I am Not Tulsa Tough

Just a Diva(Please note: I am a humorist by trade and this post does not in any way shape or form diss Tulsa Tough or the Divas -for the fans and riders out there- y’all are awesome and I admire you. Preferably from the sidewalk with a cold beer in one hand and a food cart dog in the other, but admire you all the same. )

Life after kids is a trip. Some of my adventures turn into great success  – I swam with sharks, earned 30 college credit hours so far, and do comedy for a living(ish) – so there is that,  while others are best left on the side of the road or under my bed like my team kit and forgotten.

Do you guys remember when I was into cycling? I traded in my walmart three speed built for Mom bike and purchased a Giant brand road bike. A pretty steep investment for a mom turned cycling enthusiast, but surely it would be worth it.

I became a voracious reader of all things cycling. I even watched races and tried to be interested. Man they are BORING! I rode the River Park trail (turning around at Turkey Mountain because, well Turkey Mountain) and I bravely captained a team for the Tour de Cure, not once but twice. I was certain THIS was going to be my sport. My thing. My avenue to fitness and badassary.

I was wrong.

Hyped up on the cure ride, I wanted more so I joined the Diva’s, bought a kit, had clips put on my pedals and set out to train for the Tulsa Tough. I did ask the guy who installed my clips if they were safe, and he assured me “why yes, my daughter got hit by a truck while in hers and she came right out of them.”

Good to know.

I read that the diva’s were going to start out with a fun 24 mile ride and I decided I needed to pre train before attempting to hang with such aspiring peeps. They said it was a “no drop” ride, but seriously, 10 miles was my personal best to date and most of it was on level ground at River Parks. — 24 “fun” miles with hills was going to take some work. I didn’t want to make an idiot out of myself my first day out so I pre-trained. That wasn’t necessary, but I did not know that at the time.

This was my downfall.

I excitedly put on my gear and hubs and I headed to the River. Team riders from all over nodded and waved in encouragement as we rode the trail. It was awesome. I mean when I rode in mom jeans I was ignored and passed with impunity. In a team kit, riders slowed down, made eye contact and gave me a thumbs up. I was visible and encouraged.

Drunk on their encouragement, I thought, hey lets try the trail with hills.

We were great. That is, until I got over heated and lost my lunch while cresting the hill at Sheridan Road.

Did you know that you cannot unclip and puke at the same time?

Me either.

I reached a point of such desperation that I looked for a truck to crash into. Failing to find one, I simply crashed my bike into the bushes at the top of the hill and laid there, bruised and bleeding, clipped to my bike and puking until my husband realized I was no longer behind him and came back to get me. That’s romance right there. Okay not really, but he did promise for better or for worse.

Shortly after that I tripped on the beach and broke my ankle (walking even perplexes me some days) and spent 16 months in a boot and knee cart. I did eventually heal with orders to not run or do anything high impact because of the metal now holding my leg together, while disappointing, I’ve come to accept that.

I could have gone back to cycling. I could have taken it slower. I just chose not to. I don’t want to risk greater injury. Riding can actually be a very dangerous sport. Especially on the road. I’ll leave the sport of cycling to the athletes.

I do still ride my $2,000 bike today – trails only – lest hubs makes me sell it, for fun and for free now rather than for props from strangers and I like that. It works for me.

I’m learning that I don’t have to be all or nothing to enjoy an activity. I don’t have to train, I can just ride for the fun of it. I can lay down my competitive spirit and just enjoy the outdoors.

Life after kids isn’t all or nothing.

It’s life.

Day by day.

Live it peeps.

Christian Comedy Night with Justin Fennell

Justin Fennell  is coming to Lifepark Christian Fellowship in Tulsa Oklahoma on Sunday, April 17 at 7:30 pm. Our local friend and comic Gary Thompson is opening for him, and I’m hosting.

Admission is free and we’ll be taking a free will offering to help offset his expenses. Doors open at 7:00pm. Be sure to bring your whole family out. This is going to be a blast.

Everyone loves a good laugh

That’s what you’re guaranteed to experience when you hear JUSTIN N. FENNELL. (That’s “fin” + “nail”) Don’t say his name too quick or it sounds like just an infidel! It’s yarn-spinning stories, props, audience participation, funny music and stand-up comedy. The best part of it is that all of his material is clean and appropriate. Fennell says, “you know, it doesn’t have to be filthy to be funny.” His performances are rated “E” for everyone!

 

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the year that did not kill me

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I’ve been writing and rewriting, wanting to sum up 2015 for you guys, and for myself to no avail.

Word picture: Me, butt in chair, staring at a computer screen and eating potato chips, for hours.  That and drinking massive amounts of coffee. Then going outside in our forever summer to smoke. I know, smoking is bad, but it relaxes me.

SIGH.

Then I saw this cartoon on a friend’s Facebook wall and I’m thinking YES, this is it. THIS is 2015 in a nutshell. That which did not kill me has made me weirder. And maybe a little harder to relate to. Or not, I’m not sure really.

Oh no worries, 2015 did not make me neurotic. I’ve been that way for years. Ask anyone, they’ll tell you.

I’m the daughter of a prom queen. The rules were simple, Mom was always the prettiest woman in the room. If I gained five pounds, she threw up and I pay for my own therapy.

I can live with neurotic, trust me.

Part of me believes that I have this semi-empty-nest-grown-kids thing down cold, but when the guys (husband included) all went to see a movie over Thanksgiving weekend and didn’t invite me, that got me right in the feels. We made up for at Christmas by going to see Sisters with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Wonderful movie. I loved it. I also loved spending time together as a family. So even though I’ve proven since 2012 that there is life after kids, the bottom line is, they are still my favorite people to spend time with when they are home.

Now, where was I?

Oh yes 2015.

This is the year of Catch Me If You Can. I’ve traveled everywhere it seems. Sometimes for fun and sometimes not. We lost my brother-in-law to cancer this year and my mother died from COPD and Depression. She was miserable in the end. That doesn’t necessarily make her passing easier though. She was my mom. Our relationship was complicated by a lot of things including the lack of relationship she had with her mother but we made the best of it and had our moments. I miss her. A lot.

So, highlights:

We saw Garth Brooks in concert (It was AWESOME!). I went to San Francisco for the first time ever to see my best friend from childhood. I performed at the Syracuse Funny Bone and was given the nickname “Hippie Chick.” Went to New Orleans (Another First) I spend five months  in Upstate New York taking care of Mom before she passed away. Went on a Muse Cruise with my girlfriends and visited Haiti, Jamaica and other islands. Every place I visited, I found someone playing banjo which is pretty cool to me. I spent a week in St Petersburg Florida with friends performing at Coconuts. I did a show at the Tulsa Loony Bin with other friends. Celebrated my 25th wedding anniversary. Turned 50 (E-Ghads) and didn’t die. Recently discovered my Dad is in the early stages of dementia and will soon need more care than I can provide. (I’m not even going to discuss the bed bugs in my NY apartment or my airplane catching on fire and the emergency landing)

Simply put, I survived the roller coaster that is this crazy mixed up life. And if that makes me weirder, so be it. If nothing else, it gives me great material.

 

And that is 2015 in a nutshell. I learned this year that I am stronger than I ever gave myself credit, that we all need community and I have wonderful friends, that I’m a halfway decent banjo player and I am going to go back taking lessons after the first of the year, that life after kids comes with twinges, that a name (or lack there of) on a birth certificate doesn’t mean anything really, that alcohol and grief don’t mix well, and that I am indeed funny.

May you look back on 2015 with peace and gladness and may 2016 be all you ever dreamed of. Happy New Year my friends.

And don’t forget to breathe darlin’

Deana O’Hara

the tulsa looney bin presents: Laughter With The Ladies

Join me and my friends this Wednesday night, October 28th at 7:30 pm for loads of fun and laughs. Tickets are $5 in advance or $10 at the door. Hope to see you there.

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