Tag: biking

Andrea goes over her handlebars

Date #350 – Saturday, July 19, 2014

A: After writing about date #349, I am so completely worked up that I don’t even want to THINK about this day. This awful day. I just want to cry. Again. This bike accident has been really difficult. Most days, moments, conversations, I am well and positive and proud of my recovery and my luck. I am happy to have had B there, that I memorized his phone number and that he stood beside me the entire time. He never once left my side for almost an entire week. He was and is the most supportive, understanding, and caring person in my life. He went so far out of his way to make sure that I was and would be okay, it makes me feel so unbelievably lucky, I can’t even tell you. I wrote about what happened this day on my blog, so I won’t repeat it here, but if I could tell B one thing, it’d be that I’ve never felt so loved in my entire life, by someone other than my mother, than I did this day and week. Thank you.

B: When I got the call I was in the middle of photographing coffee. I never actually drank the drink I was taking pictures of, I found it a week later. I don’t even know why I thought to pick up the phone early on a Saturday morning, but I did.

The caller didn’t allude to memory loss, or a bloody face, as they calmly said, “Your partner has been in an accident. She’s OK, just a bit shaky.” Then, as I arrived to the scene, reality began to set in. I hoped the ambulance wasn’t for her. I hoped the blood wasn’t real, or at least wasn’t from a loss of teeth.

Then I heard her scarred voice, “Where am I?” “What’s going on?” A didn’t know what happened. I didn’t know. Thankfully three bystanders were there and helping. They told me what they knew. The one who called assured me that things would be OK (he was also in an accident). The two others helped me lock up her bike and then gave me her tooth.

As we rode to the hospital the paramedic and I worked to keep A calm. The paramedic was INCREDIBLE as he would ask basic questions and A would panic as details became confusing. 

The ten minutes in the emergency waiting room were hell. A, inside, me outside unsure of what was happening. When I came inside and she made a joke I knew things would be OK. A is so strong and amazing and hilarious. I couldn’t believe she was making jokes. I wanted to take a picture of her because I didn’t think she would believe how bad she looked. I said, “it looks like you’ve been in a bad fight.” She eventually looked (it was way worse than what you see above…missing teeth, lots of dried blood).

Oddly, the most frantic I felt was taking A’s bra off  while the X-ray technicians waited outside the room. I felt rushed and pathetically useless. Otherwise, I was surprised at how naturally calm I felt helping her clean her mouth or take her to the bathroom.

There was a panicky moment where we were checking out and we had to find an emergency dentist and I thought, “This is it. We have to be adults now. No one is going to solve this problem for us.” It was odd.

I’m so thankful for all the people that were there to help A. I’m happy the memory loss was temporary. I’m happy that A is so strong and incredible and courageous. I’m happy her Mom and Uncle came up and drove us around.

Things happen and you can’t plan for them and you can’t predict them. Life happens and sometimes all you can do is look around and choose whether you’re going to count the good things or the bad ones.

Sailing

Date #345 – Thursday, July 10, 2014

A: B’s parents are awesome! They sailed to the city! Woah! Of course we went to visit them! I love Toronto Island. It’s such a nice little escape RIGHT in the heart of such a metropolis. I love that you have to take a boat and you can bring your bike and that it feel like you’re so far from all the dirt and spin of urban living that it’s a mini-vacation-feeling-experience. I’m happy to share all that with B… Well… that he brings me along with him on these sorts of things. I wouldn’t have had the chance to do this otherwise. 

B: I think it is super adorable and inspiring when my parents go on adventures like this. They do it a lot actually. Growing up my sisters and I would always be included. Now, they finally are going on their own adventures but they still like to include us as much as possible.

I think they were as ecstatic to see as as we were to see them. It was pretty amazing to get this perspective of the city. I love going to the Island, but being on a boat in the water with this massive city towering over you is kind of an incredible feeling. I felt small and vulnerable but also happy to be a part of something so much bigger than me. I was happy to be sharing that with A and my parents.

I hope when we are their age and have been together as long as them we still find ways to do amazing, new, and scary things like my parents do.

He’s “okay” – a car ran a red and smack!

An awful date #302 – Wednesday, June 4, 2014

A: Worst. Date. Ever.

We were biking back to my apartment after our Ecojot meeting and, literally on my block, a woman driving a car wasn’t paying attention and ran a red, hitting Brian. I screamed seconds before because I saw the car which likely prompted the woman to break but she still made contact with an unsuspecting Brian who was in front of me. His butt smashed the windshield and his bike is pretty much totalled. It was horrific and traumatic to see.

I was hit by a car in 2007 and it’s become this giant grey cloud that I constantly think about. It’s effected every aspect of my life and I was immediaely worried about the long term affects that this may have on B. But B’s body and mind are not mine and I am proud of him for responding and being as strong as we was.

I finally understand what my friends went through when they saw my accident. They had a harder time than I did, and I think I might have a harder or just as hard time as B with this particular experience. Thinking of how life can change on whim has once again reminded me that we are just… temporary.

B: I don’t think a lot about death but I do think a lot about my life. I think about the impact I want to have on this world and how every choice I make is a part of that affect.

When the car hit me it was sudden. I remember A’s piercing scream and the wheels screeching. In my head I just thought “Oh fuck, am I seriously now on top of a car?” When I came off the hood I was in shock. People often talk about “fight or flight” response but they forget that there is also a freeze response. I just stood there and stared at the woman.

I’m so happy A was there. She helped direct the driver to a side street, she helped get me in the ambulance and told the paramedics that I needed to be X-rayed (which should always happen after a hit). She called my Mom and rode with me to the hospital. 

I feel so lucky that I am alive, I wouldn’t want to leave A.

Side Streets Production Meeting

Date #282 – Friday, May 9, 2014

A: We both had the day off and hung around B’s place for a bit. He rode my bike for the first time and said he could tell why I’d like to cruise on it. It’s more upright than his. B bikes so fast on his bike I can hardly keep up but he’s also head first like a racer or something so it’s like he has no choice but to submit to speed or something. I don’t know.

We had our second production meeting for my short film this day, too, and that was exciting and nerve wracking. I was still unsure of what exactly I wanted and was really nervous about articulating my vision. Honestly, I wasn’t sure how invested the team was and how much I should put myself out there. In retrospect, the answer is always put yourself out there. Don’t hold back. This was a learning experience for me and I loved every minute of it. The first of many meetings, I hope, and I’m glad I had B there to be a part of it.

B: Riding A’s bike was really interesting. It gave me a lot of perspective in to her biking experience. Also, I realized that she needed air in her tires. Sometimes we argue because I think she is going too slow. I have to remember I’ve been biking longer and so I’m more comfortable on a bike.

The production meeting went really well. I know A has a strong vision and that she can articulate it well. I knew she was nervous so I tried to encourage her to take charge. I also told myself to support her and do everything I could to show others that she is in charge. 

…Oh, A must have forgot that we were supposed to go on our third roadtrip for autoshare‘s #discoverON program. We were going to a conservatory and paint. I got really worked up and then we didn’t go. We talked outside and then made up and I rode A’s bike. I was actually happy we didn’t go (despite the weather being perfect) because I think we both were under a lot of pressure with A’s film coming up.

Rooster Coffeeeee

Date #262 – Monday April 21, 2014

A: B came back from Whitby, I’d like to think because I pestered him to go on a bike ride with me, and he picked a place to go for coffee. We biked over to Broadview and had a coffee on the patio at Rooster Coffee. It’s amazing. There’s a beautiful park across the street and a sweet view of the city. It was wonderful, before it started to rain a little. I love rain, though. I just need to get accustomed to biking in it. I wasn’t dressed warm enough.

B: I was really excited about the prospect of bike adventures and coffee. A wanted to go to a new coffee spot, and Rooster is a great café I’ve only visited once before. We brought some camera gear so we could take a bunch of photos. As I was taking this shot, the camera died. A hadn’t charged her battery and took her charger out of her bag. I started getting worked up but then tried to let it go. It wasn’t a big deal, but I sometimes (OK, often!) have trouble dealing with changes like these…the things we do have control over. It was a lot of fun sitting with A on the patio, hanging out by the park.

We then biked over to meet my Mom and Little Sister and helped them pick out fabric for the couches. I’m glad A could be there and interact with my family so well.

Bar fight opens sensitive discussions

Date #192 – Feb 7, 2014

B: As part of preparations for the the Crossfit Open, my gym academyoflions has created teams of 4 to help people stay inspired during training. As a captain of one of these teams, it is my responsibility to provide extra coaching and motivation to my other teammates. On Friday nights at 7:30, everyone competing in the Games next month get together for an extra training session – which means a tough workout.

The workout was 75 snatches for time. I did 65lbs in about 9 minutes. It was really tough, but so many people in the gym cheered me on and it felt like a family showing me how proud they are. I love that place.

At about midnight I met up with A at the bar where she was hanging out with a friend. When I got there the ground was slushy but we decided to bike home. Nearly at A’s place I heard a loud scream from A behind me. I turned around and she was getting out of the street as two people offered help. A got her bike tire caught in a street-car track but was OK. I told her that the “street-car track accident” was a right of passage for Toronto cyclists. I also said it was good to yell so loudly when falling (as a way to warn others).

When we got back to her place she told me about the bloody and awful fight she witnessed at the bar. She also told me about how this brought up some sensitive and personal conversations with her friend. A expressed how she hates watching fights (I do too) and how it makes her adrenaline rush – to the point of sometimes it taking her days to calm down.

We also talked about how she saw some pictures of me and my Ex on Facebook. I forgot I had those photos and actually deleted them the next day. I apologized for her seeing them and ensured her that the only reason they were still online was because I hadn’t thought about them at all. I actually don’t like thinking about that relationship at all because it was a really unhappy time in my life. 

Thinking about it though, I realize that leaving them online (and public) was unfair to A. Sometimes it is easy to forget about parts of your online profile, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t responsible for them.

After re-assuring A I tried to calm her down before going to bed. I spoke in a soothing tone about random things from my childhood. I hope it worked…

A: It was a great and awful Friday night. I spent the evening with a friend I met since moving to Toronto and I feel lucky to know her. I was worried moving here (in Nov. 2011) because I thought I’d have a hard time meeting good friends. Ones that will stick. Well, I got lucky. I’ve met amazing people.

Anyway, there was a massive fight between two women who’d had too much to drink. It was a live episode of Bad Girls Club with a lot of blood. It was awful and, because of parts of my past, I’m not the best at keeping my cool when people are fighting. I have a tendency to either get in the middle of it all, trying to peacekeep (dumb), or run. My energy was all off, though, because of what B mentioned above.

You must have moments where you’re clicking around online and you see things you can’t help but explore. That sounds SO inappropriate but I’m talking generally. “Lurking” and such. I didn’t go out of my way but a few clicks into last summer’s photos and I was looking at B and his ex and their life together and it upset me. I didn’t think it was fair, and I told B, and he responded accordingly. It’s hard to see someone you trust and love in the arms of someone else regardless of when it was, but I chose to look so I must choose to respond in whatever way I see fit. I chose communication. I cried, too. And I felt bad. For who? I’m not sure. Myself, I guess. You never see the negative parts of relationships in photos, so I guess I filled in the blanks with all the smiles and memories that I’d heard about from B. 

In any case, pairing these emotions, B being busy and not texting back (I KNOW! WORST!), and seeing a bar fight, I was completely off-kilter biking home in the snow storm. I was lucky I wasn’t run over, and that two people offered to help me up (who weren’t laughing), and I recognize this. I am lucky, as I’ve been saying quite often. And I have reminded myself to live in the now, and not the what was or what could be.

Planning for a MEC Expedition

Date #183 – Jan 29, 2014

A: MEC does these awesome grant programs where you can go on an outdoor adventure and B and I are really interested in putting ourselves out there. Being outdoors in this relationship is a part of the world we haven’t explored yet, though we talk about it a lot. We talk about what we like to do and recount fondly the ways we feel when we’re camping or hiking or biking, and such. We’re both so different but we both have this insatiable need to be outside. Going on adventures with B will not only present new and challenging ways we interact and respond to each other, but I really think it’ll deepen our connection to each other and with nature. It’s nice to explore with someone.

Also, in regards to the photos, all we eat sometimes are massive plates of broccoli. And I also have long enough hair to make a fake beard. Awesome.

B: Doesn’t A look adorable in her goggles from the 80s? Her eyes water a lot in the wind and so it was these goggles from my mom or not biking. It takes someone awesome like A to choose biking. Gosh I love her.

The Expedition application to MEC is something I really want to do. I thought, “going on a canoe trip in the interior of Algonquin Lake would be perfect – just us and woods and lakes only accessible by canoe.” In the process of discussing this I found out that A has been camping since a small child. I like learning new things about her and I like the idea of us creating art in the wilderness and sharing that with you and everyone reading this.

Coffee and strawberries – Date #142 – December 13, 2013

A: This morning we woke up happy. B made coffee and cut up strawberries all nice and we chatted cross-legged on the bed until I went to work. A while ago out of the blue B was locking his bike up and said all proudly that, when I have my bike, we can locked them together and we do now so we did and seeing them this morning made me smile. I get so excited about the little things, it’s kind of ridiculous. 

(Like the candy cane straws at the Static Zine Christmas party. I was SO excited. Like there being white fluffy snowflakes this morning. So excited. Like B and I locking our bikes together. So excited. Ugh. I love my bike. And B. Ugh.)

B: What A forgot to mention was that we were talking about my night two days before, when I got to see my favourite band (Broken Social Scene) come out of hiatus to play two songs at Andy Kim’s Annual Christmas Concert. She got all smiley while I was talking and said it was because I was so excited. I like sharing stories with A.

Static Zine Christmas Party – Date #141 – December 12, 2013

A: First of all, it was -20 and we BIKED to the party. It was awesome and I even said, “Uh oh… I like biking…” which only means great things. 

This party was so much fun. Everyone is so incredibly nice and welcoming and I met some really awesome people. I also found Winter Ale at the LCBO which is the best beer-centric holiday hug in a can I can think of this time of year.  I love nights like these because they remind that, if you put yourself out there, even a little, you can meet people who are not only interested in similar things but also that there are new experiences and conversations waiting to be had. I love that. And the brownies were delicious. Secret ingredient I learned was sour cream. Never would have thought that!

B: There were brownies!?!?! 

The party was a lot of fun. Static Zine is this fantastic publication (and I say that as a fan turned writer) run by some beautiful people. Us all hanging out in the common room at the condo of one of the Editors felt like those parties you have when all your friends come home from University during Winter Break and you meet up at one of their homes. Fantastic!

Oh, A and I had a conversation about her asthma and how she thinks it can hold her back. I don’t know what having asthma is like, but I know what it is like to have something physically holding you back. A tries to push herself very hard and it’s hard to hear it get so negative some times. I wanted to take the asthma and throw it out the window…but I know challenges make us stronger. When A moved on to complain about other things I told her she was being a, “Negative Nancy,” she switched gears and got all positive. A is awesome that way.

Static Zine Christmas Party – Date #141 – December 12, 2013

A: First of all, it was -20 and we BIKED to the party. It was awesome and I even said, “Uh oh… I like biking…” which only means great things. 

This party was so much fun. Everyone is so incredibly nice and welcoming and I met some really awesome people. I also found Winter Ale at the LCBO which is the best beer-centric holiday hug in a can I can think of this time of year.  I love nights like these because they remind that, if you put yourself out there, even a little, you can meet people who are not only interested in similar things but also that there are new experiences and conversations waiting to be had. I love that. And the brownies were delicious. Secret ingredient I learned was sour cream. Never would have thought that!

B: There were brownies!?!?! 

The party was a lot of fun. Static Zine is this fantastic publication (and I say that as a fan turned writer) run by some beautiful people. Us all hanging out in the common room at the condo of one of the Editors felt like those parties you have when all your friends come home from University during Winter Break and you meet up at one of their homes. Fantastic!

Oh, A and I had a conversation about her asthma and how she thinks it can hold her back. I don’t know what having asthma is like, but I know what it is like to have something physically holding you back. A tries to push herself very hard and it’s hard to hear it get so negative some times. I wanted to take the asthma and throw it out the window…but I know challenges make us stronger. When A moved on to complain about other things I told her she was being a, “Negative Nancy,” she switched gears and got all positive. A is awesome that way.