Anyway, I googled Kristin and after phishing through results and images, I learned she wasn't "Kristen" and she also wasn't Lance's wife (I knew who Lance was, of course....Note: Defensive). And I really did feel embarrassed that I didn't know who she was, given she is a prominent figure in the women's peloton. I spent some time researching other women cyclists and teams, and some of my friends would tutor me without being patronizing. And after some time, I felt pleased with my progress and equipped to chime in "Oh yeah, wasn't it just great?!!!" during the next social hour about Famous Cyclist X, who won Race Y that I can't pronounce during a year before I was born or when I was listening to Michael Jackson's Bad tape regularly...as opposed to randomly in the 2011s.
Anyway, but it turns out that as I continue racing and think I'm rapidly expanding my wikipedia of cycling, I am constantly hearing names and races of people I don't recognize. And I could just sit there and nod and give the "Oh, totally. I'm SOOO engaged in this conversation," nods but my attention span just can't handle those types of conversations. So, if I hear Davis Phinney and say, "Hey, is he the dad of Taylor Phinney?" I then immediately find out that no one is impressed that I know who Taylor is but they are more appalled that I don't know who Davis Phinney is. And this happens over and over and over and over again. And back to Google and YouTube I go to figure out how I could be so stupid and not know these facts, forgetting that I just learned what a derailleur was in 2009 and I can proudly point out a top tube on a bike like a 1st grader pointing out California on a map. (Am I being defensive again? I'll never get that Star Employee of the Quarter parking spot--this actually exists--at this rate.)
So, hey, it's true. I like to be liked, but after so much "Bah ha ha ha--get this, Jennifer doesn't know who Blah von Blah Blah Blah is. Mwhahahah." I had enough. I guess I had a Michael Douglas Falling Down moment (You don't know what that is? Ba ha ha ha, you're so stupid) where I parked my car under the LA freeway, grabbed my briefcase, and decided I had had enough. My "Oh I'm just a dumb cyclist who doesn't know what I 'should' know" mindset became "Hey, I'm Jennifer F-in' Wheeler. I was in a SRAM commercial with Nick "I-won-Flanders" Nuyens (I googled him before writing this.) Who the hell are you?"
|My Falling Down liberation moment|
|I'm Jennifer Wheeler. And, uh, your hand is like covering up a sponsor.|
|I'm Jennifer Wheeler, and you're too tall for this photo.|
|I'm Jennifer Wheeler. I make the faces here, buddy.|
|Orange Hair Guy. Yep, that's it. No introductions needed.|
|I'm Jennifer Wheeler. Who the...oh and you're my team director. Er...how's it going?|
|I'm Jennifer Wheeler. Oh and I love you--no snotty attitude needed.|
|I'm Jennifer Wheeler. Who the hell...gave you those ribs? chomp chomp chomp|
|I'm Jennifer Wheeler, and we're posing for your new Twitter profile pic.|
|I'm Jennifer Wheeler. And we're working on pronouncing "Roar" and "Parrots" correctly.|
That way I won't ever want to ask Bob Roll (Zing! Name drop!) to say "Tour "day" France" or I won't feel embarrassed for asking if this dude in the Radio Shack kit on the Echelon Gran Fondo charity ride is Chris Warner or Horner, and most importantly I won't lose my "gift of the gab" that will only work with a loose filter that isn't worried about saying something dumb to someone who is really important. I can just be a normal human and say everyday things like, "Hi. C'mere and get your photo with me. I wanna put you on my blog."
P.S. *whisper* I'm writing this in Jeff Pierce's (ZING!) basement. (I'm not held captive. He's married to my teammate who I'm staying with in CO Springs.) (Oh and I googled him a while back and that stage he won in the Tour. I can't pronounce it.)