Things Grown-Up Me Does That 10-Year-Old Me Would Never Do

Pass on buying Girl Scout cookies. I sold Girl Scout cookies a very long time ago (point of reference: they cost 50 cents a box), so I know what it’s like to spend Saturdays schlepping around your neighborhood trying to meet “each girl’s quota” so that “each girl may experience the wonder of Camp Stickittoya this summer.” It was a learning experience, though, because I learned I never want to go into sales. Today, 10-year-old me would buy a box just to be nice. But the grown-up me dials my cell phone just before leaving the store so that when I’m accosted approached by Girl Scouts hawking $4.50-a-box cookies from a card table, I can smile apologetically, shake my head, and point to my phone.

They've looked worse. Really.

They’ve looked worse. Really.

Go barefoot. Ten-year-old me went without shoes three consecutive months of the year, but 10-year-old me had decent toenails. Not pedicure toenails maybe, but toenails of normal color, length, and thickness. Had hers looked like mine do today, she would have said, “Ewwww! Gross! I’m never going barefoot again!” (Cue the slamming door.) Running may do a body good, but it wreaks havoc on the feet. Especially on the toenails. But you know what? I don’t care. If it’s above 75 degrees, flip-flops it is. Do I garner stares? Sometimes. Do I care? Not really—at least not as much as 10-year-old me would care.

Wear sunscreen. Growing up it was called suntan lotion, and it was for the beach. Never mind we lived 20 miles from the beach and playing outside sunup to sundown equated to more exposure than a few hours at the beach. I use sunscreen now, but since data suggests most sun damage occurs during childhood maybe I shouldn’t bother.

Skip dyeing Easter eggs. Seeing that Paas display in the grocery store as a kid always held such promise, didn’t it? The fact that the end result never resembled the pictures on the box was of no concern. Those displays held the same luster for our girls, and every year they’d open the box, ooh and aah over the stickers and the “magic crayon,” and we’d dye eggs. And by we, I mean me. Because I don’t count basting a few eggs then ditching the project when it got boring as dying Easter eggs, which is pretty much how I remember it. After the tablets dissolved, it was downhill excitement-wise and I was on my own—just me, the cleanup, and a vinegar aroma that lingered for days.

Ten-year-old me didn't have these, either.

Ten-year-old me didn’t have these, either.

Pay to run. At age 10, running wasn’t exercise; it was transportation. The only competition involved was outrunning cars as you crossed the street. Ten-year-old me would have scoffed at (1.) adults running, and (2.) paying for it. That’s because 10-year-old me wasn’t (1.) trying to outrun old age, or (2.) willing to fork over a nonrefundable $100 race entry fee for the privilege. Ten-year-old me was only trying to get to Karen Miller’s house before Mom noticed I left without cleaning up the Easter egg mess.

 

Thanks to Peg-O-Leg’s Ramblings for the inspiration!

15 Things I Learned From Indoor Cycling

As I posted last Wednesday, the cycling studio I briefly attended closed its doors 10 days ago. While the owner told me tearfully she had yet to turn a profit and that her dream was over, my mind raced to a bigger issue: what was I going to do now? Join a big-box gym? Shout “time’s up!” to my not-cleared-to-run-from-surgery knee and hit the pavement?

But the dust settled. I’ve moved on.

And as I reflect on my time on a bike, I realize I’ve learned a few things along the virtual road. They are, in no particular order:

  1. Pants are preferable to shorts unless you’re sure of the prior rider’s hygiene.
  2. Apparently I have no obliques because despite the instructor’s shouting encouragement to engage my core and LEAN, I move a pitiful few inches.
  3. It’s not a seat—it’s a saddle.
  4. Whatever it is, it has no padding. And a gel cover makes no difference.
  5. Go conservative when you’re told to “gear up.” You’ll thank yourself when the instructor shouts encourages you to keep adding gear later in the ride.
  6. Sit where you can see the clock.
  7. Don’t mind the defibrillator on the wall—it’s probably just some requirement.
  8. If the class is over and the instructor asks who wants to go another 15 minutes, don’t be proud—chances are no one knows how to use the defibrillator.
  9. There is no coasting in a cycling class.
  10. There are no stop signs or signals, either.
  11. Plan on going directly home. You won’t even look good enough for Home Depot when you’re done.
  12. If the instructor shouts encourages you to “grab a drink,” do it. Pretty soon the only thing you’ll hear is your heart pounding in your ears.
  13. Bring a towel. Not a washcloth—a towel. The thirstier, the better.
  14. “Almost there” means 5 different things to 5 different instructors.
  15. If the instructor stops to help someone to the ground before that someone faints and hits their head on the concrete floor (true story), watch the clock yourself or that 1-minute sprint you were promised could easily go long. (See # 6.)