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Kansas City MO 64131





Cindy Maddera

At one thirty this morning, you could find me standing next to my bed, pressing my right foot firmly into the floor and whimpering. A cramp in my right calf, just below my knee, had me flying out of bed so fast that I didn't even realize I was standing until I was, well, standing. The cramp finally released, but it left a sore tight spot in it's place causing me to limp as I paced the floor. I still had that limp as I peeled myself out of bed and poured myself into the shower. I had been trying to decide what vehicle to take since the day before. Scooter, bicycle or car. Which one was it going to be? As I stood under the hot water in the shower, feeling my achy body, I decided it would be a car day. When I got out of the shower, I checked my weather app and then decided it would be a scooter day.

I finished getting dress and started making my breakfast. I noticed the stove clock and saw that I was actually doing well with my time that morning. Lately I have been stumbling into the kitchen around 6:45. By the time I sit down to eat breakfast, I am rushed. It's already inside my brain that I have to hurry even though I do not. I am only "late" by my standards. This morning, though, I looked at the clock and then decided that it would be a bicycle day. I know that getting on my bicycle was the absolute last thing my body wanted to do today. I missed a couple of weeks of bike riding for various reasons: weather, errands, late work evenings. It just hadn't been convenient to ride a bicycle. This week was my week to get back into the habit of riding. Michael and I even mapped out a new bike route to work. As we drove it the day before I was to take it, Michael kept talking up various parts of it. "Oooh...look how fun this curve and hill are going to be." He just wanted me off Troost, which he calls "danger street". So this new bike route (which is an actual bike route) is how I've been getting to work this week. 

The new route is actually pretty lovely. There are three hills that have me praying to the gods that my thighs will not burst into flames and my knees won't explode, but other than that it is all mostly downhill. The road is a two lane road with a wide right lane with ample space for a car and a bike. Traffic is light to nonexistent and I can peddle as slow as I want because I don't feel like I'm going to get run over. No one has honked once at me while traveling this route. I thought a lot about those three hills this morning while deciding if I should ride the bike. I also reminded myself that I had set a goal to ride the bike at least three times this week. So I thought again about those three hills and how I just had to make it to the top of each one. That's all I had to do. 

The weather was perfect. I didn't need a jacket. The sky in the East was an explosion of orange and pink as the sun rose up through gray clouds. Yellow sycamore leaves drifted slowly down from the trees lining the road. A few roses still dotted the rose bushes around the fountain near Gregory. The air smelled of wet grass and wood smoke. I don't know if I would have noticed all of these things if I'd been in the car or on the scooter. Maybe the smells, if I'm on the scooter, but usually the sights are a blur as I fly down the road. I know my body wasn't too keen on riding a bicycle today, but I think my soul was. I made it to the top of each one of those hills at my own pace, but more importantly, I made it to the top of each hill.

Also, I'm not longer limping from that cramp. Happy Love Thursday!