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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A completely self-something post...

Sunday I arrived at a gathering and was asked the usual "you rode here?" questions. This soon digressed into others' regaling at their lack of fitness: "Now, I walk two blocks and I'm huffing and puffing." I suspect they exaggerated (they don't look like couch potatoes) but it was one of those conversations I just couldn't contribute anything to. They were regretfully bemused at their state of things; I just couldn't relate.
Riding home, though, I at least figured out how to relate (tho' of course sometimes not contributing to a conversation just means not being garrulous or bloviate, and that's a good thing :-)). I remembered the days after I'd started riding a lot when I would wake up and wonder just whose body I had crawled into... which I liked a lot better because it *wanted* to get out of bed. I was so accustomed to having to browbeat the body into rising; it was like having a recalcitrant child suddenly mature. I had once owned a body like the ones they were talking about. I'd just forgotten that person since I'd been taken over by the fitter soul... it may be a continuum but at a certain point significant everyday responses to stimuli have fundamentally changed.
Now, the thing I want back is for that fitness to be in a body about 15 pounds lighter... not for vanity but because some of those positive-instead-of-negative everyday experiences have reversed. I want things that don't chafe (they are now). Pedal strokes that really throw me forward (because they aren't trying to throw 15 more pounds forward). It's not lack of muscle, it's, oh, beer and pasta and chocolate. And, it's also that everyday habit of putting the good stuff in the body that really, honestly, does feel better even if at the expense of the short-term pleasure of the chocolate. I remember not being drawn to sweets because they were foreign to my body - time to activate the isolationist policies again!
Hey, it's Ash Wednesday, a good day to start the journey :-)

And now we return to our regularly scheduled... 730 miles on the bike for 2006, still 210-ish on the car :-)

Your comment about how your body feels resonates with me; I started cycling regularly because my chiropractor told me (in his endearing wizened chinese manner that the written word does not do justice to) that "I really like our sessions together, and it's great talking to you, but if you don't get out and find some exercise that fits into your daily routine we're going to be seeing each other every week until I retire". I worked my way up to commuting daily to work, and after a month I was seeing surprising changes for the better that I simply didn't expect. (On a sidenote, there was apparently a pool running on how long it would take before I gave up; no-one has won it yet). I think the oddest thing was having a constantly raised temperature due to the heat of (presumably) all the fat being burned and turned into muscle. My wife wasn't best pleased about that at the height of summer!

I'm still stuck on the beer and pasta and chocolate, too. The cycling at least means I can indulge, though; over Christmas I put on 10 pounds from all the alcohol and chocolate, and I lost it all by the end of January. It helps if I think of it as highly concentrated sources of energy :-)
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