Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Atta Girl!

by Charla J Schneider
Twice a week I cycle with the most wonderful group of moms.  They are lovely, friendly, motivated and tough.  These mamas fly up and down the many hills within the river valley trail system here in Edmonton like it’s nothing.  There are three groups:  The fast group, the medium group and the slow group.  I’m in the slow group….and I don’t really think they are very slow at all.  I huff, I puff, I wheeze my way forward almost always the slowest of the slow.  Those ladies cheer me on and without offering to ease up they embolden me with “You got this Char”, “You’re doin’ great Char” – I don’t find these words of encouragement patronizing because I need every single bit of positive energy I can get during those hard 70 minute rides.   During the last ride we had just gotten started and I really needed some exercise because I felt like I was having a crazy week.  I once read that one of the worst jobs someone with ADD can have is a homemaker.  There are other bad jobs that us ADDers should stay away from but when I read that I felt…understood.   I felt that way because it is monumentally difficult for me to keep my home organized and to offer the structure and consistency I know my kids need.  Only a few days before this last ride of mine when my mother called and asked what I was doing  I replied that I was sitting in a chair with a blanket over my head.  Sometimes the full time task of pulling my home together really feels that overwhelming.    So I showed up for Thursday’s ride already feeling tired and pushed and we began to climb uphill.  There was an especially steep part which everyone behind me passed me on and I just got off my bike, out of breath and started walking my bike up the hill.  Feeling a little annoyed that everyone else was already at the top of the hill, waiting for me I continued forward and saw an older man, cane in hand, coming down the hill in front of me.  Having watched all the other ladies zip up before me he looked at me, smiled then said “Atta girl!  You can do it – you just gotta go a little slower that’s all.”  I smiled back at him and then turned my head as tears started streaming down my face and I felt what he said all the way down to my toes and back again because what he said seemed very relevant to my life in general.  River valley hills, life’s hills – they can be real scoundrels sometimes,  but I can do hills, I just gotta go a little slower that’s all.  


  1. That's lovely. I feel that way a lot too--far too slow and scattered and spazzy. :) Atta girl! :)

  2. The shirt I wear for all my races (running) says, “You don’t have to go fast, you just have to go.” It’s my mantra, because seriously, I’m pretty sure there are people who can walk faster than I run. But I still do it. Because I can. Great story!!! :-)



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