Sunday, January 22, 2017

I'll Feel Like An Asshole If I Don't Go

When I did Xterra Apen Valley a few years ago I ended up walking a good portion of the challenging bike course with a group of women.  Two of them were first timers and inexperienced mountain bikers lured to the race because inexplicably it was marketed to beginners.  The course was 2 laps and during the first lap they said they were going to quit at the end of the lap but after I started my second lap I heard them come up behind me.  'We'd feel like assholes if we quit', they explained.  For some reason this has stuck with me whenever I fee like quitting something.

I woke up early yesterday morning to meet some folks to go to the Women's March in Denver.  I'd had a fitful night of poor sleep and nightmares and to be honest I was a bit worried.  It was going to be crowded and I hate big crowds let alone big crowds where there might be violence and tear gas and at the very least there would likely be ignorant, mentally deficient assholes yelling sick and stomach churning things.  I don't go to a lot of protests but every once in a while I'll think something is worthwhile speaking up about and while I've never had to deal with tear gas I have had to deal with, and by deal with I mean ignore, mentally deficient assholes.  It was cold and I was tired and I had a long morning of driving and possibly lots of traffic and hassle ahead of me.  It would have been so easy to crawl back into bed with Ruby and a warm cup of cocoa.  Would the march really miss me?  But it kept running through my head, 'I'll Feel Like An Asshole If I Don't Go'. 

So I went.  And it was awesome.  A friend of a friend drove a group of 7 of us down there, a diverse group including a 16 year old girl and her father.  Nobody else was worried, in fact the woman who was driving had been up throughout the night out of excitement.  And this is the best way to deal with fear and anxiety - reframe it as excitement.  I was with a good group of people, I knew lots of other good people who were planning on going and the bonus of heated seats in the car.  There was no problem with traffic or parking and she had reserved a space in advance for only $11.

The crowd turned out to be no problem.  LOTS of people.  So many people.  100,000 or 150,000 or who knows.  So not my scene.  But it was fine, I never felt panicked or even worried.  There was no tear gas and no mentally deficient assholes.  Well, not that I saw.  But someone did post a photo of a mentally deficient asshole with a sign that said, 'You Deserve Rape'.   Which made me all the more glad that I went.

But more importantly it was the uplifting feeling from it all.  So many people out there determined not to let the forces of racism, sexism, hatred, elitism, rich vulgar loud mouth guy-ism take over this country.  It was inspiring and gave me hope for the first time since the election.  I feel like there are plenty of us out there that have each other's backs.  So many people worldwide speaking out peacefully, no violence, no tear gas, no fear.  It was amazing.

I didn't take this one but I love it.

Photo Credit:  Wanda Brown from Facebook

I found this one on the internet, don't think this was the Denver March but it made me smile.

Feeling so much better and empowered about things now.  Still lots of work and vigilance to be done moving forward but at least I feel like there's hope for the future and that's a good feeling.

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