Today’s mileage: 71
Total mileage: 1324.8
It’s amazing how fast someone can become a stranger, and it’s amazing how fast someone can become a friend.
Today I was thinking about how Masherra and I became friends. I was working as a kindergarten aide at the same school that she worked at, and one day she asked me to start running with her. I am quite the introvert…but despite feeling out of my comfort zone, I started running with her.
And then we ran the Iron Mom relay.
And then she talked me into doing CrossFit.
And then the next year we ran the Iron Mom half marathon.
The next fall, we ran the McCracken County half marathon.
And now we are riding our bikes across America.
If only I knew what was in store for our friendship the day she asked me to start running with her at the local track.
Today started off a little slow for me. Masherra and I are opposites when it comes to riding; so bad that it’s quite humorous. She is awesome at the long, drawn-out hills, I’m good at the short and steep hills (who knows how that happened). She likes to ride in a harder gear and muscle it out, while I like to stay in an easier gear and spin until my heart is content. She is amazing in the mornings, and I catch my second wind at around the 45 mile mark. We balance each other out!
But today, the balance was thrown off a bit.
As we were about to leave Subway (our first lunch of the day), a guy on a bike asked us if he could ride with us. He didn’t appear to have much gear with him, so I didn’t know what he meant by “ride” with us.
Jason seemed calm, laid-back, and, to be honest, lonely. After chatting with him while he finished his sandwich, we learned that he had left his job and is riding his bike from Arkansas to Colorado, where he plans on getting a new job and making a new life.
We all took off together.
I was a bit skeptical and leery. And to be honest, I don’t feel bad for feeling those things.
He didn’t have much gear, I didn’t know anything about him, plus a million other thoughts swirling around in my overthink-everything brain of mine…who is this guy?
But he was nice. He didn’t push conversation, and sometimes he rode up ahead by himself, sometimes waiting for us at the top of the hills, sometimes not. He told Masherra that he had been kind of lonely riding by himself and he was glad that her and I were riding with him.
We rode for a while in the heat, up and down long, drawn-out hills, and then in the cold rain. We stopped at Sonic to eat our 2nd lunch, and then pressed on. I always ride in the back, so it was interesting to have two bikes in front of me rather than just one.
As the day was ending and the sun was setting, I was still wondering about Jason’s story.
Why is he doing this trip?
Why is he doing it alone?
Why does he want to ride with us?
How long is he going to ride with us?
And the thing is, I don’t know. I don’t know any of those answers, and maybe I never will. Maybe it’s not for me to know.
After so many people helping us along our journey, I now always find myself wondering, upon meeting someone, why they are being brought into my life; how they are going to help us, or how we are going to help them.
But we always find out quickly. Instant gratification.
I’m still wondering about this one.
P.S. Mash and I are always very cautious when meeting new people, so nothing for anyone to worry about! We are two smart, level-headed women.