The red rain poncho flies out behind me as I stand on the pedals, forcing the weight of my box bike up a rare three meter change in altitude.
Rain falls in curtains from the black winter sky and my glasses are smeared with water, steam and sweat. Great, heavy gusts of wind cause me to wobble back and forth.
My children, jolly and dry under the rain tent, shout a volley of obscure conversational topics at me: Tell me about the life cycle of the hookworm again, pleeeeease! Mommy, are we old? Why don’t Ewoks turn into talking ghosts when they die like Obi Wan Kenobi? I shout back muffled answers about parasitic paths through internal organs, the relativity of age and the difference between Jedi Knights and mere mortals.
There are still four kilometers to go until we arrive at swimming lessons where hoards of loud, reluctant children will pull off heaps of winter clothing in the cramped, sweltering locker room. It will smell. There will be whining.
And yet I am smiling.
Smiling with Eye of the Tiger lodged in my brain.
For I know that the three meter elevation gain will soon translate into a three meter descent and that leaning into the next corner at speed will feel like flying.