The aching in my heart|
Scott C. Yule
Tuesday, March 27, 2001
The words to the song "The Aching In My Heart" had occurred to me but offered a pale form of comfort. "If you can't be with the one you love, honey,love the one you're with."
As I slid from the chairlift I inhaled deeply and accelerated down the long curve to where the I could stop and survey my choice of runs. The snow seemed amazingly white against the cold grey of an Ontario winter sky.
I know there are those who continue to ride their bikes all year round, but I have all but forsaken dirt as the snow in the valley near my home is hip deep ,the trails are in my humble opinion, 'unridable'. I've relegated myself to riding a trainer while watching 'North shore extreme' and 'Kranked' on my VCR.
I'd had a chance, late last season, After about 17 years, to go skiing again on a trip to the Canadian Rockies and had rekindled the flame. So this year, I bought new gear and headed to a small ski center 20 minutes from home.
Now this is where things became strange.
Let me draw you a picture. This particular ski center is home to an alpine area as well as a 'cross country' area on opposite sides of a valley. From the top of the main slope I looked across the valley and there it was.
Through the leafless trees I could see the trails.
Trails now enjoyed by those with very long, very skinny skis. Those with wine skins and high tech mesh underwear, Those, Those....... BASTARDS.
"Hey man, where did that come from?"
You see ,those trails are the trails made and maintained by the cycle club, those trails are the trails we race on every Wednesday night, those trails are the trails I....um....I...LOVE.
Now I'm assuming anyone reading this has been involved in at least one or three relationships that has gone south for one reason or another. So allow me a little latitude and hear me out.
Here I was, embracing a new love, well, an old love I had left behind but had met again and ended up in a cheap motel with.
I could not be with the one I loved, for seasons, I mean, reasons beyond my control, So I loved the one I was with.
I KNEW as I opened my wallet at that ski shop I was cheating. "Isn't that the money you intended to spend on new disc brakes for 'her'?" I asked myself, a hint of indignation in my voice. But winter was not my fault and a man has needs.
I stood at the top of the hill as those who had departed chair lifts behind me skied around and past me and down into the valley. My heart was aching and I couldn't move.
Sure my bikes were home in the basement oblivious to where I was or what I was doing. It's not as though I was going to get 'caught'. But here I was looking out at the trails, those beautiful trails. Oh the times we had had, the way we had loved, the passion we had shared. And now there they were, STRANGERS caressing with those long skis, penetrating with those poles and sharing a strange kind of love. The trails did not seem to resist, but laid back and offered those curves and hills that had been MINE only a few, scant months ago.
My blood boiled and my hands became fists and crushed down on my poles. I looked down at my new skis and realized that "Two can play at this game baby."
I skied. I skied HARD and FAST, and with passion.
I Skied that hill in a way that none of those knicker-wearing, mama's boys could possibly even imagine.
Driving home I began to understand. Yeah, I have needs and I suppose everyone does. It's not as though the last time I rode I explained that I'd be gone awhile and it's not as though we promised to wait for each other. And I know that come spring the others will be gone and I'll be welcomed back with loving arms and I can put those new skis out of my mind.
As I stopped at a red light not far from my house I realized the car ahead of me had a roof rack cluttered with those funny long skinny skis and I had made up my mind to be cool about the whole thing. But as the light turned green and the car pulled away I could see the "I LOVE CROSS COUNTRY" bumper sticker.
"Hey buddy, don't push your luck with me."