Lance Armstrong, I’m Not

Getting older ain’t easy. I’ll be 34 in exactly two months, which will plant me firmly in my mid thirties. I’m not much of a fan of the getting older thing, so I’d probably feel iffy about this if not for the fact that a) I get to go on a cruise with only my husband a week later and b) my husband will turn 40 a month after my birthday. Taking pleasure in the misery of others is always helpful.

A few years ago, shortly after turning 29, I started going through my third-life crisis.

I’m not sure why I thought turning a year older would make things vastly different, considering that my idea of fun was staying at home on the weekends, hanging out with my family, and playing video games or watching Netflix. Who was I kidding? I may not have been old in years, but I was definitely old in spirit. These were things my husband pointed out, but why let things like reason and logic get in the way of a good crisis, amirite?

So, I decided to live it up that year, have fun, and party like it was 1999 (even though I only 15 then and didn’t do anything that remotely resembled partying in 1999). In case you’re thinking that “party like it was 1999” meant going to clubs (something I’ve also never done, because of being a senior citizen in spirit) and other wild things, what it really meant was that we invited a few friends over once or twice a month when Little Man was spending the night at his grandparents. We would have a few mixed drinks while playing board games or watching football games. That’s a good way to live it up, right?

Another thing I planned to do during that little crisis period was get healthier. Because lamely partying like it’s 1999 and getting healthy go hand in hand.

I made a few changes. I started tracking my calories. I used sugar-free mixers. And I bought a bike. I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was 13, but I decided that I was going to ride around my neighborhood, get some exercise, lose some weight, and eventually become one of those people who wear tight shorts and annoys the piss out of drivers by riding in the middle of the road.

“That’s a horrible idea,” my husband told me after I informed him of my plans. “Can’t you just ride your exercise bike so you won’t get hurt?” (I have a reputation for being clumsy as hell and have the history of broken bones, scars, and sprains to prove it.)

“No! I want to be out on the open road!”

After much discussion, I got my way, which I expected; I’ve only not gotten my way two times with my husband, and that’s when I wanted to buy a crossbow and buy a foosball coffee table. (For the record, I got my way on the second one a few years later.) He wasn’t happy about it, but we made the bike purchase anyway, with the condition that I wear a helmet, which I thought was lame given my age. (Yet another reason I’m an idiot.)

This is what I bought:

(Okay, that picture doesn’t really do it justice. Here is a picture of what the one I bought looked like, if you want to see the real deal. If you’re thinking that this isn’t the type of bike one would be riding on the open road and possibly on bike trails in the mountains, then you would be right.)

My first attempt on the bike didn’t go so well. More than 15 years and bunches of pounds later didn’t help matters much, so I wobbled down the end of our short road and came back. I was done for the day.

“I think we should just take that thing back,” my husband told me. “This is not going to end well.”

Ha. What did he know?

As it turns out, a lot.

The next day was Saturday, and we were having a small get-together. We had several friends over, got super wild and played Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit, and had a few drinks. (Those of us feeling rather depressed over getting old might have had more than a few.) Around 2 AM, I was feeling a bit crowded since people still hadn’t left, so I went outside to sit on the porch for a bit to get some space. As I was sitting there, I spied my bike at the end of the porch, in all of its beautiful teal and white glory.

Ride me, it beckoned.

It was like I was Frodo and it was the One Ring — I was drawn to it. The next thing I knew, I was riding down my driveway and down my road (which I must add is partially a gravel circle with not a lot of houses and next to no traffic, so you don’t think I was a complete idiot). My plan was to ride to the corner and come back.

I was doing great. If only my husband could see me now! Nary a wobble in sight.


And then, right as I was about to turn into our driveway and make my triumphant return, I lost my balance. I put my foot out to steady myself, except for my foot landed on some loose gravel, causing my ankle to turn in, and I heard a “snap.”

That hurt. A lot. And there was no one around to help me up. I sat there at the edge of the driveway for a few minutes and finally forced myself up and hobbled up the driveway and inside the house.

My husband gave me one look when I came in and knew exactly what had happened.

“You didn’t.”

“I did.”

“And you didn’t even wear your helmet,” he said, which he knew because it was sitting on the end table.

The next morning, my ankle was swollen to the size of a softball, so we went to the orthopedic urgent care where the doctor told me that I likely had grade 3 ankle sprain and would need to wear a walking boot and then do physical therapy. That was a fun way to spend part of my third-life crisis.

I learned a valuable lesson that night — don’t exercise, which was a lesson I should’ve learned the time I tried to use an exercise ball.

Dumbest/silliest thing you did in a third or mid life crisis, if you had one?

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Author: Erika

I’m a SAHM to two kids. When I’m not doing all the typical mom things (diapers, soccer, etc.), I like writing, reading, and playing games. Clearly I live the life of a rock star.

41 thoughts on “Lance Armstrong, I’m Not”

  1. Oh God, hard to like a story of getting hurt, but it’s funny! Btw, I turn 34 on Nov 30, so our birthdays are back to back. 🙂 How funny!
    I have done nothing silly or stupid … yet … I’m tending to become more conservative in my choices in life (good God I’m turning into an old lady). I did convince my husband to get a big 12′ trampoline last summer, thinking I’d use it every night to exercise, but the kids use it far more than me; I’m exhausted after they’re in bed! But I’m an ex-gymnast (not a good one, a rec one), so it wasn’t as crazy an idea as it sounds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, almost birthday twinsies 😀

      Trampolines are fun no matter how old you get, not so crazy. We had one but it got blown into some trees during a storm and messed up. Getting on the trampoline was also a favorite thing to do during those get-togethers.

      I don’t foresee 39/40 being a big deal. Everyone I know who is 40~ really seems to have their shit together, so I’m looking forward to that.

      Like

      1. 🙂
        Yikes… I suppose you can’t really pin those to the ground with spikes, eh?

        You know, I always thought it would feel like a big milestone, but the older I get to it and the closer I get to 40, I feel like it’s no big deal. Each day blends into another anyway….. right?!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I found out *after* the fact that there are trampoline stakes. We’ll get those if we ever get another trampoline for sure.

        Each day and each new gray hair and line…

        Like

  2. Yeah, “don’t exercise” is definitely the lesson there 🙂

    Please tell us about the time you tried to use an exercise ball. Did you drop it on your foot? Did you break your toe? Did you put it through a window?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lol!

      It was once of those inflated balls. I sat on it to down crunches and it popped out from other me and flipped me over backwards and I banged my head. It took a few tries of this before I figured out that I need to use a simpler method for stomach crunches.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree, exercising is way overrated. I was riding a rented bike in Amsterdam a few years ago and almost got hit by a tram because I couldn’t stop. The bike had pedal brakes, which I hadn’t used since I was 10, and my feet also couldn’t reach the ground. Fortunately for me, the tram driver was used to dumb tourists who can’t ride a bike and he stopped for me. And laughed.
    I turned 34 last month… don’t worry, it’s not much different than 33. I think the thing with age is that it sneaks up on you when you’re not expecting it. Birthdays aren’t when you get old, it’s the in-between times (when you aren’t expecting it) that give us wrinkles.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yikes, how scary! Yep, bikes are bad and should be avoided at all costs.

      Good point! It’s funny because by the time I reached my actual birthday, I didn’t care. about the number anymore I was also pregnant at the time, so that may have helped some with my “IDGAF” attitude.

      Like

  4. I don’t remember having a panic at 30, but 31 hit me hard for some reason. I felt I had to be grown up and responsible but I didn’t know how. I’ve outgrown that feeling. However, Pinterest now keeps popping suggestions in my feed – How to dress appropriately over 40, Elegant looks over 40, Modest yet Trendy over 40. I’m now off to punch someone writing the algorithm – is that childish or midlife rage?? Hmmm.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Are you turning 40 this year?

      And lol! I wonder if they’re getting you ready to start pushing the paid Pinterest stuff on you, take advantage of your anger and make a buck or two getting you to feel younger.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’ve concluded that ~40 is when people get their shit together, based on all the 40+ age people I either know in real life or know blogging. Not to suggest that you don’t already have your shit together, but not, that’s something.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I could’ve told y’all about how I told PT to fuck off and how I can know turn my ankle in such that it touches the floor. But I had enough of the “You’re a dumbass” vibe for that post, I think.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The moment you said “bike” I predicted the last bike picture. Of course you were going to fall. And not because you are old, but because you were going to try to prove yourself that you weren’t. That would have happened at any age. I saw the video of an alleged “oldest man in the world” the other day. I think he claims to have been born in 1890 (and he looks it). He was asked what his secret to his longevity was and he said “Take it easy. Relax. Act your age.”. LOL. Do that. But of course in all seriousness you are just a baby. You will get just as injured now as you did years ago, just don’t expect to heal as fast as you did. Of course if you had just listened to your husband we would not be having this conversation. They can be useful sometimes. lol

    Anyways, good luck with your first mid-life crisis. Let it be a lesson (it won’t) for your next one. Good luck! – Robert

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your bike is like Moo’s — hers is mint green 🙂
    I don’t think I’ve had a midlife crisis yet, and I’m soon to be 44, which would indicate I AM MIDLIFE. I did have a mental health breakdown at the ripe old age of 34 and then a much more thorough one at 37.
    I, too, was born old, so I enjoy the recumbent stationary bike more than the realistic bike seat of bruised petunias 😉 I long to roller skate. My husband thinks this is a bad idea, but one day, Imma spend some serious dough on a magnificent pair of skates and become roller queen of the driveway 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so pretty, isn’t it? Totally worth the risk of injuries.

      I guess you’re due. Soon we might see IG full of you getting tattoos and bleaching your hair.

      I agree with the Mister. Maybe get one of those Virtual Reality headsets and hope they have a roller derby game 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ugh! But EEEEE, I am a great skater! Roller disco and all that! One day I’ll show you both 😛

        If you see me getting tattoos and bleaching my hair, you should probably contact the authorities. I won’t say never, but that’d be suspicious!

        It’s a verrrry pretty bike 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  7. It seems you and I both share the same idea of what constitutes a wild night of “partying” and living it up. I’ll take chilling in my pjs and watching reruns of my favorite comedies almost any day over having to (gasp!) socialize. 😛

    Sorry to hear the venture into bicycling didn’t work out so well for you. Hopefully your ankle has healed well, and you can move on to new things! Like juggling! I can’t imagine too many people injure themselves juggling… unless they’re using blowtorches or disgruntled cats…hmmm. Never mind. Bad idea. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, we’re “mild things” 😀 I didn’t do the PT, so it didn’t heal great, but I’m so clumsy it probably doesn’t make much of a difference anyway 😉 Maybe I better stick to blogging lol

      Like

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