August is gone. Autumn’s approaching and with it pleasant weather conditions more favorable to bicycling and walking. Despite last month being wetter and cooler than usual, we only had three 100+ F days, one to end the month, and another two, two 99’s, and another 100 forecast to start September. So, it’s still summer in Central Texas. As I look back at my activity statistics, to the hottest month, I say this (quoting a former Texas governor who didn’t know the microphone was on): “Adios, mofo!” But hey, I’m not doing too poorly if you noticed I passed 30,000 lifetime miles the other day.
Weather is always a factor in outdoor exercise. Due to dermatologist’s orders to avoid ultraviolet rays from 10 am -6 pm, unless I have appointments or errands, I usually bike in the evening or night. But another doctor says I need to get more sun, specifically Vitamin D, which I also take in a pill. However, I’m not able (or willing) to go bike-riding at the butt crack of dawn. So I’m looking forward to the cooler temperatures, which sometimes don’t arrive until October. With my daily riding streak, I’m in no danger of stopping, I just am going slower. Biking 10-20 miles a day at a slow rate isn’t — or shouldn’t be — exhausting, but doing it daily can be mentally draining.
Strava the fitness app tells me what I did, but it’s interesting to look at what my Garmin watch app reported. It compares the last two months. It shows that that my August was far less robust than July — by 93 miles. That’s a lot, and I’m not sure how that happened, although I did sort of set a bigger goal in the back of my mind. I had two bigger rides that proved to be flukes. I probably overdid July, because when August came, with expectations of it being the hottest month, I slacked off. Hey, I’m not a machine. If I were I’d want to ask why build a robot that’s a fathlete?
The point to all this comparison is ostensibly to improve my speed, power, wattage, etc. Getting more fit would mean I could get more done in less time. Presumably I would lose some fat as well. But that’s not happening. So I just keep plugging along, doing my daily walking, biking, and yoga to maintain whatever levels I do have. I guess for now I’m stuck on this plateau until I have more energy. Since I’m not in a race with anyone except Father Time, who’s kicking all our asses anyway, who cares?
Despite all the time on the bike, it was only 38% of my exercise time for last month. Yoga and walking come in at 31% each. At 86 hours total, that’s over two full work weeks of moving the ol’ non-dad bod. Still, 502 miles combined walking and biking with 11,266 feet elevation is pretty good. I didn’t find the energy to get to the pool to fight over a lane and swim, though. August was comparable to June, and overall I’m well on my way toward my annual cycling mileage goal. Since it’s 1,111 miles less than last year, it should get easier, especially as the temperatures decline.
Somehow, though, it feels harder. Maybe because 2021 is turning out to be a shitty year personally and for many of us in respect the stress of the public health disaster that is the US response to Covid-19. We thought the pandemic would be under control by now, but thanks to Republican governors and anti-maskhole, anti-vaccine crowd, we’re still stuck in a purgatory of our own (their) making. If you’re one of those folks, please consider that you’re actually not smarter than Dr. Fauci and should go get your damn shots and wear a mask indoors around crowds!
The only consolation prize is that Darwin’s theory of evolution is holding up nicely, and the herd of idiots is thinning itself with many tearful news stories of people wishing they had listened to public health experts not assholes on Facebook, then dying of COVID. I’m not happy about this, but you were warned, and your “personal freedumb” is putting everyone else in the community at risk. It’s really not that hard. I wish I were living in a more collectivist-minded society, you know, like in Star Trek.
Spock: “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”
Captain Kirk: “Or the one.”The Wrath of Khan (1982)
I’m not sure what it all means, or if it really matters. But I do know that taking care of yourself is important — and logical. Exercise is one way to try to preserve one’s healthy, immunity, lung power and to stay sane amidst all the insanity of the pandemic. The years are long but the days are short. We do our best, and sometimes — often — our best isn’t good enough for others. But haters gonna hate — shake it off. If they don’t get it, its’ probably because they’re couch potatoes (which believe me, I am by necessity when recovering from all the exercise!). It’s certainly a challenge for me with my many limitations — age, weight, medical maladies, etc. — to maintain daily practices that take 2-4 hours to finish. Regular is more sustainable than daily, and at some point — tomorrow, next week, next month, any number of things could derail one or all of my streaks. Que sera sera. Whatever will be, will be. As long as we’re trying, it’ll have to do.
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