Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Vacation Report: Back on the Motorcycle

What a treat it is to have these days of mostly unstructured time!  I often end the year with some extra vacation days, and that's fine with me.  Through the year, I don't want to use them recklessly, in case I get sick or a relative gets sick or I have some other unexpected reason to need them.  Thus, the extra time at the end of the year.

I went into this week with several goals in mind.  They were goals for last week too, but last week turned a bit hectic, with a friend in the hospital and the Christmas Eve festivities.  So, yesterday, I was determined to make a bit of progress.

I wrote four more sentences on the short story that I want to finish by Thursday.  Sigh.  I remember when I could blaze through the day and finish writing a short story in a day. 

I did get to a great spin class.  This week needs to be one of more exercising and less eating.

My spouse and I took several hours and by lots and lots of trial and error, we finally got the pool pump operating again.  I spent almost 20 minutes in the pool.  Once I got used to it, it wasn't bad, with the sun shining on me, the 84 degree air, and the water temp around 70.  Yes, December 28, and still in the pool--ahhhhh.

I took the turkey carcass and made stock--and from that stock, a delicious pot of turkey and dumplings.

The most exciting piece of news:  I got back on the smaller of our 2 large motorcycles, and I remembered how to operate it.  I haven't been on a bike to be in charge of it since July.  Back then, the bike seemed so very heavy, especially after the lighter bikes I'd trained on. 

But yesterday, I picked it back up again quickly.  I was able to go rather quickly into first gear, which means I picked my feet up and zoomed down the street.  Before I'd been scared to take my feet off the pavement--yesterday, no problem.  I got into 3rd gear, which I hadn't done before.

What was the difference?  Yesterday, I practiced on my nice, wide, deserted street.  In July, I tried to learn to ride our bike on a boat parking lot--not much room to go straight before I was trying to curve around.

But I think the main difference was having some time and distance from the July events (I wrote several blog posts in July; this one probably explains it all best).   I had spent the training on a very small course, two days of my training in intensively hot weather, and one day of people with me having spectacular crashes.  I got increasingly frustrated and spooked.

From there, I transitioned to our larger bike, which in July felt impossibly large and heavy.  And it was July, so it was still hot, both from the sun beaming on my head and the heat shimmering up from the pavement.

Yesterday was warm, but I didn't break into an instant sweat--so much easier to control the bike with my hands when they're not slick with sweat.  There was a strange instance where several cops zoomed down the street, stopped for a minute, and then zoomed back up the street.  I reminded myself that I have a license and that I own the bike and that I wasn't doing anything illegal.

I spent half an hour practicing, and that was enough--another secret to my success--not wiping myself out to the point where I make stupid mistakes.

Today, I will have a similar day.  I will sit by the pool and read.  I've already written a draft of a poem and another few sentences of my short story.  I'll practice the motorcycle some more.

And the best part--I still have some days off!

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