It’s mountain biking season again, which means regular trips to the local ski hill, where they adapt the lifts and set up biking trails in the summer.
Aah … memories of my own mountain biking day (yes, day – there are some things you only need to do once).
When the hill hosted a ladies day a few years ago, I thought, hey, I’m super cool – why don’t I go with my daughter? In hindsight it’s always something of a mystery why I do these things to myself. There is such a gulf between the sporty, adventurous mother I would love to be, and the rather uncoordinated and slightly frumpy reality.
I get these grand ideas to ‘step outside my comfort zone’, but inevitably I end up with a manic grin frozen onto my face and every muscle in my body clenched in terror.
The first run started well, as I affected an air of fearless nonchalance; until a huge great clod of dirt flew up into my eye. It was immediately apparent that my eye didn’t intend to forgive the indignity, and no amount of tears would wash away the irritation. A trip to the washroom to rinse it out did little but run my make-up. No matter, I still had one good eye.
Every now and then we would come across one or other of the boys with their friends, and I have to say I was rather warming to my super-cool-mum image.
That is, until I tried some aerobatics over the handlebars. How graceful. Trying to look as though I meant to do that, I lay on my back in the dirt and waved away any would-be helpers. Then I rushed to get back on my bike so that I could weep uncontrollably without having to endure any sympathy. I’m not sure which bothered me most – the pain, the shock, or the humiliation.
We carried on for a couple more runs, but boring-old-spectator-mum was suddenly looking a lot more attractive, and it was a huge relief when I could respectably hand in my bike.
As we pulled off gloves and helmets the young lady who had registered us came over to check in, and to effuse about what an inspiration we were; a mother and daughter out having adventures together. “I should take your picture and put it on the website for next year”, she said.
And what a picture it would have been – me with my eye swollen shut, all grazed and bleeding down one arm, covered in dirt from head to foot, except for the tear-washed streaks down my face. Yes, that would be an inspiration indeed.
Well at least that’s one thing off my list that I never have to do again.