Lately I’ve been slipping a bit with my exercise and health practices, and even writing this blog. It reminded me of When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, a book by American Buddhist nun Pema Chodron. I can’t recommend it because I’ve never read it; it’s sitting in a box in storage. At one point I may have even owned two copies. But the title speaks to me now after a mostly pretty shitty day and last few weeks. Even within the Tibetan Shambhala community, things fall apart. As with many religious, business, and entertainment leaders with unchecked power, last year their figurehead was accused of and apologized for sexual misconduct. It went on a while, but he’s still there.
However, reports suggest that Chodron as a senior leader and teacher may have enabled or ignored it. She even told a woman reporting abuse years ago that she didn’t believe her. So she’s not perfect, and she has resigned in protest but maybe also as an act of contrition although she wasn’t the abusive male with all the power. Point is, life doesn’t always or even often go the way we want it to. Defecation passes. We’re all humans here, right? Certainly there are more important things than fitness goals, but like the saying goes, “At least you have your health.” Well, what if you don’t, despite your best efforts? I guess you do your best.
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).
I joke, but it’s true. Exercise is work. That’s why it’s called a work out. Used to be, you could only do it outside. Then some lazy people said let’s invent air conditioning, and then the exercise fanatics said let’s work in. But that term never caught on so they called them Jim Nayseeums. To not embarrass their founder, they spelled it differently, to make people think it was the Greeks. Oh, I’m just being told that is really was the Greeks. Never mind.
Possible titles for this post included (the humorless should skip the intro):
- Biking Is Good for Getting In Shape to Escape the Zombie Hordes
- Coronavirus; Things Will Get Worse Before They Get Worse (Lily Tomlin)
- Can My Bicycle Get Coronavirus?
- Rome Is Burning — Like Literally, People Have Fevers
- COVID-19 – The Movie: Will Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson Finally Portray the President?
- We’re All Gonna Die, So May As Well Ride Your Bike
- Anyone Know How “The Walking Dead” Ends?
- Coronavirus, Some Coronavirus, and Also More Coronavirus
I’ve decided to go in another direction, though, and write about something related, still health-related and less apocalyptic.
After a couple of days off the bicycle, I began riding daily on October 11, 2019. Every day since then, I’ve mounted my trusty steel steed Sophie, the Fairdale Weekender Archer to go places. Some days just a few miles were traversed; most days it’s closer to 20 miles, and a few even more. There have been no true rest days, as I am still walking and doing yoga daily, and now I’ve added an occasional lap swimming into the mix. It’s all rather exhausting, even if a particular ride isn’t taxing. The cumulative effect seems to be taking its toll. What’s A Dude with no car and #BikeGoals to do? Take the bus? Pshaw!
I began writing this blog last night. But I just finished working a job that was thoroughly exhausting physically, mentally taxing, and emotionally stressful. I worked 400 hours in 11 weeks, driving over 2,700 miles in the process, enduring the hottest September on record, and numerous other challenges I won’t even get into. So yeah, I’m pretty bushed, and being late on a blog post is ok. Hopefully you’re not too tired to keep reading.
From the things that make you go mmmmmm department:
Mishap #1: Trash Cans, Trash Talk
Riding down a sidewalk of a busy four-lane road without bike
lanes, I swerve to avoid recycling bins, miscalculate, and Sophie the Fairdale’s
very wide handlebars catch them. I go
down like a Christian thrown into the gladiator ring trying to save the lion
with talk of Jesus. (Translation: Quickly.)
But unlike those unlucky folks, I bounced right back up, apparently
It’s happened to most people who exercise at some point. It’s time to go to the gym/yoga/karate/spin class or for a walk-run-swim-bike ride, and you’re just not feeling it. Maybe you didn’t sleep enough, you had a stressful day at work, forgot to eat enough or well, or all of the above. There could be a plethora of valid reasons to take it easy and park your butt on the couch. And some days, that’s exactly what you need (see my posts Rainy Day Blahg: The Value of Sleep and Rest Days for Cyclists and The Rest of the Story About Rest Days for Cyclists).
But when your tiredness is mental and you still have some gas in the tank, you should go for it. Getting yourself moving may feel like climbing Mount Everest, but it is doable. And you won’t even need crampons. Because those pointy shoe things look dangerous and probably give you cramps. Come on inside this post to find out how I make myself bike, walk and do yoga even when it’s the last thing I want to do. And Happy Spring Equinox and Super Moon, y’all!
After a number of bike news posts, it’s time for a personal update. This blog is meant to educate, inform, inspire and motivate. But it is also to shine a light on one bicyclist’s journey (literal and figurative), not just the good, but also the bad and ugly. Regarding the latter, lately the engine room has not been firing on all cylinders. But truth be told, it’s been that way since I can remember, just different degrees.
As I recently told a fellow rider on Strava, “I’m only as good as last night’s sleep.” Since that generally isn’t great, my biking suffers accordingly. There are plenty of reasons for that, and while some are under my control, most are not. So I do my best. The question is what to do about it, besides the obvious: stop blogging late at night and do what those celebrities like Jennifer Garner said in hilarious videos of a book with the same title: “Go the F*(& to Sleep!” However, if I did that, you wouldn’t have anything to read.
Maybe biking 102 miles in 5 days in cold, grey and at times very windy conditions with my, Sophie’s and backpack weights combined, not lubricating the chain since the rain until Wednesday at Yellow Bike Project, a rear disc brake caliper that was rubbing on the rotor and slowing me down til Brandon figured it out at Sun & Ski Sports last night, plus being low on sleep and other stuff has something to do with being very tired. Nah, those are excuses. I think the reason is alien abductions. All their probing, er, I mean, questions are exhausting! Point being, I’m biking alot to make my upwardly revised goal, and I’m tired. But not too tired to complain — I mean write about it in my blog — and share some more photos and statistics. Continue reading