I rarely discuss what I am experiencing personally when things are tough; when I’m scared; when I almost pass out from dehydration; when I receive mean comments about Peace. In the 11 months this blog has been up I certainly haven’t discussed what I’m getting ready to discuss. Ladies, it’s for you, but truly, it is men who need to read it–proceed with open mind.
I hear this comment a lot, “Well, I was thinking, if she can do it, so can I.” One hundred percent of said comments come from men. And so I think, yes, yes, YOU CAN. You always could. But could you do it in a woman’s body? I don’t offer some of my personal impressions (which from this moment on, is going to change) because I don’t want anyone to minimize my personal experiences because of my sex. Some of them I don’t offer because I don’t want to dwell on the negative.
Perhaps this custom comes from one specific thing we don’t talk about. And once in a blue moon, it affects most of my day.
Fellas, could you do a ride like this in my body?
Last year my cycle changed as soon as I started riding. And I’m not talking about my four-stroke cycle here; I’m talking about my “moon cycle”. At one point, I bled for 19 days in a row. After that I would start and stop again without warning for most of the whole trip.
That means I lost iron, had cramps, and spent how ever much money I didn’t have on tampons. Imagine what it feels like to sit for 10 hours, on a vibrating machine, with 10 inch wheel offering little buffer from all the bumps in the road; meanwhile your stomach feels like it’s been punched repeatedly by an angry monkey.
Now, I view this world as equal opportunity, no reason it shouldn’t be. Any differences in our body are just that, differences. Not better or worse. But if you gave a man and a woman each $10 to survive for a month, automatically, the playing field is uneven. Unless the woman has gone through menopause, because we have to purchase our supplies. And men do not.
Another comment I hear often, from men and women, is, “Wow, she has balls.”
I have ovaries, thank you. They are the female equivalent of balls, I suppose. Ovaries do help develop a lot of the strength that women have.
We bear children; an average of eight hours of pain racking our bodies after nine months of hosting a tenant in our stomach. Let’s do some math. Average cycle is five days, 12 months in the year; which equals 60 days we experience something men don’t. I might add, a very unpleasant sensation.
Two months of our year is spent wondering if we just ruined another pair of pants, going to the bathroom when we don’t have to pee, putting our intimacy on hold (and yours).
Let’s say on average, we have two miserable day and the others not so bad. On average each lady has this cycle for 30 years. So, two times a month, for a year, multiplied by 30 years equals 720 days of heavy pain and discomfort. Days where you want nothing more than to be massaged by God himself. Instead we learn to cope and go through everyday activities as though all is GREAT. We go out there and do the same stuff men are doing, and try to smile. Talk about going with the flow.
So why am I talking about this anyway? I figure it’s high time to share this perspective. Just to shed light on what is often a tight lipped subject. One, because when I was going through the ride last year, I couldn’t find any information about how a woman’s cycle might react to a long distance ride. Second of all, well, it just shouldn’t seem so shocking every time a woman accomplishes a great feat. Of course we are strong enough.
So to every person who hears a man comment, “If SHE can do it, so can I” and “Not bad, FOR A WOMAN,” I say find your voice and challenge that statement.
The other day I speculated about such statements, and thought, if I’m considered the lowest common denominator, wouldn’t that make my accomplishments twice as noteworthy ? If it would be so effortless for a man to make this ride in comparison, does that mean my miles driven are worth twice as much? Perhaps I should say it’s a 40,000 mile Peace sign?
Moving right along…how about those gas prices? Talk about a pain we all share!