I leave the high school chorus room and head straight out into the parking lot, blazer on one arm, clear party glass full of bubbly, golden beverage in my hand. I’m singing to myself, like I do far too often. I stumble in my heels and slosh said beverage all over said blazer. I try to play it off and keep heading for my car.
Oh, hello couple in the truck 25 feet in front of me probably waiting for your grandson to come out of the locker room. Thanks for staring.
Never mind that it was white grape juice and ginger ale for a party to celebrate a retiree. Never mind that the parking lot is full of rocks, and my middle name isn’t Grace. Never mind that no group of teachers in their right mind would drink on campus. (Don’t Google that, readers. You’ll find reports of teachers drinking on the job, and I’ll remind you that they weren’t in their right minds.)
I can tell, sweet couple, by the look on your faces that you think I’m actually that stupid.
More importantly, it’s a pretty amazing thing to celebrate someone who has served students for 30 years. Congratulations, Mr. Don Greene… Teacher of 3rd Grade Me, Elementary Choir Genius, Rhythm & Staff Reading Taskmaster, and Encourager of Many. May you spend all summer in your garden of Eden (I mean, yard) without a single sunburn, and may you never, ever again have to write a lesson plan in yet another new format.
My husband is a cyclist. I am not a cyclist.
Let’s try that again.
I am not yet a cyclist.
Today I rode just under 3 miles, and I was really proud of that. You’d think I’d be embarrassed to Instagram about a 2.75 mile ride when a 20-mile ride is an “easy day” for my husband and his riding buddy.
Embarrassed? Nope. I’m really thrilled, because I improved from my last few rides of 2 miles. My success is about making progress, not about matching someone else’s achievement.
Sometimes my legs really started to hurt on a hill. Pedaling harder felt better! Tough times make you want to back off, but relief comes quicker when you press in.
I really didn’t want to go today, but even more, I didn’t want my husband and our friend to tease me for only riding once this week. I don’t even have to tell you how glad I am that I went. When have you ever heard someone say, “Boy, I really regret exercising”? One of the most powerful tools in turning I-know-I-should into I’m-glad-I-did is effective accountability. For me, accountability is most effective when 1) I greatly value the opinion of the person holding me accountable, 2) there is a good balance of praise for growth and challenge to complacency, and 3) I’m guaranteed to have frequent contact with the person or group.
I bought my own helmet last week, and today my husband told me I have to get my own helmet mirror and saddle bag. I must be moving up! Either that, or he’s annoyed at having his mirror fall off because I can’t reattach it properly. I’m going with moving up.