The writing prompt from The Daily Post for today is But No Cigar:
Tell us about a time things came this close to working out… but didn’t. What happened next? Would you like the chance to try again, or are you happy with how things eventually worked out?
A couple years ago, shortly after turning 29, I started going through my third-life crisis. Holy shit, I’m going to be 30 in a year! I’ll be OLD and can no longer have fun.
I have no idea why I thought turning a year older would make things different, considering that my idea of fun was typically staying at home on the weekends, hanging out with the family, and maybe playing video games or watching Netflix. Who was I kidding? I was already old.
These were things my husband pointed out, but why let things like reason and logic get in the way of a good crisis?
So, I decided to live it up that year, have fun, party like it was 1999 (even though I only 15 then and wouldn’t do anything that remotely resembled partying for another 5 years). And by “party like it was 1999,” I mean I invited 8 or so friends over once a month or so when Little Man was spending the night at his grandparents and would drink, drink, drink, while playing board games. Living the high life, right?
No, the “close, but no cigar” time has nothing to do with destroying my liver. In case you thought that’s where I was going with this.
One of my other things during that little crisis period was that I wanted to get healthier. Because drinking like a fish here and there and getting healthy go hand in hand.
I bought a bike. I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was 13, but I decided that I was going to ride through my neighborhood, get some exercise, lose some weight, and eventually become one of those people who wear tight shorts that annoys the piss out of drivers by riding in the middle of the road.
“No, that’s a horrible idea,” my husband told me after I informed him of my plans. “Can’t you just ride the stationary bike for exercise? So you won’t get hurt?” (I have a reputation for being clumsy as hell.)
“No! I want to be out on the open road and ride!”
He was not happy about it, but we made the bike purchase anyway, with the condition that I wear a helmet:
My first attempt on the bike didn’t go so well. 15+ years and 100 pounds 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,” Sam 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 party. We had several friends over, got super wild and played Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit, and had quite a bit to drink. 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. As I was sitting there, I spied my bike at the end, in all of its beautiful green 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 know, I’m riding down my driveway and down my road (which I must add is a side road and has only a handful of houses on it). My plan was to ride to the corner and come back.
I was doing great. If only Sam 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 buckle and I heard a “snap.”
That hurt. Terribly. And there was no one around to help me up. I laid there at the edge of the driveway for a few minutes and finally forced my self up and hobbled inside the house.
My husband gave me one look and knew exactly what had happened. “You didn’t.”
“And you didn’t even wear your helmet,” 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 require a walking boot for about a month and then physical therapy.
My husband sold the bike. I was so close to my dreams of becoming a cyclist, but no cigar. I have since decided that exercise is far too dangerous to attempt and and given up on it completely.
I don’t want the chance to ride a bike again. What I do want, however, is a motorcycle. And the chances of that happening are slim to none.
Afterthought: I gave up the semi-regular drinking thing as well shortly thereafter. A couple months later, we decided to try for another baby, and a couple months after that, BOOM, pregnant. I turned 30 during the pregnancy and didn’t think a thing about it.
But No Cigar