(Be)Musings on the Road to Fitness

(Be)Musings on the Road to Fitness

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Week Nine: Come Rain or Shine

(Gratuitous Cat Picture, just cuz he's cute.)

This week was great.  Nothing major happened, and it all felt very routine.  And that was just fine with me.  The weather changed from wet, to very cold to very warm, and that was fine too.  

On the day it rained, Walking Friend and I went back and forth, literally a dozen times, on whether or not we should walk.  We were, to put it mildly, conflicted.  It had hailed earlier in the day, and neither of us was that interested in being pelted with water-stones.  On the one hand, it was early in the week, so maybe we could put it off and wait for drier days (plus, as WF mentioned, it was nice and warm in the house).  On the other hand, WF was set to go out of town for a few days, so, this was our last chance for Walking Togetherness for this week.  Besides, I wanted to wear my new rain jacket.   What to do??  Finally, we decided to do the right thing, and away we went. 

Not surprisingly, after all that back-and-forthing, we didn’t experience a speck of rain during the walk.  This is one of those Murphy’s Law deals, where you wear your rain jacket, with the requisite long-sleeved t-shirt underneath, and Bammo – no rain!  And I’m here to tell you that those rain jackets can be pretty internally humid, so the ultimate moisture count was higher than you might expect.  I was happy with how things turned out, though, because I didn’t want to soak my brand spankin’ new running shoes on their maiden voyage. After the walk, we went into Starbucks and got our favorite post-walking drink.  I know that many of you have been on the edge of your seats, wondering, pondering…  Whatever is this fabulous drink??? (No? Well, I’ll show you anyway.)  Here is a picture of it.  Pretty isn’t it?:
Iced Venti Passion Tea Lemondade,
Unsweetened Please!
As is the norm on a rainy day, there was a lot of jockeying going on inside, for the few available seats, so we went for one of the little-used outside tables.  At that very moment, it started pouring.  We were under an awning, so it was a pretty awesome little interlude.  Then, as we finished our drinks, and started to leave, the rain stopped.  I love being rewarded for doing the right thing!

Sorry it's a bit blurry.  I may have been kinda cold...

Later in the week, on a very cold day, I decided to ride my bike.  Usually, my bike rides occur on the weekend, with Bike Guy.  But this week I was trying to stay off my feet for a few days, to give my previously-injured "Walking Muscle" a chance to rest and, since BG wasn’t available, I decided to go it alone.  (Best not to look that muscle name up in the anatomy books.  Science probably hasn't caught up with my mad muscle-naming skills yet.)  

As I may have previously mentioned, I am very lazy, and really don’t like exercising by myself, so I will put off any workout, no matter how much I may enjoy it, until the last possible moment.  My difficulty with anticipation of these things has improved, but it is certainly not gone. Some days, it's still pretty intense.  By the time I procrastinated my way out to the street and headed west, the sun was beginning to go down.  Consequently, I spent the entire time worried that all the drivers were blinded by the setting sun, and were likely to knock me on my keester at any moment.  Also, you know the phrase “Like Riding a Bicycle”?  Yeah.  I’m not going to use that one anymore.  Certainly, the pedaling and staying upright part comes right back to you.  But the subtleties of riding in traffic, such as exactly where to sit at a red light, so as not to get knocked over by anyone going straight, or anyone turning  (i.e., everyone)?  No, that stuff doesn’t come back quite so easily, which leaves one at risk for feeling like a doofus for much of the ride.  Plus, either there is a lot more traffic than there used to be, or I am just a lot more of a big ole wussy than when I was younger(I’m kinda betting on the latter…)!  I just really felt like I was a (very) slow-moving target throughout the whole ride.  So, for next time, I’ll need to get going a bit earlier, so I’m not riding into the sun in the middle of rush hour.  I’m thinking that would be a good start!
As an aside, I should also probably consider learning how to fix a flat.  I took a Cycling course in college, where we were told we had to know how to change a tire before we could actually go outside and ride our bikes.  I passed.  BG has shown me a few times, and I’ve done okay there too.  Yet, somehow, the thought of actually having to fix a flat fills me with dread.  BG lives for the moment he can fix a flat, so I usually don’t worry about it too much.  But when I’m by myself, it’s definitely an issue (and, until now, my secret shame).  So, although it can create a wee bit of redundancy, I generally try to stay within a certain, walkable, radius of my home, at least until I master this elusive art.  I learned my lesson on that one early on.  A very long time ago (waaaaay before we all had cell phones), I was out by myself and got a flat.  As I walked along, pushing my bike, a guy rolled up beside me in his giant truck and called out, “Don’t worry! It’s only flat on the bottom!!”  Hardy-har-har… 
The final event of the week was a walk around town with Bike Guy.  (I call it “exercise,” but he calls it “walking around.”  Just a matter of perspective, I guess.)  Our plan was to walk, then go to the produce store, then head home and make some dinner.  First off, the coolest thing happened.  Usually, when we leave my house, the first ¼ mile is straight uphill, and my huffing-and-puffing (H&P) routine ensues immediately.  I didn’t realize until we got home that I briskly walked that entire distance, conversating (I know that’s not a real word, but I like it anyway) with BG, and didn’t realize until later that the H&P never happened.  Yippee!
When we got to the produce store, I realized that I had forgotten to bring any money with me, but BG said he had some. At the checkout stand, it turns out that he had forgotten his wallet too. So, with the store closing in 20 minutes, our usual casual downhill stroll home became a sprint, as we dashed back to our house. Then we BG got some money and the car, and got back before the store closed. Dinner was saved!
We never truly appreciate our vegetables until the
store is closing and we may not get to have any!
So, the weather cooperated, and I was able to successfully finish another week, with beautiful days aplenty!

Finally, before I leave you for the week, I’d like to highly recommend that you check out my friend Shannon’s blog.  She writes a great blog about life in the suburbs of Chicago, being a mom and, like many of us, the struggle for fitness (although, she is light years ahead of me on this!).  Shannon just finished an indoor triathlon, and her description of the day is both funny and thought-provoking.  In fact, I was so inspired by her that I thought about trying to sign up for an indoor triathlon.  Of course, one second later, I remembered that I can’t swim, which would make at least one of the sports impossible.  (In fact, several years ago, the WF’s son, who taught swimming for years and had thus far always been successful in his endeavors, came to my house to teach WF and I to swim.  But that’s a story for another day…)  Anywho, go on over and check out Shannon's blog. You'll be glad you did!

 Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.
~~Mark Twain

1 comment:

  1. "the ultimate moisture count": Ah, the UMC! I've given up on rain gear (even though we get actual typhoons here in South China, and I've been in a couple of doozies in the Philippines). I'd rather have cold, wet, (relatively) clean water drench me from the outside, then have my gnarly sweat attack me from the inside--with no place to go. Even a plastic poncho doesn't have enough draft. So a hat or an umbrella sometimes, a plastic shroud never.


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