So welcome to my second official blog. Just wanted to share my two cents about a certain role I play in my life these days…athlete’s wife.
Athlete’s wives. When such a topic comes up (and I’ll be honest – it really doesn’t. Ever.), I normally tend to think of somebody glamorous and exciting like Eva Longoria-Parker (Tony Parker/San Antonio Spurs sidekick & little known actress from a not-so-popular TV show….I think it’s called “Desperate Old Hot Chicks Who Have More Drama Than The Local Cineplex “….or something like that). The athlete’s wife is someone who sits courtside after spending hours primping with a team of personal assistants so that photographers catch nothing but her good side. Beautiful, glamorous, perfectly put together, and quiet cheerleader from her $500 a night seats. I only picture a small select few who would fall into this category.
But no, I too am an athlete’s wife. BUT there’s a catch. I’m not any normal type of athlete’s wife. No personal assistants to help with makeup, no $500 a night seats. I’m a spandex-wearing, shaven legged, glutton for punishment cyclist’s wife. I don’t pay for seating because there’s no fee to watch (thank god!) and I DO NOT go above and beyond in the makeup department at these events. But like any great athlete’s wife, I have certain duties I must comply with on game day (or race day in this case). Mine just don’t happen to be quite as glamorous as Mrs. Tony Parker’s do. Let me describe a typical glorious day of racing for the Cyclist Wife:
- 6:00 am – Alarm goes off. “Am I really up at 6am on a SATURDAY??” Hit the snooze.
- 6:10 am – Drag my “damn, I shouldn’t have drank last night” ass out of bed & into the shower.
- 6:20 am – dress & half-heartedly throw on some clothes, a hat, and some mascara (hey, I want to look SOMEWHAT presentable, right?)
- 6:30 am – pile into the truck with the unbelievably perky for 6:30 in the morning husband, one VERY expensive bike whose carbon frame weighs less than one of my thighs (I really need to try that new diet – anorexia I think it’s called…), extra wheels, a bag of oh-so-sexy spandex with a matching helmet, a bag of cycling “treats.” And we can never forget about the “Shammy Butter.” I’ll let that thought marinade for a while…
- 7:15 am – Arrive at race site. Sit in truck pretending to be alert, interested, & not hung-over while the husband changes, preps the equipment, and warms-up. 8:00 am – drag my anti-social self out of the truck and attempt to make friends with a fellow “athlete’s wife.” We make small talk about the race with her while pretending to understand what the hell she’s talking about when she describes how her husband “bridged up” and “grabbed a wheel” in his last “crit.” WTF?
- 8:05 am – Race starts.
- 8:15 am – walk to the “feed zone” where my duties include: A) collect filled water bottles for husband and team B) hand off bottles to ONLY husband or team members (because we don’t want to help out the enemy teams) while they blaze by at 35 miles an hour and try to keep from losing an arm or getting run over by the peloton (SEE?? I’m a good cycling wifey…I used a big cycling word like peloton). And don’t be fooled. This “feed zone” area is intense and it’s the most nerve racking/dangerous job I think that exists in sports today.
- 8:20 am – wave and cheer on the husby for approximately 1.3 seconds as he races by. Then sit down on the side of the road and wait.
- 8:40 am – Sit on the side of the road and wait.
- 8:50 am –start perspiring in the blazing Memphis humidity. Spot the peloton round the corner.
- 8:51 am – flip the husband the bird as he zips by without taking any water from me in the Feed Zone because he just risked my life for no reason. (I don’t stand in front of 40 cyclists riding straight towards me at a speed faster than I drive (and that’s fast…) for nothing.)
- 9:00 am – sit and wait.
- 9:30 am – sit and wait.
- 9:40 am – wave and yell for the second and a half the husband rides by for the 2nd and final time.
- 10:30 am – cheer as the husband passes the finish line. Follow the husband up the road to the car.
- 10:45 am – sit and listen to the husband talk with his teammates about “bridging up” and “catching a wheel.” Again, wtf?
- 11:00 am – pile into the truck to head home with the unbelievably sweaty, spandex-clad husband, one VERY expensive bike whose carbon frame weighs less than one of my thighs (again – anorexia anyone?), extra wheels, a bag of pre-race clothing with a helmet, a bag of cycling “treats” empty wrappers. And we can never forget about what’s left of the Shammy Butter. Have you figured out what this crap is for yet?? I’ll let your imagination run wild….
So….needless to say, my day was pretty exciting, but not how I would imagine Mrs. Parker would spend her Saturday mornings. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy watching my husband ride, because it’s something he thoroughly enjoys doing and is really good at. Not to mention those tight spandex! 😉 But the hours are long and hard in the position of a cyclist’s wife. So if you have any suggestions on any strategies that might help, please enlighten me! Well, I’m off to the time trail race this evening. More glamorous action to be had. 🙂 Hey go team go go team.