I am an early riser by nature. It has been that way for so long I honestly can't remember the last time I slept in. So, it was no surprise when I woke up feeling pretty well-rested at 5.30 am. I laid in bed in that beautiful fugue state between sleep and wakefulness, contemplating the day ahead. I have a friend, Steve, who says he prays in the morning and he pictures God going before him to prepare those places. It's a simple and beautiful prayer, and one I used that morning.
Fortunately, I did not go back to sleep, because my wakeup call never came. I wandered next door to bang on Patfish's door, and it's a good thing I did that, too, because his alarm clock failed to go off. We saddled up our gear, loaded our car and went to the lobby as they had free breakfast. In talking with Jessie the day before, she said breakfast might be a problem at that hour but there would still be bagels, cereal and the like. Patfish and I found the bagels and helped ourselves. Oddly, there was nothing to grab them with, so I just reached in a nd grabbed one, careful not to grab any others.
"Hey," came a voice behind us. "You can't grab those bagels!" Someone was clearly upset.
"What," I replied.
"You can't just grab those bagels! Breakfast doesn't start until 7 o'clock"
"I'll be gone by then."
"And you're supposed to use the tongs!"
"There were no tongs."
"That's because we don't set them out until 7 o'clock."
All I could say was, "Really?"
"Yes, really. You can't help yourself, you need to make special arrangements with the front desk if you want early breakfast."
"Ummmmm. I did."
She harumphed and glared at me. Yes, she glared at me. And Patfish.
And then I thought, "What are they going to do, kick me out?"
"Thanks for the bagels" I said, smiled and left.
Getting to the event is supposed to be easy. And it would have been, except for two critical facts. First, I was following Patfish and he wasn't sure where we were going. Second, I need coffee in the morning. Non-coffee drinkers will never, ever, no matter how desperately you implore them, understand this need. Patfish is not a coffee drinker. So, when I say, I need "coffee" I think, inherent in that fact, is the understanding that if I don't get said coffee, bad things will happen. To me or to you. When I realized we were lost AND there was a chance I would NOT get coffee, I took charge. I pulled him over, took the lead and went on my quest for coffee. Fortunately, we quickly found coffee (Dunkin' Donuts, FTW!) and DeKalb Pike, which leads straight to the ride site. Winning.
My buddy, Paul, had driven down to meet us. He had texted (the wonders of technology - how did we do these things before cell phones?) that he was there and we quickly found each other in the bike corral.
Team Fish had assembled for the Sixth Annual Team Fish LiveSTRONG Ride (It's NOT a Race!).