bad for the parents, but more for the kids who aren't learning to make good choices)

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  4. You could have filmed your own reality show at the mini-mart. As far as the ride goes, you rocked it just getting that far.

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  5. Heat training is the worst! I absolutely meltdown in the heat(e.g. Barb's last year) and when my BG gets low I get the same sleepy tired and I am just done (e.g. Rage this year).

    Good job stopping. No sense in hurting yourself on a training ride. I do wish we could train together I may not make you faster like your tiny, bird people, but I bet we would have fun. :o)

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  6. Those two movies are both great. And probably their reality IS right around the corner. Yikes!

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  7. I loved Idiocracy...made me feel that someone was thinking....
    And. I haven't pee'd much today. Been forcing fluids. I think with all this hot weather training, it's easy to become chronically dehydrated.

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  8. i was in walmart yesterday.. a woman and her (also) overweight kid were arguing at one of those day old reduced food bins.. kid wanted cupcakes.. mom said no way but then kid said "fine! how about donuts?" and mom said "oh well sure.. the donuts are fine".. like they were actually chock full of heart healthy vitamins.... sad...

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  9. I melted before 40 yesterday...so you definitely out rode me! Great job!

    My neighbor who claims she only eats organic and such had no idea that the Clif bar her 5 year old daughter was eating was the caffeinated kind...

    I DON'T go into Walmart anymore. It's way too depressing!

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  10. Clif bar makes a caffeinated version? Why did I not know this?

    Er, uh, I mean: bad mommy! Bad!

    I must go to Walmart. When my body dismorphic problem gets really bad, it shocks me back into reality. Plus, they sell morningstar farms and other organic stuff really, really cheap. I know, I'm a horrible person. But I need the extra cash for race entry fees.

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  11. Idiocracy was funny but frightening. The world is so full of idiots - so very full of them. That was quite a cross section you saw there at the mini-mart. On a positive note, you are more likely to see that genre of person at a mini-mart than elsewhere so they are disproportionately represented which means they are more dilute in the population at large. At least I hope so - I really do.

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  12. In a former age, sedentary and stupid used to mean "dead." Alas, we have engineered a society when those traits are no longer deselected from the gene pool.

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