8 Miles

by cunningstuff

If most people exercise on a bike, this is more what I do.

Today I surpassed myself more than I thought I could. Every thursday is my push day, I have to work on fridays, so thursday is the best day for me to push physically. I did a little over 13 km, or, in US speak, a little over 8 miles on my bike. I have never been happier about my physical condition. I am still fat, I still have a long way to go, but I can do 8 miles on my bike! And I could do more, but I needed some groceries and supplies, so I had to stop and pick them up. I traveled the last 3 km with about 14 kilos on my back as well (30 lbs. for you yanks.) I am getting stronger and going farther every thursday, and wednesday’s I warm up with about 5-7 km. I do not know if I will make my goal this year, which is to reach the foothills of the Rockies, Green Mountain or Red Rocks, but I do know I am getting closer every week. I am now able to ride at night, so starting tomorrow night, I am going to go 3 km a night until I feel stronger to do more. I am going to do it after work, so i don’t want to get all crazy and break something.

I have to be careful, I know I have some problems with my ankles, but they don’t seem to be anything major. I got bad twinges the first few weeks I pushed over 8 km, knees hurting, thigh muscles feeling strained, and once, I was limping from pain in my left foot. But today, going further than I ever have, I have just some mild twinges in my right ankle. I am amazed at how this 43-year-old body is responding, I am quite shocked at how far I can push it. I was barely able to walk four years ago, and had problems going farther than a block walking. Now I can go all day, except my feet get to hurting if I walk and don’t bike. The bicycle is far easier on me than anything else I have tried, though I do have some dumbbells at 4.5 kilos that a fool around with sporadically. Now that I can ride at night, I am looking forward to getting into much better shape faster than I previously thought. I was thinking well, three years, maybe, then I will look thin, but now I am shaving a year off of that.

Step by step, little by little, I have worked up to a tremendous amount. I told this lady who was working a food truck, I had biked to Englewood, and she was like, no way, you did that? I have to get up off my ass and get to working out! I have to admit, making some 20 something thin girl want to exercise did give me a bit of an ego boost. My circle of power is now a 6.5 kilometer range(4 miles, come on yanks, convert already…) I can get to and back that distance without any problems, I can carry a decent load, and I know I will be fine to walk and work after I do it. I feel better than ever, and I am happier than ever.

Now, look, this is not some power exercise I am doing. I go to places I want to see, I take my time, and I am not pushing like a trainer would have me do. I am getting exercise, I am raising my heart rates and breathing heavier after some of it, but I am also cruising and enjoying the ride. I have a fairly heavy mountain bike, no road racer, no hipster single gear, and I do not try to get ahead anytime I see another biker ahead of me. I will actually follow people for a bit on a cruiser, until I either get bored or turn off the road. I am taking my time, as is my want, but I am out there, and going farther and farther all the time. I got a bit shaky again tonight, after I stopped and waited for the light rail to pick me up and take me downtown, but Broadway was a mess out to Englewood, and I did not want to try to ride it at night. Drunks, construction and bicycles do not mix well.

I am a little dizzy, I am a little tired, but it is the feel good soreness I am talking about, knowing I am working off fat, building my core muscles and enjoying the hell out of it. I must disclose to my lovely and beautiful fiance, I am going to be riding a bike a lot in the future, and may not ever get a car in Sydney. I can walk the dogs on foot, then get on my bike and go to the shops, and in the mornings when I need to meet people downtown or other places, I can take a train and pop my bike on with me. I envision myself getting into great shape, so that one day, I can move as fast on my feet as I now do on my bike. I am not intending to be a health nut, but if we are going to study yoga together, I need to have some sort of shape. Some sort of shape other than round…

I must say it again, if you know anyone struggling with weight problems, please, have them contact me. I have my info up on gravitar, they can email me or skype me. I remember reading once in a great book by Richard Bach, we teach best what we most need to know. One day, I want to be able to travel anywhere people go by car on my bike, with my own power, my own vision, and close to the sweet earth and air as I ride. No noise, no engine, no gas but that made from good sweet peaches and a beautiful cheeseburger.