I have been riding my bike pretty seriously for the past year. I qualified to participate in the National Senior Games for the 40 km road race. So I set up a training program for myself where I try to have the right number of hard days, easy days and rest days. Sometimes it’s a little boring. Intervals based on my heart rate, practicing sprints, going on my own to stick to the program instead of riding with my friends is, yes, a little compulsive.
But in more than 40 years of riding, I had never raced until last year, so qualifying for the national race was pretty cool.
Unfortunately, it is the senior games. Which, to qualify, means you must be a senior. Which means you sometimes get confused. Which I did. Sometime last year I registered for something I thought was the national race but obviously wasn’t. Still, throughout the winter and spring I received emails from the Games, telling me of the hotels I could book and the sights I could see while in Minneapolis, so I thought all was copacetic.
As the time approached, however, I wasn’t receiving the kinds of emails I thought I would about the specific event. So yesterday I decided to call to just make sure I was registered. They had no record of me and I was weeks passed the registration deadline. The guy in registration said he’d talk to a couple of higher ups, but later called back and said they couldn’t make an exception. My flight and hotel were booked, but I had nowhere to go.
No sooner I had hung up the phone, my oldest daughter called. She asked, as she always does, “How you doing, Dad?” I told her, “Not so good” and my tale of stupidity. She sympathized and commiserated a bit before we went on to other subjects.
Today, she called. “I have some good news for you,” she said. “You can register for the Games. Here’s the woman to call and her phone number.” Kate took it upon herself to write them and ask that they make an exception and allow me to register. “I told them you just had a senior moment!”
So I’m off to Minneapolis, hoping first and foremost to finish the race, as we say, rubber side down. It’s not a course that plays to my strengths. It’s 15 90-degree turns per lap and I think there are 15 laps. So I’ll be racing with many other seniors subject to senior moments at each turn. But just to be there because of my daughter’s thoughtfulness and determination to make things happen, as she has done throughout her life, will make whatever result sweet.
I called her back to let her know I was set to go and how much I appreciated what she had done for me. I got her voice mail. But my message was probably incomprehensible through the blubbering tears. I’m one lucky guy.