I Had No Five

Once a week Michael and I get together at the Y and take a spinning class. We’ve been doing this for several weeks and just love it. Our instructor kicks our ass, yet somehow makes the intense cycling enjoyable. We also run with her, so I have this desire to do better each week so that she sees progress. And of course to avoid sheer and utter embarrassment.

One of her motivational mantras is, “Find your FIVE”! When you are coming off hills or sprints, she wants you to find that flat ground equivalent that allows you to rest, yet still exert yourself. There are days I am just waiting and waiting for those words – FIND YOUR FIVE – oh, thank you, thank you, let my weary legs spin at a manageable pace.

This weekend was GLORIOUS, yet my five was not to be found. Anywhere.

On Friday I went to Carolina Beach to spend some time with my fabulous new friend Mary and her husband and daughter-in-law. Mary and I actually met back in February, yet just recently started talking. After realizing that we had a “kindred spirit” in common, a trip to the beach seemed like just the right thing. Friday was low-key and wonderful (boat, wine, dinner, conversation), and then came the marathon day we call Saturday. The day of freaking deliriousness.

That morning we decided to head over to Bald Head Island. It was about 8a when we figured we could easily catch the 9.15 ferry from Kure Beach to South Port. About 45 minutes later we had our route planned and our bikes in order. Eight miles in 30 minutes really isn’t much, except when you are me and not used to biking in wind and have no idea where you are going. Mary is a power-house though and kept us moving. She pulled up to the gate house just to hear, “The ferry is leaving! Hurry, and get on”. So get on we did. $2.00 gets a person and a bike a spot on the wall and a perfectly basic trip across the water.

We managed to catch the South Port to Bald Head ferry in exactly the same way…except there were cute boys in uniform to take our bikes. That and a balcony seat to enjoy the view as you ferry from the common-folk to the money-people. That is probably how they justified the $15 person and $16 bike charge. Oh I love transition.

A day on Bald Head is the perfect way to alleviate stress. The wind, the beach, the people, the trees, the Turtle Time. There is peace. And with peace comes laughter and the ability to smile naturally…without even thinking about it.

On Bald Head you leave your bike and shoes on the road and walk along the beach without worry. You park your bike at a restaurant without locking it and you do not worry. You spend the day hot and dirty and cycling around the island, and the worry is gone.

While we were waiting for the ferry back to Kure Beach, Mary was reminded that she should take her new friend to the Fat Pelican. Well, I can honestly tell you that the 6.5 mile trek going against the north wind to reach this delightful local dive bar was sooooooooo worth it. I could not find my five anywhere in the ride, but once I was there I said YAY. I mean COME ON! They let you wander into the beer cooler and pick your bottle. The beer cooler is a freaking tractor trailer. Is that not fabulous? Beer paradise. Or simply an oasis when you are now sunburned, exhausted and just plain happy. My feet were so cramped after 7 hours on my bike, that I took them off with glee and thrust my bare feet into the dirty bar sand of the patio.

Me…no make-up, in work-out clothes, hair a salt and wind mess, legs and back groaning, too much sun, too little soap…in public and laughing all the way.

I no longer have issues. Who needs a five? At this point, not me. I simply need to be depleted with a friend and a Fat Tire in hand. Happy is here. Thanks Miss Mary.

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