December Rose & Thorns – A monthly recap of the highs and lows experienced each month.
Rose: The Simple Things
If I describe my holiday season in one word, it would be – calm. I didn’t rush into any store to pick up a last-minute gift or stress about what to bring to dinner. I refused to participate in any Christmas event involving parking in a never-ending parking lot and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with crowds. Instead, I opted for quality time without the pressure of over-scheduling every free moment. Spending time walking along the river to catch up with friends or hiding away in the corner of a restaurant on a Tuesday night to solve the world’s problems was much more my speed.
Not all of my time was spent surrounded by friends and family. The best way for me to feel recharged is to spend time alone. I skipped town for one last solo trip to Cedar Key before the end of the year. Although it rained for two of the three days, I couldn’t have been happier walking from shop to shop and petting the alley cats.
I wish I had more of a drawn-out story time to describe the peacefulness I felt this month, but in many of these moments, I was unplugged from my phone, soaking in the last moments of the year, unbothered by the world around me. This is the energy I want to bring into 2023.
Thorn: Electric Bikes
Did Santa bring everyone an electric bike for Christmas? I’m used to having the occasional e-bike silently wiz by while on my runs, but this month has been exceptionally busy. Sharing the trails with cyclists isn’t the issue; many people are courteous, ring their bike bells, and move past. My issue is the speed these bikes can reach in areas where I’m not expecting to meet with them head-on. After pushing myself, I finally reach the reward of running downhill, and I’m not prepared to dodge an electric bicycle going 28 mph in the opposite direction. In my winded state, I might as well be maneuvering around a motorcycle.
I can only hope in the coming months, the novelty of these bikes will start to wear off, and they will be left uncharged to collect dust in the garage. Until then, I should consider running with a helmet and pads to protect myself from colliding with a cyclist who feels the need to travel full tilt around sharp turns.
On a separate but related note, there was a great article published by The New Yorker; Hell on Two Wheels, Until the E-Bike’s Battery Runs Out. The focus is geared toward Americans buying e-bikes in lieu of electric cars in large cities. Reading this article leads me to believe Santa did bring everyone an e-bike for Christmas, and I better start running more defensively.
Paddle Board – On Black Friday this year, I bought myself an inflatable paddleboard. The amount of money I’ve spent renting paddleboards at various springs could have paid for several boards by now. I decided to buy ISLE Pioneer 2.0. Not only is it Reddit-approved, but ISLE was offering close to 50% off and throwing in a free electric air pump. I could not pass it up.
December Blog Post Recap
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