I heard recently that a neighbor said about me to someone I know, "Oh, my gosh. That woman is way too active. She's always running or riding her bike somewhere."
In many ways, I feel like a triathlete. It's become such a part of who I am. I'm traveling over the holidays and would feel sick if I didn't at least bring my running shoes.
In other ways, I still can't believe that I am.
I'm pretty embarrassed to admit this, but I used to make fun of runners. "Hey, look at me. I'm a runner. Yeah, yeah, I'm a runner," was a stupid little song I'd chant to myself as I'd pass by. (I don't know what's more pathetic: that I was making fun of people or that my song wasn't even creative.)
Oh, and bikers? They didn't get the honor of a song. They just annoyed me, taking up that perfectly good road space.
As I have become known as a runner and biker, I feel compelled to reassure, somehow, the people out there who are Old Loras.
For example, I joke that if my bike had room for a bumper sticker, it would read: "Yeah, I hate people like me, too."
A part of me wants them to know that I know how they're feeling. I'm still going to run and ride on their roads, but if I can make them chuckle instead of anger, maybe today's Old Loras won't be as harsh to the New Lora.
Just for the record, I never honked, sped around in anger or yelled harsh words out the window. No, I just muttered to myself, much like the dad in "A Christmas Story" does when the furnace goes out.
As I look back at my attitude, I was jealous. That sounds like an easy pop-psychology diagnosis, but it really is true. I didn't have their motivation or determination, and making fun was just a nice way to pass the time and forget about my own lack of fitness.
It's so funny the way this story in my life has turned out; me becoming the very thing I used to dislike. But, since I am "one of those people," I've no choice but to just embrace it.