I’ve known my friend Misty Butts (yes, that’s her real name) since we were 16. I changed schools at semester of my sophomore year and she was nice to the new girl. I’ve always been grateful for that. She is much of what I am not: kind, optimistic, soft-hearted and nonabrasive. There is something wholesome in her DNA. Life has handed her some hard knocks, and she refuses to stop believing that tomorrow will be better than today. My dark heart has no trouble believing we’re all going to hell in a hand basket. She has never given up on my bad attitude, judged my choices or failed to let me pour my heart ache out to her.
That goodness is possibly what causes her to plan and execute some of the most cockamamie schemes ever. And I go along with them every time. Why? Because that sweet voice asks me to, and for some brief decision-making moment, I willingly suspend my disbelief that there is no way this will go well for me. And they usually make for pretty good stories later. For example, I was the wheel man more than once on borderline stalking excursions of high school boys we liked. (We were in high school at the time, no need to alert social services.) One of these outings had us crawling on our bellies up the side of a hill in private school uniforms to spy on whether or not a boy she fancied was walking a girl she despised to her car after school. I’m not making this up.
Recently, she met and fell in love with a man who is crazy athletic. For me, this would be a reason not to go out with him, but silly girl that she is, she finds this attractive. At first, she tried to pretend that she too was athletic, but I think he caught on pretty quickly. There were some really obvious signs, like her panic when he announced that he’d finally gotten his exercise room set up in such a way that she could run on the treadmill and he could ride his stationary bike while they WATCHED A MOVIE! She was as sure as the rest of her friends that she could not run for 2 hours without medical intervention.
So she decided to train for the LR Marathon and got a team together to do the relay. Each of us would be responsible for approximately a 10k. I was not capable of running a mile at the time I agreed to this. During my training I was so bitter, I insisted our team be named Damn Misty Butts! But there I was on race day, running 6 miles to benefit my friend’s love life.
Now she has come up with her worst idea yet! She wants to participate in mini triathlon. These are comically called “sprint” triathlons by some people. And somehow, once again, I am her partner in crime. Until yesterday, I didn’t own a bike. Until yesterday, I hadn’t ridden a bike since elementary school. While purchasing this new shiny bike, the staff at the store joked they were taking bets on whether I’d crash during the test drive. Funny people, these cyclists.
The upshot of this whole new venture is that I’m going to be swimming in open water in October. That’s before I bike and run. I’m a fool. I’m a fool who’ll be wearing a Damn Misty Butts! jersey. Look for me in Heber Springs.