This is going to be one of those posts where I have to give you a lot of convoluted back story information, or you might wonder why a woman I had never met came up to me at a rest stop and started talking to me about my dissertation.
I apologize for that in advance.
I did my doctoral research and wrote my dissertation about the Bicycle Ride Across Georgia, specifically women who have participated in it for years and how it has changed them. Of course it came from a profound knowledge that over the years, at least for me, cycling became more than something I do. It became something I am.
In preparation for this week's ride, a man had posted on the message board that he had GPS routes for this weekend that you could upload into a GPS, and I've always wanted to try that. I use my bike GPS mainly to show where I've BEEN, and it also calculates distance, average, time, altitude, and other basically useless information. I emailed him for the routes just so I could play around with them.
I noticed that his email address included "DrDawg," so I commented that I was also a "Dr. Dawg." I told him to look for me and my sister on our tandem this weekend, specifically on Saturday when we would be wearing our UGA cycling jerseys. He replied, "Hmmm....sisters, tandem, UGA jerseys.... I think I remember some singing too." He had seen us on previous BRAG events. Turns out he is a vet and graduated from UGA's vet school, where I worked right after I got out of college and got married. He graduated before I got there, though.
At a rest stop today, a lady came up to me and asked if I were [Bragger]. She was Dr. Dawg's wife (he was miles down the road). That was sweet enough, but then she went on to say that she had done an online search for me after I said I was a Dr. Dawg. I thought she was going to say it had led her to my blog, and I was all excited at the prospect of having a new reader. It's all about the readers.
What she said, though, was that it had led her to my dissertation. I groaned inwardly. But then she said that she sat down and READ. EVERY. WORD. OF. IT. I wouldn't want to read every word of my dissertation, and I wrote the damn thing. She said she had never done a long bicycle ride, but after reading my dissertation, she had convinced herself that she could do it, and she was on the 50-mile route. There was a 20-mile route today that she could very easily have chosen, but she was on the 50.
It literally brought tears to my eyes. I thought I was going to blubber right there at the rest stop. Her kind words more than make up for the times that a certain a**hole who just happens to be a Georgia Tech grad (and is the husband of a beeyotch with whom I used to be unfortunate to work) has made FUN of me for my dissertation topic. Made fun. As in laughed and told anyone standing nearby to ask me what my dissertation topic was.
Excuse me, but are you supposed to RIDICULE someone's dissertation topic if you DON'T HAVE ONE OF YOUR OWN?
This woman today made the whole dissertation process worth it. If no one ever reads it again, it has reached one person. That is all the affirmation I need.