A couple of weeks ago, I got called in to sub at the Christian school, as happens occasionally. “Yes, I’ll be there!” I told the woman on the other end.
“How are you going to get there?” Nathan questioned; it was 8:15, and he was already heading out the door for his job out of town. Since we only have one vehicle, and the school was about a 7 minute drive, it was a valid question.
“Dont worry,” I responded flippantly, “I’ll take my bike! It’s not too hilly on the way there, and shouldn’t take me more than half an hour.”
“Alright. Good luck and see you later” Nathan kissed me and headed out the door.
Truthfully I was a little bit excited about taking my bike to the school, it had sat dormant in the bike lock since we had moved to Nanaimo, I figured the exercise would do me good and I’d arrive at the school awake, refreshed, and ready to go. I hurriedly readied for the day, then threw on my coat and headed down to the tiny bike storage room where our bikes were kept. “How lucky are we to live in a place where I can bike to work in the middle of January!” I thought to myself as I unlocked and pulled the door open. I spied my bike, squashed at the back of the room behind a forest of pedals and handlebars. Luckily Nathan’s bike was sitting right near the front, so I guided it out of the room, kicked up the kickstand, and was on my way.
Unfortunately I had underestimated two very important factors in my trip that day: one was that, though I was right in that there were few steep hills en route to the school, the whole way was road was one steady incline. The other factor was my fitness, or I should say lack thereof.
Well. Not ten minutes into my trip, I had to stop. I was huffing and puffing, and my legs felt like Jell-o. “My goodness!” I thought, “this is worse than I thought! I am so out of shape!” I had reached the base of the first short, steep incline on my way, so I climbed off of the bike seat and began trudging up the hill, pushing the bike. Once I reached the top, I got back on and rode until the next big hill, then got off and pushed.
And so it continued the entire way to the school. In all honesty I am sure I pushed that bike more than I actually rode it, and arrived at the school fifty minutes later, out of breath, slick with sweat, and rather ashamed of my so-called fitness level. I was just glad that nobody at the school seemed to have seen me on my way there.
Later in the day, while I was teaching one of the special needs boys his Bible lesson, he said to me “Mrs. S, I saw you riding your bike here. You should have been wearing your helmet.” (Later I found out that in BC, it’s actually mandatory for everybody, not just those under 18, to wear a helmet while biking.)
* * *
A week or so later, it was Saturday morning, and I was working. I usually only work the morning shift, but the guy who works the afternoons called in sick, and I said I didn’t mind helping him out. So I called Nathan, asking if he wouldn’t mind bringing me something to eat around lunch time.
He didn’t, so around noon my lovely husband showed up with a sandwich and other edibles. “It’s so beautiful out,” he told me, “I was going to ride my bike, but I couldn’t because both tires were completely flat, the rims were right on the ground.”