Every time I fall or struggle or push myself harder than I thought I could, DB chimes in. “This is the stuff that separates the players from the pretenders. All these tough experiences are making you strong.”
Though they’ve never met, BC always backs up her pronouncements. “Everyone falls, it’s all about getting back up again.”
So I channel my inner T.Bo. The first time I saw her sing solo was at a tiny club in L.A. probably in 2003 or 2004. It was connection, respect and appreciation at first note. She sat at the piano and gave it to us straight…
That song was a game changer for me. It ignited a tiny spark on a very long string that slowly, through years of cupped hands and gentle blowing and prodding, burned through a lifetime of frustration and anger and eventually placed me on the sweet voyage towards gratitude and peace.
I have been beyond blessed to know and associate with such an incredible crop of women – each of them having gone so far above and beyond every day friendship to solidify individual bonds that strengthen me.
So today, for all of you, I pushed. Rather than take a left into Kahala, I cruised under the highway past the Whole Foods and took Waialae to King into Makiki. At the park at the bottom of the hill, where the most perfect tree in all the world exists, I looked at my phone: 9:38 AM. Then I climbed the fucking shit out of Tantalus.
For those who don’t know, Tantalus is 4.5 miles of constant uphill switchbacks representing a 1400’ vertical climb into the heart of the Honolulu Forest Reserve. It takes you to Ualaka’a and some of the best views of Diamond Head and Pearl Harbor. When you come visit we’ll drive up it. Along the way we’ll see a cyclist easing her way to a top that seems impossible to reach. Like me, you’ll think, “Wow I could never do that.”
I made it to the top in 36 minutes. I texted Coach C to share the victory then I let the wind cool my overheated body all the way down Round Top Drive back to the park with the tree. I intended to take a well deserved break but instead headed over to the bike shop where Coach C refused to let me pay for a brand new pair of Giro cycling shoes. (As in he gave them to me. For free.)
Eager to break them in I left the shop and pedaled through downtown and Waikiki, up and over Diamond Head and back out to Kalanianaole. I pushed all the way to Hawaii Kai and climbed the backside of Koko Head before turning around and heading home for a nap.
When I turned off the main road and into my neighborhood Michael Jackson’s You Rock My World came on my iPod. I was exhausted and I had a HUGE smile on my face. And while it’s clear that Coach C rocks my world, each of you does as well.
To all my homeslice ladies who have done more than any could know to encourage and support me through some of the best adventures (good and bad) a girl could ever dream up – BC, EO, KB, LH, JC, KS, JL, ST, AWM, CK, TBF, TD, DB, PM, MH, DS, PSM, EM and most importantly my one and only MoMo – I love you all so much. Thank you Thank you Thank you