(Be)Musings on the Road to Fitness

(Be)Musings on the Road to Fitness

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Week Three: Staying On My Toes

Special Cameo Appearance by Spencer, the World's Most Curious Cat
(KimComix, 2012)

I've read that making new habits takes three to four weeks.  This was week three, so it's starting to look like Fitness and I may be working toward a reconciliation.  (I'll need to look lively, though, because Fitness can be wily like that.)   For various reasons, this week’s workouts didn’t include any bicycling, but I did have three fun, fairly studly walks. 
There was one very exciting, bicycle-related moment this week.  I got new bike shoes!!!  I was, to put it mildly, irrationally excited about this pair of shoes.  Back in the day (as the kids say), when I used to ride my bike a lot, I had the whole bike “kit”: Bike shorts, jersey, gloves, the whole nine.  So, while I know how exciting it is to get new bike clothes, I’m nowhere near ready to dip my toe into that scary-deep pool yet.  But I am way excited about these shoes!  …and you can imagine who is equally excited about the box they came in. 

The awesome new shoes are stiff on the bottom, so my feet will feel less sore after trying to stay on the pedals throughout a ride.  Plus, I like the way they look similar to a regular pair of running shoes, for my apr√®s-ride social gatherings.  Therefore, let us not underestimate “shopping” as a cool side-benefit of any good back-to-fitness plan!  (The whole “feeling healthy” part is respectable too, I suppose…)  I’m now working on justifying (to myself) the need for a new pair of Ugg Slippers.  You know, for optimal recovery, post-workout.  I’m sure that’s what all the pros do.
Random Equipment-Related Tip: (“Learned” last week) Once you put your bike helmet on, it is probably too late to remember that it is chilly out, and that you should wear a jacket.  At this point, don’t fool yourself into thinking that it would be quicker to simply squeeze the jacket over your giant, melon-sized helmet head.  A smart person would take the helmet off, put the jacket on, and THEN put the helmet on again.  You would think this is common sense, but some people have had difficulty with this.  Also, if your helmet has been neglected in a storage shed for some time, be sure to check for any hairline cracks, and replace the helmet, if necessary.  (Luckily, mine was fine.)  It might also be wise to check for spiders and/or their little webby homes…
Moving On! My Fitness Week runs Sunday through Saturday.  On Sunday (Day 1), Bike Guy and I were both a bit tired.  So, I suggested maybe we should just stay in and relax.  Watch some TV, maybe play some board games, do some reading, and stuff like that there.  Apparently we interpret the word “tired” in very different ways.  He said to me, “Let’s just go walk around.”  Now, in my mind, “walk around” gives one the impression of people just meandering about, with no clear destination in mind.  Unfortunately, where we live, this is not actually possible.  SO, off we go, out the door, and straight up a BIG hill, to the top of the town.  The walk up the hill included a lot of huffing and puffing for me, and mostly just walking and breathing normally for him.  In the end, his “Walking Around” turned out to be my “Major Workout.”  Luckily, all walks with BG absolutely MUST (it’s like a rule) end at Starbuck’s!  So, Win-Win for me!
On Monday, I was invited to go for a walk with some friends.  These are friends that get together to walk and/or hike, usually followed by beverages at our local coffee house.  Because I have been such a dud lately, it’s been quite some time since I’ve seen most of them, and it was great to hang out with them again. Despite my less-than-stellar performance on this first walk (these ladies are Killer Walkers), I have been reinstated as a member of the walking group.  I realized recently that I have several friendships that could be considered “Exercise-Based Friendships.”  Get-togethers with these friends usually involve some sort of fitness activity.  I just don’t see how it can get better than that.  Friends who like to do fun, outdoor things, and in order to spend quality time with them, you need to do these things too!  Cool.    J
Now, the final walk of the week involved a great deal of bravery.  I walked in the dark!  This is a previously unheard-of concept for me.  Ask Bike Guy.  If pressed, he will tell you that I whine excessively when asked to walk ever-so-briefly in the dark.  However, the rain was coming any day, and I wasn’t able to get to the final walk before dark.  So, with the threat of Public Humiliation looming over my head, and my trusty walking-friend by my side, I ventured out into the early-evening, well-lit, pedestrian-dense Mean Streets!  And it was FUN! It was just like walking in the afternoon, only with less light. Awesome.  Who knew?
Walking Tip: Don’t believe the so-called “experts” when they tell you that if you are gasping for breath while walking and talking, then you are walking too fast. Although the reason has not yet been revealed, this is clearly some kind of a conspiracy. If I were to actually go slowly enough to easily maintain a conversation, I would be “ambling,” rather than “exercising,”and it wouldn’t even count. These people should be forced to walk slowly with me. Then they would change their tune. Besides, the faster you walk, the faster you get to Starbucks, or the couch. 
In the past few weeks, I’ve spent some time pondering a Really Major Question, and that is: What if I can't get outside to walk or ride my bike three times per week?  Luckily, with a lot of finagling, I was able to get my three workouts completed this week.  But, with darkness, work, rain, and other daily-life things happening, I’m concerned about being able to consistently pull that off.  So, it is with a great deal of trepidation that I report that I am (maybe/probably) pondering the thought of joining a gym. Or should I say re-joining?  Sadly, this is not my first go-around with The Dark Side.  But since I’m Feeling the Success this year, I may be up for the challenge!  The “challenge” being: Don’t just hand them your money every month, but actually GO to the gym.  I do like Spinning class (the few times that I've done it), and I know that a little bit of weight-lifting would be good for me.  So, unless I can think of something better, it just might be time.  Bleh.  (I know.  My excellent attitude is showing again.)

Any suggestions for indoor workouts?

It's very important to have the right clothing to
exercise in.  If you throw on an old T-shirt or sweats,
it's not inspiring for your workout.
Cheryl Tiegs

(I didn’t make this up.  I found it on the WWW, so it must be true…)


  1. Congratulations!! You let NOTHING stand in your way! Have BG build you a frame you can put your bike on to make it stationery! BIL does it with his equipment - doesn't he?


    1. Thanks! It really helps a lot to have so much support. No backing out now!! Good idea about putting the bike on a frame. BG and I talked about that idea, but we are worried about Spencie and bike spokes... :(

  2. sounds like an excellent workout week to me. Whatever you decide on regarding indoor workouts my suggestion is to make sure the blinds are closed.

    1. Dear Anony, Thank you. I think that is a very wise suggestion.

  3. I agree with you about the inaccuracy of particular ways to gauge your exertion level (able to carry a conversation, sing a song, etc.). I feel really lazy getting to the point where I can do either of those things. Same with heart rate. I find that I really only feel like I've exerted myself at about 150, which is like 80% of my target rate, whereas ideal is supposed to be 65%.

    If you rejoin the gym, maybe we can make some sort of Spin pact?

    1. Shannon - Thanks for agreeing. I just had someone ask me about this again the other day, and I still say those numbers don't do much good! Maybe I am just not the finely-tuned machine I should be yet??

      I like the idea of a Spin pact!!


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