I shaved my legs for the race this Sunday. More out of excitement than anything else but there’s always the practical matter of road rash and in the 4/5 race that’s always a real possibility. This is the race I’ve been waiting for. It was my first road race two years ago and though I had put a lot of time on the trainer it didn’t add up to much on the road in those freezing conditions. But I learned a lot by volunteering and riding along with some old timers. I never managed to finish with my group and vowed to return in two years, after my son was born. Those races were a bit of a last hurrah as having two kids in the house was going to take some work and time away from the bike.
So, now it’s two years later and time to give it a go. I’ve mixed training up a bit and been doing more riding, even lost 18 lbs. So I figured it was time to give the old legs a little attention. What surprised me was how much of a camouflage that thin layer of light brown leg hair concealed.
Theres a pretty good sized bruise on my right leg from a futsal match two weeks ago that I hadn’t noticed. I have a lot more freckles than I thought I did, thanks mom! And then there are the scars, some new ones likely thanks to a slip of my hand, but others relatively ancient. So many memories locked up in those misshapen spots of repaired flesh. There’s the ACL repair from getting hit by a utility truck as a messenger in Columbus, OH more than a decade ago. The nickel sized remnants of my first attempt at skitching (holding onto the side of a car on my bike) in high school, now 20 years ago; it didn’t end well. And the time in middle school when I jumped off the bridge into the Yakima River and hit something deep in the water, maybe part of an abandoned car or discarded appliance, probably just a rock. That thing looked worse than it was but it healed poorly and its still there, just below my right knee.
I wasn’t expecting a trip down memory lane when I lathered up but I’m glad it worked out that way. It was nice to take a moment and remember where I’ve been, and look at my kids and know we’ve got a lot more living to do and scars to collect.