Something woke me up. Normally it’s construction, the hospital helicopter, highway traffic, barking dog, full bladder, or all of the above. Sometimes it’s a dream but they fade from memory quickly. Oh wait, I remember. It was pain in my hip from overdoing it with the resistance bands two days ago. I applied an ice pack and went back to sleep. Woke up, repeated. Felt better, but still sore. I resolved to take it easy today. Which if you know me I’m all about easy, but I also kick my own ass via exercise on the regular. Before getting out of making the bed, I remembered words Arianna Huffington told me (ok, it was a few thousand of us) on an Action for Happiness webinar the day before. When you wake up, don’t immediately turn on your phone, which should be charging and off in another room. Set your intention for the day, journal, think of some things you’re grateful for. So I did that. Take ‘er easy, thankful for ice and other things. More on that later in this post.
A grey but mild day beckoned. Or actually said, “Hey dude, no worries, maybe you should give up and go back to bed anyway.” But no, it was not cold, rainy (that’s tonight), or windy, which means All Systems Go for A Dude’s daily walk and a bike ride. If only the old dude bod were as able to bounce back as many of the co-ed students’ who flounce by on their way to and fro the University of Texas at Austin. Ah, youth… Anyway, a coffee drinker I’m not, but a cold shower sandwiched between hot water usually jolts me awake. And so it did again today, mostly.
After the cleanse, I remembered my recent convo with the Registurd Dietitian (sorry, I still think anything turd-related is hee-Larry-us!). Also, I recalled her recommendation to get some protein in first thing; I had magically and masterfully saved half of yesterday’s smoothie in a glass jar. So I downed that sucker and chased it with my morning chocolate: the dark master. Now I was ready to hit the road. Well, after donning some pants and shoes and stuff like that.
All that talk of fiber and such reminds me of something else eschatological and amusing. A good while ago I worked for a small human rights non-profit, now defunct. It was at the time when downloading documents via fax lines was still a thing. Part of my job was retrieving news from whatever pre-internet source that was and organizing it into a useful format. One day my brother called and asked what I was up to. I said without humor, “Uh, I’m just doing my morning download, bro.” He interpreted that to mean something else (pooping) and erupted in a fit of laughter. We still refer to that phrase to this day. Tee hee! But today I watched a short job search webinar about negotiating your true worth from the lovely Laura, a Brit living in France.
Walking through the hood I saw my feline friend tIachi. Turns out Itachi is a she, and she allowed me a few pets before getting bored and cleaning herself with a tongue bath… right there on the sidewalk! Have you no shame, kitty? I moved on and shortly came across a small orange cat I’d never met sitting in a front yard. I stopped to say hi and she (her tag said Peach), bolted over to me. Often cats will do this because either they’re well-socialized and bored and wanting attention, or they sense that I’m not a danger and in fact like them and am an awesome petter of cats. Peach wouldn’t let me leave, until she did that thing where cats expose their belly, inviting you to pet them, then lashing out with claws. Drawing a little blood, I took that as my cue to go. No picture of you, Peach!
I stopped in the convenience store and checked my lottery ticket: NOT A WINNER. Yeah, I get that a lot. Every Thursday and Sunday, actually. It’s beginning to sink in. Why can’t they say, “So sorry, your ticket didn’t score. Try again! PS. You’re a winner on the inside!” I bought another, bad at probability and statistics as I am. Well, I can be stupid and rich someday, maybe. The kindly Indian gentleman wished me luck as he always does. The store gets like a 1% cut if someone buys a winning ticket there, so it wasn’t totally altruistic. I thanked him and went home.
Breakfast number two was oats, cranberries, almonds and oat milk. I had to carb up for my bike ride later, and grey days equal beige cereal for me. I read for 30 minutes in an interesting new book I found at a Little Library, When No One Is Watching by Alyssa Cole. The sun was apparently not going to make much of an appearance, so I felt like I was back living in Washington state. Not Sleepless in Seattle, but Awake in Austin. I couldn’t nap and was too groggy to do much else, so I got on the computer the internet and email. Got a call from a relative, which was nice.
The bike ride is always the center of my day, since it takes the most energy. I put on my bib shorts, covered them with my regular shorts, which are fitting a little bit looser recently, thanks to all the damn salads. I headed north through familiar streets and was jolted out of my reverie by the sounds of a bagpipe. I simply had to investigate, and found a dude walking on the sidewalk pushing out some good old traditional Scottish sounds. I wondered if I’d ever make it over there. It’s one of my ancestral homelands and that of a new blogger I met, a Scotswoman who recently rediscovered bicycling, Soopermunchkin. Check her out at derailleurlife.wordpress.com.
I ended up at a bike shop where I chatted with the mechanic. Then a person who had offered to be a beta reader for my book gave me some good thoughts about chapter one. The bad news is she’s too busy to continue. Someone else may do it, though, so it works out. Returning home in the dark, I began my evening activities: practicing flute and resistance bands (15 minutes each), yoga with foam rolling (40′), making and eating a salad, and then of course, blogging. All in a day’s unpaid work for A Dude Abikes.
I finally unwound with a late-night snack — whole-grain popcorn chips, guacamole and bean dip. Usually dessert is a dark chocolate raspberry sorbet Dove bar (not the soap), but I had that earlier because the newtritionist suggested it. I even bought celery! See, I listen. And I came in 200 calories under my target in MyFitnessPal, considering I burn 1,000 a day. Then I watched the penultimate episode of the final season of USA Network’s legal drama Suits, whose cast included former Duchess of Sussexy, Meghan Markle. It will be sad to bid adieu to Harvey, Donna, Louis, Katrina and the rest. Not the best show ever, but I really liked it for some reason. So sue me! (Joking.)
Life is good, life is… not so good. I have my health (sorta — several muscles hurt or aren’t working like they used to when I was younger, of course). I have to find a new place to move (again, still during a pandemic). I’m low income, but not no income. There’s not bombs dropping on my street or famine stealing children’s lives. I have the freedom of speech, movement, and much more.
No one is shooting up my grocery store or the massage parlor I went to before the plague hit. I wasn’t hit by a bus today, as I nearly was the other day when a bus encroached into the bike lane. And much more is good. Like I can write this, hit publish, and magically people around the world can see it. A few dozen will actually read it.
And for YOU, I’m very grateful. I’m also appreciative for my morning download. Tee hee! Well, that was a day. I’m pooped, so I gotta go. (Not to the loo, to bed!)
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