At one of the many goodbye parties I attended this weekend, a woman said to me, “Oh, you must workout, I’m so jealous of your arms.”
And I almost said, “Fitness hack: Exercise 20-30 hours/week.” Which is actually a @DarkMark joke from Twitter, but it cracks me up. Only, then, I remembered this wasn’t the internet and I shouldn’t be a snide bitch to some random woman I just met.
Casual parties are weird sometimes. I never know how much people already know from my Facebook or Twitter or my internet about whatever story I’m about to tell. Sometimes you’ve got to save a few punchlines for real life.
I used to love the internet. I had livejournal, then blogger/blogspot, back when I really should have thought better about putting a diary on the world wide web as a 16-year-old. Back before anyone really thought about what it means for something to live publicly on the super highway. I loved the internet when online commentary was full of funny and smart and interesting people who wrote things I wanted to write, and more importantly things I wanted to read while sitting at jobs I didn’t love. (There are other pieces that were my favorites back when too, but so many of them are gone now, like they never happened.) When it didn’t require having money or a publisher or access to an expense account. Most of those people have mainstream jobs at mainstream publications now. I used to have internet friends and blogs I followed regularly. And, now, I don’t know, are we still doing blogging?
The internet is broken. If you’ve talked to me in real life in the last year, I’ve probably said some version of this. The New York Times says it too now. So do all the social media managers and online producers and smart media experts I know.
In a less academic version: Don’t you just feel super over everything and everyone online, especially Facebook? I do.
I had a pretty light week post-Santa Rosa, which makes sense. It also gave me a good amount of time to finish up some work. But when your work is going out and finding answers to things, researching questions that come up, writing stuff you hope people read and care about. I dunno, are we even still doing that anymore?
Some weeks post-race I feel ready to go again before I’m physically actually ready to go again. Like: Hit me, let’s get faster now, let’s see what’ll break me. (Sometimes I play games like that in my head too: I’m going to fail on one of these intervals eventually, so let’s see how far I can make it before that happens.)
Some weeks, though, all the easy swims and not working out make me forget what working out was ever like. And I spend my time, instead, sitting in a newsroom, deluged by too many things to keep track of or care about. And then I can’t remember what the point was in the first place.
On Saturday, I rode five hours by myself on one of my favorite loops — gratuitous Instagram shot here — and there were so many charity training rides and groups and the usual weekend riders out that I literally saw more bikes than cars for the first three hours. Then I hit tourist oyster farm traffic.
Towards the end, as you’re headed back into town, I passed a small group of charity ride cyclists and I apparently didn’t say “on your left” loud enough. (Not that I even always say “on your left,” because too many people swerve left when you say, “on your left,” which is more dangerous than not saying anything. And unless someone needs me to move over or they’re going by me in a tight spot or they want to let me know there’s a huge fast group coming, I actually don’t like it when people say “on your left.” Side point.) The guy in the group, though, flipped out and started screaming at me.
I should have told him he doesn’t get to lay claim to a 10-foot radius around him, and that everyone else doesn’t owe him something. I should have said I’m sorry he was stressed by other big, fast group rides that probably did really sketchy things passing him earlier in the day, but that doesn’t mean he gets to yell at me just because I’m alone and look less intimidating to flip out on. I should have told him he was tired at the end of a long ride and needed to eat something.
Instead, I just yelled some stuff back. Not swear words, random things. I don’t even know.
Real life. Are we even still doing that?