Saturday, February 26, 2011

Savior

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.


- TOB

13 comments:

Snakebite said...

Glad you're getting your groove back!

Notorious T said...

Right on, TOB!

Bicycling is the only religion we need.

jeff said...

May the road be with you.

Ruby said...

Hey, How can this be? I thought that I was reading a posting from my blog only to discover that my browser had somehow jumped over yours. This posting fits my situation over the past 2 years to a T. I hope that your reentry into the world continues to be a success. Please wish the same for me...

WheelDancer said...

I love worshipping in the church of the little ring. It was a nice service today!

Once Known as The Badger said...

Get on that bike and ride, ride, ride, just as fast as you can!

rlove2bike said...

For myself, nothing is as good for the soul than a ride on the bicycle...sometimes hammering it out thinking and other times slowly taking it all in thinking.

Doozyanner said...

Amen.

Leslie Morgan said...

Thank you, OB. I had a really difficult spell in 2010 and I lost my fitness. Oh, I'm thin enough. But not fit. I have used my failure to walk/train as one of the whips to use on myself - like some moral shortcoming I have, even though anyone else who went down my road would likely have stopped training, too. I only do the one thing - walk. But it fills me up. And you reminded me it feels good to be full enough.

The Old Bag said...

Les -- moral shortcoming? I think not. Priorities are just elsewhere when the chips are down...even if that means sitting on one's arse, it's what needs to be done at the time.

The Old Bag said...

Ruby -- as always, good to hear from you. I hope your travels bring you peace.

The Old Bag said...

Church of the Big Ring...gotta love it.

Juancho said...

Word to this sister! I waddled my fat ass out of misery and pain over the winter and now the bike and I can't keep our hands off of each other.