I finally dusted off my bike and went for a ride yesterday, which felt great. Given the prevalence of the new Citibike docks all around the city, I've been thinking quite a bit about bike riding lately. I was trained as a very safe rider thanks to the AIDS Ride folks back in 2000, but I'm still not super-thrilled about riding in traffic. I prefer to get over to a bike-friendly area that is blocked to traffic (Central Park, West Side Highway) and ride around there instead of using my bike for commuting. As safe and cautious as I am, I think that drivers are still not accustomed to cyclists and I'd rather avoid them.
That said, they're about to be everywhere. I'm incredibly curious to see how this whole Citibike thing will work. I plan to try it out (with a helmet, of course) and see if it makes me more comfortable using a bike as a mode of transportation rather than a means of exercise. My two big hopes are that 1) drivers will start to get used to and respect cyclists who share the streets, and 2) cyclists will ride safely, respecting traffic laws. The latter is something I don't see as often as I'd like. I constantly see cyclists riding the wrong way down bike lanes, not signaling, blowing through traffic lights, wearing headphones, texting (are you fucking kidding me?!) as they ride, and riding on sidewalks. I truly hope that with an influx of cyclists, this changes, and if not, that cyclists are ticketed accordingly for traffic violations. The sooner we all learn to share the streets safely, the better.
I'm in the midst of spring cleaning. Yes, I'm cleaning out closets, scrubbing tile, and dusting in places that haven't seen the light of day in months, but I'm going way beyond that. I'm cleaning out the clutter to start the next chapter of my life; getting my foundation in order so that I'm ready to go out there and build my company; gearing up and getting grounded. Get ready, world -- I'm going to be well-rested (for the first time in years, most likely) and ready to go.
I don't know why these little things at the gym piss me off so much, but in addition to my issue with people who don't put locks on their lockers, I have a huge problem with people who use the bathroom stalls to change. Seriously, people -- it's a GYM. Change in the locker room like the rest of us. Nobody cares what you look like and nobody is looking at you because we're all too busy dealing with our own body issues. Get over it and stop hogging up the stalls because some of us have to pee.
On Sunday I went running outside. "So what, Laren?" you might say. "You're a triathlete and all, don't you do that all the time?" The answer is yes, I do, but generally not in 30ish degree weather. I hate running in the cold, and I probably haven't done it in about a decade, but I made myself do it. "Why?" you might ask. "Don't you belong to a gym where they have a perfectly good treadmill?" Why yes, I do, but I wanted to make myself a bit uncomfortable -- to push my limits, even if it was ever so slightly. I'm at a point in my life where I have to push my limits in so many ways -- I might as well start with something easy. Plus, there are only 129 days left until this year's NYC Triathlon. . .
As many of you know, I'm in the midst of a bit of a career reboot right now (if you want details, email me!). A colleague who recently left my firm to start her own consulting business recommended a wonderful book to me called Reboot Your Life: Energize Your Career and Life by Taking a Break. I highly recommend it and frankly, wish I had read it a few years ago. The idea is that taking a sabbatical, whether planned or unplanned, can be a good way to take a look at what you really want in your life. It can be eye-opening.
Last night, I got to see a reboot close up. A former associate at my firm left to start her own catering company, TomCookery, which specializes in Southern and Carribean-inspired comfort food. Talking to Tomika about the process of getting her business up and running and getting to taste her delicious food -- jerk chicken wings, macaroni pie, banana pudding and more -- inspired me so much. I'm so proud of her for following her dreams, and I'm looking forward to doing the same.