Monday, June 13, 2011
I was too busy running to ride my bike much this year so with a whole 2 rides in my legs I challenged my husband to an afternoon bike ride. Riding with my husband goes like this: he gets the bikes ready, I show up like a bike riding diva, and then I spend the rest of the ride in the unglamorous position of staring at his backside and holding on for dear life. Lots of fun, if you're a crazy person.
Given that, I think it makes absolute sense to tell my husband that I'm going to rip his legs off and feed them to him for lunch during our ride. We rode on the Centennial Trail bike path (it was supposed to be a friendly ride) where each mile marker offers something special: sprint points! First wheel across the "line" wins but it's game off if there are people near the mile marker.
There were 15 opportunities for points and it was on at the first mile marker. Well, Bill didn't know that it was on, but he eventually realized something was up when I started sprinting. I didn't get many points after the first, but I found that if I distracted Bill right before the mile marker, then I had a chance. So I came up with several Bill friendly topics: Sophia Vargas! College girls! Ironman Canada! All these seemed to work. Points for Erika!
It ended up very close, 8 to 7. My legs were a little fried by the end of what should have been a friendly ride but you can do these things when you don't have fatigue from weeks of training in your legs.
We tried this again a few weeks later and I held my own until we turned around. Then I called uncle and asked to be towed home. I forgot how miserable that can feel. Bill can hold a solid pace for a lot longer then I can. By the time we got to the hill where we live, I was so bonked he kept putting a hand on my back to get me up the hill. Good times!
I finally figured out something important and I have to write this down before the brilliance fades, because anything that I think is brilliant, always turns out to be less than later on. So, before I forget and the world moves on, listen to this: a woman needs a bit of freedom.
Autonomy. To make decisions (unchallenged) on occasion. Especially after having a child.
My husband allows me a bit of space (who can blame him) and as such, I literally run around all the time. Mostly on a bike path in a pair of running shoes, without the child in tow. I take an art class, I plan girls weekends. I buy high heeled shoes I might not wear very often. This stuff makes me HAPPY! Because I have a little bit of space and control over my life.
I don't go overboard with it and that is important to note. But this makes me a bit of an outlier amongst the mommy set. I get it, I don't want to spend time away from my husband and child, they are both charming and are my main source of happiness. But I still need to connect to with me so I can be someone I want to connect with.
If you are a new dad, about to be a dad, a long term dad, etc, and you want to give your wife some support, take my advice and make sure she feels some autonomy in her life. She needs it.