Today, May 2, 2018, I quietly observed my 18th year anniversary of moving back to Austin. It was also the first day of the rest of my life since being laid off / liberated from my job of 11 years, the last day of which was six months and a day ago, on November 1st. Accompanying those two milestones is the end of the first four months of the year. With all of that, it seems like a good time to reflect upon where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m heading. Get out those oranges and reading glasses, because A Dude’s a-fixin’ to do some navel gazin’! (Note to my non-US followers: If you are not in the US, navel oranges are a common variety here, because they look like they have a belly button, aka navel. And navel gazing — staring at one’s belly button — is a metaphor for self-rumination. We don’t actually stare at it.) Orange you glad I explained that?
As previous readers of this blog know, I ride my bike a fair amount for someone of my age and weight. I also have done yoga daily for over four years, and this year I added in a daily walk. Without getting into all the statistics, I will just say that biking is going ok, though much more slowly than previous years due to lower energy. The cause isn’t exactly clear which makes it difficult to treat, especially with substandard public health “safety net” care and a limited budget for alternatives like acupuncture, massage, etc.
I wrote the other day about passing 1,000 miles in four months in my post I’ve Biked 1,000 Miles This Year. So What? My new goal was 50 miles per week in order to blog and write my book. With the last two weeks of 100-mile weeks and a number of them in the 60’s-80’s, I’m more than 250 miles ahead of schedule. That’s because I’ve kinda got my eye on 4,000 miles for the year, not 3,000.
The increased time demands of going back to work (more on that in a moment) will make that challenging, especially if I want to keep up with the walking and writing. However, I’ve been too fatigued to participate in the MS 150 charity ride, and on too late a sleep schedule to join in the Peddler shop rides. I’ve also not had chums to go out on rides with, so most of my miles are solo ones, doing the daily errands. Those are all disappointments. I did throw in a few fun rides just for gits and shiggles. So, overall, I give myself a grade of B- in the bike department. Maybe this is the year I can get a new bike, but we’ll see.
I’m happy with the walking, even if sometimes it’s a chore to do. One trick I’ve come up with is to start or end a bike ride with a walk. That way, I’m forced to do it if I want to get home. I’ve largely succeeed in walking earlier in the day, which should help with regulating my sleep schedule, but has not. I did technically miss a day but more than made up for it with three weeks of double walks with Buddy the dog and often walking more than 30 minutes (though I missed a day or two on minutes, too).
I even walked in the cold, rain, and when I was stumbling through having symptoms indicating I was suffering from iron anemia before it was diagnosed and somewhat treated, though it’s ongoing. An analysis of my readouts from my Garmin vivoactive watch show from 1/1-4/30/18 I walked 194 miles. That doesn’t include daily steps beyond the 30 minute intentional walks. When I’m actually doing the walks, I mostly enjoy them, unless I’m having aches and pains, which is pretty much always, just in different degrees. Thinking about doing them is a drain, but so far not enough to cause me to skip one on purpose. It hasn’t led to any weight loss but it’s a good thing for me and I hope to just keep doing it. I do want to get faster, do walks with friends and also hike in nature. But my walking score is an A.
I keep doing a daily 30 minute practice — ever single fucking goddamn day — No Matter What. But I’m experiencing a bit of a lull or stagnation. Often it’s the same few poses, usually when tired. Sometimes I practice in the morning, which is an improvement over late at night. I’d like go back to doing some videos by Yoga With Adriene, but maybe just once a week, or others that I have on DVD. Attending a class may be a good way to add variety. However, that would add travel time biking there and back, plus the hour class instead of my half-hour, and then there’s the cost. I’m not in danger of skipping yoga, but a day may come when I do. I also feel I should be adding back in at least 5 minutes of meditation. But should is shite so maybe I will, maybe I won’t.
In case you’re wondering whether I actually really and truly do the yoga, well, it would be super bad karma to lie about that. (I’m no yoga hoser.) Since December of 2015, I have been recording my sessions with http://www.InsightTimer.com. It’s not completely accurate because sometimes I started a session after midnight, and the next session was that same night. Sometimes I forgot to record it so just put in 30 minutes, and other times I didn’t pause when distracted, so did more than 30 minutes.
This screen shot below shows numbers for my entire time using the app; I began 12/4/2013, so it’s not complete. InsightTimer.com has lots of features including a map of who’s meditating, doing yoga, etc. at the same time you are, guided recordings, a social aspect if you want it, and those sweet, sweet stats of your spiritual warrior time logged. But since I’m not entering any yoga competitions, I don’t really care. I chose a different name on this app, because at the time I was not yet A Dude Abikes. I was just some dude doing yoga and biking sometimes. Since I’ve become a better cyclist, the yoga plays a major role in that. I give myself an A+ for consistency, but a C for not really progressing.
There’s alot to say and also not really much to say about this. I’ve cut out 98% of processed grains. I’ve had no: bread, cookies, pizza, cake, pastries, crackers, tortillas, chips, or anything of the sort since 12/31/2017. That’s an incredible achievement. One that the nutritionist I saw today was not very impressed with. But that’s OK, I wasn’t too wowed by her knowledge, though on some points the traditional knowledge was a good reminder. It’s not working to reduce obesity, but that’s more because people don’t follow the advice. And I’m no exeption.
My weight is about the same, not counting the up and down in January from my epic vegan experiment fail, And I feel worse, but I don’t think it’s due to eating only whole grains. The goal was to eat more fruits and vegetables and less crap, and I’m largely succeeding in the fruit department, but not so much on the vegetables. I need to unpack my recipe books and find some better ways of preparing them. Today a friend helped or rather did most of the repairing of a shelf, so that’s going to make finding said books and getting organized overall alot easier. I even have a book on clutter and weight loss. So my score on food is a B-.
Blogging and Book Writing
This is getting really long, so briefly I’ll just say that I’m writing every day. I really appreciate everyone’s support by following, commenting and liking. I’m not very good at making time to read everyone else’s blog, for which I’m sorry. There’s some amazing stuff out there, so keep on doing it. I have a long way to go to finish the book, and then edit it, have it edited and read by others, then published. But that’s ok. I’m on the journey I meant to start last year, and I just hope I can continue it. That said, if there’s one thing that may have to slide when I find work, it’s this blog. But I hope to not have to do that.
I’m doing great in the activity department overall. When I have to work, it will likely reduce some. Maybe I don’t walk every day, or take shorter walks. Time in the saddle bicycling will very likely be reduced, unless I have a long commute. Eating is where my main challenge lies, along with finding that job, as well as visiting friends and family. If I can ever get money for a car, or someone to sell me one on installments, (or hey, just give me one they’re not using!), I could do alot more. I’d have to be careful about not biking at all, though. And I don’t really want the hassle, expense, pollution, etc. of being a car driver. Austin traffic is really horrible. Cars are useful though, and if it’s a means to an end, it may be worth it. That said, I still really want to travel or better yet, live abroad, and that means no car. Well, that’s all for now. Thanks for reading if you did. Positive, useful, funny or wacky comments are welcome!
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