Last week, I confessed that I didn’t have the nerve to tell my in-laws that I am not the athlete that they think I am. I am not that tough and I really don’t want to be. I hung up my Asics.
I did it. In so many words, I told them.
When my mom visited in April, she and I took a fantastic bike ride down the Potomac River. We rented bikes and rode the Mount Vernon trail for a 20 mile round trip. Pooped, but proud of ourselves, I filed that excursion as a perfect idea of something to do with Mike and Julie. When they arrived last Saturday we began planning out our limited days and decided to go bike riding on Thursday.
I don’t know if you have the least bit of interest in northern Virginia’s weather – but in case you didn’t notice, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of last week we were under a heat advisory, a code orange for the air quality and a heat index of nearly 105. The air was stagnant. I hate to complain, but I sincerely missed Washington state last week.
As the week progressed, my machine of a father-in-law commented several times how much he loved the heat. Mike and Julie once rode over 80 miles, three days in a row in 90+ degree weather. They have made multiple double crossings of the Grand Canyon.
All week, I kept pondering my Thursday dilemma. I didn’t want to do a 20 mile bike ride on Thursday afternoon. But I also didn’t want to disappoint them and I certainly didn’t want to be a wimp! Finally, Wednesday evening the critical moment arrived. I had to say something, or suck it up and saddle up.
“Mike, I’m really sorry, but I’m going to chicken out on you. I don’t want to ride in heat like this.” Gulp.
Guess what! I was OK! In fact, I felt really great. Not only, was I much more comfortable all day Thursday than I would have been, but I felt more certain of myself and more aware of what I wanted to do and to be – I am not an all-weather athlete. I’m not a huge fan of bike riding. I could tell Mike was disappointed. Facetiously, he did agree that I was, “wimping out.”
It was a big step for me. Instead of forcing myself to go for a miserable bike ride in order to prove that I was tough enough, good enough and eager to please in every situation, I simply stated what I wanted – what I was going to do and let the rest of the world do what they wanted to do. I was not responsible for their happiness.
Thursday became my favorite day of the entire week. Julie decided not to ride either. Mike met an old college buddy for a different bike ride and Julie and I met her old friend in downtown Alexandria for lunch. Then, Julie and I explored King Street, the Torpedo Factory, various bead shops and listened to the glass-playing Mozart.
Have you ever struggled to tell someone something that you didn’t think they wanted to hear? Or, did you just go along or keep silent to please them? What do you wish you had done?
(image from Flickr.com)