I was facing winter with the worst fitness I’d had in 15 years.
It was a tough fall. The comings and goings of everyday tasks were tiring. For anything but the essentials, I looked for simplicity...my days were broken into two pieces: work, hang at home. Errands had no place. Exercise wasn’t a player. Socializing? whatever. I hunkered down and rode it out.
Physically, I felt like a glazed donut: fried and squishy, but without the sugary outside. Shuddup! I feel like crap, my uncle is going downhill, and my cat died...damned cat, anyway.
I took the bicycle out now and again, but riding was more complex than I cared to undertake. The season was changing and the decisions were too many: glove liners? windstopper mitts? which tights? how many layers? lube? tires? batteries for lights, schmutz on the derailleur....
It was easier to just grab my trail runners and head out the front door for a jog. I worked up from a few blocks to a couple miles. It got me outside in what was left of the daylight with a minimum of prep and time. But I can’t say I loved it.
In December when I headed out on skis for the first time, it surprised me that my legs were in decent shape. I’ve been out a few times, but skiing just hasn’t captured my heart.
Awhile back, I headed out on the bicycle into a brief bout of crisp sunshine and did a flat ride on the trails near home. The 15 mph headwind surprised me when I turned toward home. Hmmm, my bad: I wasn’t tuned-in to the conditions. I lowered my head and geared down.
I felt alive.
Last weekend, Wheel and I went for a short ride to the ATM. We totaled about eight miles, with temps dropping into the low 20s and clouds rolling in. Gray lenses in my glasses made things drab. My toes were frozen slabs by the end of the ride.
It was exhilarating.
Running saved my fitness. Cycling saves my soul.