Last Saturday I was supposed to go on a *really* long bike ride (76 miles!!) and I was really, really nervous. So, of course, about 30 miles into my epic quest I got a flat tire. Normally a flat tire wouldn’t bum me out but this one made me particularly upset because last weekend I kept getting flats. I had to fix 5 or 6 before I thought I had solved the problem by digging out a small chunk of glass from my tire and installing some brand new tubes
The problem was clearly not fixed and I was on a group ride with people who were much faster than me (I can barely keep up). So, when we got to the nearest rest stop I fixed the flat, examined my tires inch by inch for glass and left as quick as I could to catch back up with my group.
Things were going well and after pedaling really hard I actually caught up with my group. Then, at mile 41, I got ANOTHER flat and realized the problem (whatever it was) was not solved. It was at that point I decided I needed to just call home for a ride so that I could get my bike straightened out properly. I was really sad.
I told the group I was riding with to leave me and that I was going to use my phone to call a ride. They left, I pulled out my phone, and it was dead.
The second I realized I called out to my group but they were long gone (I assured them I was fine and didn’t need them to wait), and I was in the middle of NO WHERE with only two houses in sight.
I had a little, tiny panic moment before I walked down the first long country driveway with tears on my cheeks worried that some monster lived there. I knocked and no one was home (more panic, more tears).
Next, I knocked on the door of the second house and asked the woman who answered if I could use her phone. I tried my best to ask without crying. She could clearly tell I was upset because she said something like, “Of course you can use my phone! My GOD what happened?!”
And then she hugged me…
I erupted into tears again.
Now, I am not a fan of stranger hugs by any means, but that hug was desperately needed. It was the best hug ever. It was strong and firm and real.
By answering her door that kind lady was able to do more for me than just let me use her phone. She didn’t even have to use words.
I hope she knows the value of what she gave me. I think I needed that hug more than I needed the phone call (or at least as much as I needed it).