The alarm sounded shrill. In the midst of my delightful slumber was this ringing that would not stop. More asleep than not, I climbed onto my sleek Cannondale and felt the darkness surround me in the dark of the night. As the cool Albuquerque morning air gave me goosebumps as it rushed over me, I couldn’t help but smile.
But it did not start off that way.
Life gives us challenges. It’s when crummy things happen, the retort of “it is what it is” or “that’s life” is said. One week into my happy, engaged bliss comes a challenge. Abucking one of the most busy weeks to date, my new SUV would not start. My handy-hunk husband-to-be started tinkering and delved down to what the issue is. Only thing… it would take at least a week to have it fixed.
He was stressed. I was stressed. I didn’t exactly handle it very well.
But the next day brought new perspective and the challenge was accepted. A gorgeous road bike for my triathlons and biking events exists as home decor (or stand-in clothes hamper) but only is utilized for races. Time to pump the muscles instead of gas and ride my bike to work.
Biggest concern? Getting lost. To my surprise and delight, I did not get lost and even found myself enjoying the cool, dark ride. That is, until I hit the hills.
New Mexico is known as the desert. It’s not as miserable as Arizona but we ARE neighbors. Despite the languid imagery of cacti and tumbleweeds (which do exist in plenty), the surprise would be the mountains (and their cousins known as “hills”).
Hills bring out the worst in me. Maybe it is because I’m from the flatlands of Texas or maybe it is because hills = pain & misery. Whatever the case may be, I was in for some character development.
Day two came a hunger. This isn’t just because I’m constantly eating (ask anyone in my family), but a drive to actually beat my time from the day before. As I was leaving the office in the afternoon, I was faced with the unfortunate circumstace of biking in July.
When you think of monsoons, I’m sure third world countries come to mind. And yet, New Mexico gets half its annual rainfall within our month (or so) aptly named Monsoon Season. Lightning decorates the sky. Downpours produce flash floods. It is absolutely beautiful unless you’re on your bike. On my ride home, the sky was threatening. The ominous clouds hung like a wet blanket in the sky and the air was stiff and muggy. I raced against the impending doom as lightning filled my view.
As I removed my helmet inside my apartment, I watched the sky unleash.
Altogether, my muscles are a little sore and I am working on some gnarly tan lines (gloves & bike shorts? Hot). I shaved a total of 10 minutes from my starting time on Monday and want to continue on my track trek. Not just because of the physical exercise (which my legs are loving/hating), but because of the natural beauty.
The darkness begins every morning journey and from over the Rio Grande and to the Sandias I go to watch the most magnificent sunrise every morning. The afternoons bring the light breeze (though it’s aired more on the “wind” side lately) and the stillness of the city as I race through bike trails home.
Beauty is everywhere.