Last night I met up with Coach J to discuss our Half Ironman training regimen. I wanted to get his opinion on how I should be preparing and what he thought of this triathlete/author/trainer I just discovered named Matt Fitzgerald. I’ve been really digging his books and articles. But Coach J’s not really a good planner and mostly he just wants to be social all the time. So instead we caught up and shot the shit over a couple farmhouses at Honolulu Beerworks.
Regardless of where they start, our conversations always end up in a deep discussion of why the heck I’m still single. He has plenty of theories, namely that the men I’m interested in are always unobtainable. They either have girlfriends or wives, or are too concentrated on their sport to have a relationship.
I say it doesn’t matter anyway because no one in this corner of the globe is in the market for a tall broad shouldered blonde chick from the mainland who has a functioning brain and opinions and stuff. I’m not even really that tall or broad shouldered, but when compared to the general population in Hawaii (read : tiny petite Asians) I’m enormous. Plus I don’t surf so…
Two strong microbrewed beers later I felt awful as we left the bar, especially after finding out that my latest crush (one of Coach J’s unobtainable triathlete friends) has a girlfriend. Imagine that! But I refused to give in to the feelings of self pity. At home I opened up iTunes on my MacBook and clicked on Confessions by the Violent Femmes. I spooned by dog Banjo and let Gordon Gano cheer me up with his pathetic wailing:
I’m so lonely / feel like I’m gonna crawl away and die
This is what I do when I feel the twinges of loneliness coming on because the song is so pathetic it cracks me up. No one’s actually got it that bad.
Two minutes later I got out of bed, geared up, turned my bike lights on and headed out the door for Tantalus.
Climbing Tantalus in the dark is pretty intense. I did it once before with a seasoned cyclist who I swear had sixteen lights on his bike. There was no chance of us not being seen. But by myself with my one dinky light was another story entirely. I forgot just how black it gets in the long stretches with no streetlights and 100% tree canopy.
What was more intense was getting to the top and my headlight going from blue to red, the indicator that the battery was about to die.
Tantalus is steep. Cruising down at top speed in the bright light of day is exhilarating and kinda scary. Speeding down in the pitch black of night to save battery power for when I’d really need to be seen down below in traffic… was absolutely fucking fantastic.
I felt so alive. Please don’t tell my mom. Please. But holy fucking shit I was so thrilled and excited and nervous – three of my favorite feelings in the world.
The experience allowed me to switch the conversation in my head to hover over the thoughts of why aliveness is unobtainable for me in the boring sameness of a stable job and steady paycheck, the repetition of commuting and soul crushing bullshit.
I have to dig deep to unearth this feeling and the hard truth is I cannot live happily without it. Sometimes the search makes me do some crazy shit but when I do it, when I commit, I never ever ever regret it.
I wonder if there’s something about me that makes me unobtainable to men. What if instead of always focusing on how wrong I am for everybody here, I just remember to concentrate on all the things that are beautiful and good?