Putting Down Roots

a better woman?
January 15, 2011, 10:45 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

I spent all of today at Big Bend Hospice, being trained to be a volunteer (which translates roughly to: learning how to hold someone’s hand while they’re dying. Well, it’s a little more complicated than that, but that’s basically what I’ll be doing). They’re right down the road from my church, so I know the way pretty well, and it’s only about 4 miles. I biked, which is something that seems utterly unremarkable to me: it’s not so much a choice as it is a necessity, seeing as I don’t have a car to my name right now. What amazes me, though, is how impressed people are by this.

I pulled up this morning at the same time as a woman who’s about my age, who came in a nice little red car. We started talking as we walked in the door, and when we made it into the room the other folks present heard that I had come on my bike. One of the Hospice employees shouted to another across the room, “did you hear that, Ginny?! She BIKED here!” And Ginny’s response? “You’re a better woman than I am!”

A better woman? Excuse me?

And she’s not the only one to treat me like a superhero. I get this routine a lot.

When people say this, I want to explain that I ride an old hand-me-down bike that I couldn’t ride at all until I was 18. I want to tell them I’ve only been confident on city streets since Libby had me follow her around Boston three months ago. I want to tell them that I’m not especially tough, or strong, or remarkable.

Mostly, I wish it wasn’t so strange for people to be choosing human-powered transportation. I wish more people were crowding the bike lanes and feeling the breeze go up their skirt as they coast down a hill. Don’t get me wrong, I always smile a little when people tell me how impressed they are, but I’m waiting for a world when the choice to get around by bike isn’t impressive or uncommon. And even then, I’ll still be wearing brightly colored tights under my skirts, so folks will still have cause to call me a superhero.


1 Comment so far
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lindsay popper, you ARE a superhero.

Comment by eva

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