May 2021: Mid-Month Biking, Etc. Report

Despite a growing weariness — probably the rarely heard of eyelash cancer — I continue to fight the battle of the bulge. Like with most battles, however, I lose because I’m a lover, not a fighter. Anyway, here’s a check-in on things that I did or that happened this week and so far this month in my so-called life (a TV show I never watched).

A recent ride. © Strava

Abode Change: It sucked with all the packing, moving, and cleaning, but with a little help from my friends (and a nice Brazilian cleaning woman I wisely retained), I got myself and possessions to my next place to live. It’s been a full week since I was forced to relocate. I’ve written and kvetched about the subject enough both here and also here. The new place deserves a mention because I’ve lived here before. Also, I’m overlapping with a roommate who is moving on, a real interesting guy. He’s a former bike racer with a tall and lean frame who is still a very good rider judging from one custom-built bike and another that’s carbon fiber. He’s too fast for me, though, even casually. But it’s been nice chatting about bikes and other things. As for the place, it ain’t ideal, but it beats camping. I’m probably stuck here paying way more than I can afford but if you want to not have roommates in Austin, Texas, it’s going to cost you.

Biking: I was out on the Southern Walnut Creek Trail, a favorite haunt, when I met a woman who was biking it for 100 miles. She was making up for the rain cancellation of the MS 150, which I rode 202 Miles in 2 Days in 2017. We chatted a while and then headed out together because she had been chased by a pack of five dogs. I offered to accompany her not just to help but also for my own safety (in numbers). She is pretty darn good on the bike considering that she’s fairly new to the sport and a fellow fathlete. So that was cool to meet her, reminding me that there are all kinds of cyclists out there and if you judge someone by their weight, gear, clothes (or really anything), you’re missing out.

Felt Like S#i+: I don’t go into my maladies much, but like many people I have my challenges. I’ve come to see being overweight as a chronic disease that will require lifelong management. (When I die, I’ll lose all the weight (and not have to pay any more effing rent!) But lately I’ve been feeling extra s#i++y, and the reason isn’t clear. A lot of it’s probably due to not enough good quality and quantity of sleep, since the new abode that is still near traffic noise which really pisses my brain off. I do take naps, though some say not to, but I need to. It could be something else, though, so I will be consulting with traditional and alternative health folks like a health coach, a free service of a local natural food store. I’ve been away from acupuncture and massage for a good while, so I hope to get back into seeking out student clinics for lower-cost treatments.

Fluting Around: This continues to be a daily thing for 15-20 minutes, sometimes more. I’m not happy with my sound, and my speed isn’t great, although I’m not working towards a goal of performance, so who cares? At some point maybe I would like to get a new horn and private lessons. But I suspect I won’t, because money, and a job which I’ll have to get at some point and that will suck the time and soul out of me. Meanwhile, I’m just enjoying it, and that’ll do, dude, that’ll do.

I’m a flute player, not a flautist. They are paid pros.

Food / My Fitness Pal: I’m continuing my daily salads and sometimes having success with adding more vegetables to my plate. With my omelette I included some kale, onions tomatoes, potatoes. Tonight I had steamed broccoli, cabbage, and carrots with a nice dollop of guacamole salsa on them next to my turkey burger. Of course I have other things like potato chips that aren’t the healthiest (but still not flour). Logging everything in MFP is still a pain and a few days I have yet to enter, but it does keep me honest with my calorie consumption.

Reading: I finished another of Lee Pace’s Jack Reacher novels, Running Blind. It was another page-turner, and I had pretty much pegged the murderer and most of their method, too. I also completed Arianna Huffington’s The Sleep Revolution. Of course the former kept me from following the advice of the latter. If you’re going to have a habit that is addictive, I suppose reading is a good one. Some days I went well over my allotted 30 minutes. What I’ll read next, I’m not sure, but I like the switching between fact and fiction. Maybe I’m getting smarter, or at least keeping my brain fed.

Strength Training: I do the resistance bands every other day for some extra upper body work. I should probably be working up to harder exercises and more resistance, but I’m not there yet. The point was to get into the practice and eventually get back into swimming and maybe the gym if it’s safe enough. So it’s a good habit, I just need to do it, like many of my activities, earlier in the day.

Walking / Cats: I was lamenting the loss of my neighborhood feline friend Itachi, but on a ride with a (human) friend we swung by his street and there he was, friendly as ever. So yesterday on my walk in my new / old neighborhood, I was surprised to make a new cat pal. He is a beautiful Siamese, which we had growing up. With my special cat whispering tricks, or maybe he was just bored and curious (as cats are), so he figured out I was friend not foe and quickly trotted over. I nicknamed him Frank, as in Sinatra, because of his nicknames was Ol’ Blue Eyes. What’s new, pussycat?

Writing: Now that I’m a member of the Writers League of Texas., it makes sense to take advantage of their regular offerings. Previously there was a speedwriting exercise on Zoom. This past week was the monthly member meeting. After a short talk from the moderator, we get put into breakout “rooms” and introduced ourselves to others. Although normally camera shy and not having one that works, I borrowed one and just treated it like an informal and friendly gathering, which it was. It was cool to “meet” all the other types of writing people are doing (mostly women, by the way), and several had been published. Where that leads we’ll see, hopefully to a critique partner or group.

Yoga / Foam Rolling: The asana practice continues rain or shine, tired or unmotivated. I’m six months on from practicing over 2,500 days in a row. It is not vigorous, but it works for me — especially to help me recover from my daily bike ride. The latter with the hard cylindrical torture device is a recent addition. Just five minutes at the end of yoga before sivasana (corpse pose) loosens up tight muscles. It still hurts, but not as much as when I began, and burns a good number of calories, too. Guess I’ll keep doing it, though I’m in need of some hot Epsom salt baths and massage.

How is your May going? Any new goals, happenings or practices?

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5 thoughts on “May 2021: Mid-Month Biking, Etc. Report

  1. Flute story: When I was little, I went to my older sister’s grade school band concert. It featured a flute quartet and I loved the sound, announcing to my parents that I wanted to play the flute when I was old enough for band. My father decided that the flute is a girl’s instrument so he bought me a more manly trumpet, which I was forced to play instead. At 18 I bought myself a flute.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gender roles suck! Glad you got your revenge. The first wanted me to play bassoon and I thought I wanted to play the French horn. But then I realized the flute was a lot lighter weight and easier to carry.

      Although I didn’t really think about it at the time, all the other flute players (save one guy who switched to trombone) were girls. So when I would go to marching band practice I was the only dude in my section. Wise choice! Eventually I became first chair and, well, that was it. Interesting note, I dated the only female trombonist, not any fellow flutists. Oh well.

      I kept playing long after high school in different settings. Once with some guys in a swing and hillbilly music band. In Austin I had a piano playing friend and we got pretty good. We performed once for friends on my birthday. He had the same name as I do: Dude. 😉

      After a decade off, for whatever reason I picked it up again. Maybe someday I’ll find a new horn, a piano player, teacher, and a reason to play. Or maybe not, and just for fun in my bedroom while in my skivvies is enough. Do you ever play?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not playing these days; I “lent” my trumpet to a friend years ago and never got it back. The flute is in a closet upstairs and needs repair of a sticky key; but my son became a musician. Your horn story reminded me I briefly switched to tuba. The band director kept promising me an instrument for home practice but never came through. I switched back to trumpet when I got tired of carrying a tuba back and forth every day; at well under 100 pounds, I wasn’t much bigger than the instrument.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well you do a LOT more and different types of Exercise than we do! We do a series of warm up and then a series of streach exercises, then either take a bike ride or do a min. of 30 min. on our exercise bike, (different levels, rpm’s, watt levels) or we walk a 5K. We try hard to do this EVERY DAY!! The only new goal is because of my wife Jo, She had a heart attack in Jan. 2019 and had always been a “border line diabetic” but it never got to be a problem to where the doctor’s would do anything. After the heat attack, it brought on the Type II diabetes with a vengeance. She’s joined the ADA Tour de Cure-Rocky Mountains “virtual” Event for 2021. The donation raising is a RPIA, but we’ve made the minimum! 🙂 So she’s now a RED RIDER and her plan is to ride a 60 mile ride on Sept. 28th. so we’ve been “In Training” mode, trying to add MILES to our rides and ride as much as the bi-polar Spring time weather we get in So. CO. will let us!! LOL, I am the “Support” so of course I have to “train” too! 😉 We’ve decided to make a “overnight” ride out of it as we have NO trails that are 60 miles long here that aren’t a lot of HILLS and DIRT/Gravel so we have been adding highway miles trying to get use to traveling along side CARS hauling bunn’s down the highways! 😦 Hope things work out better for you in the future, keep on Riding! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks and that’s great about the charity riding. That’s how I got to a decent level, now I just do it daily. I’m pretty tired as it is so when I have to get a job that will mean I can’t continue everything, but it costs lots of money for the privilege of living in Austin anymore, thanks to Californians. Yes, let’s hope things go better for everyone.


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