Turned 52 Yesterday
I turned 52 yesterday…. Hard for me to come to grips with the idea that I am in my 50’s. I was busy yesterday, fighting off a cold, dealing with getting things done. Didn’t feel the way birthdays felt when I was a boy. Remember that feeling? You were the center of the world for that one day. Mom made a special cake. The teacher made a fuss. Mom may have sent in her special homemade cupcakes. There would be a birthday party on the weekend…
That changes as you get older of course. Parties tend to end around age ten. Life gets busy. Birthdays…. Just another day?
My friends on Facebook were kind and I received many wishes for a good day. I appreciated it. It was nice to be thought of.
I received a call from each brother (very welcomed) and a call from JKN. A special friend and it was wonderful to get that call.
On Saturday and Sunday I went for bike rides. I went by myself but enjoyed them none the less. I did a bit over 20 miles on Saturday and only a bit over 12 on Sunday. I couldn’t understand why I felt so slow and sluggish on Sunday. At first I thought it was the fact that I had ridden 20 on Saturday and I was just not recovering from it. Then I started to feel the unmistakable first salvo of a developing head cold. Mystery solved.
A year ago my birthday fell on the weekend and I went for a ride. I was 268 pounds and just really getting my body fit. The ten-mile ride was brutal. It was chilly and windy and I was still fat and out of shape. But I did it. I did the ten miles as I promised myself I would.
This year I wanted a 60 mile weekend but the weather never got to the temperatures promised and so I scaled back on Saturday due to the brutal wind and Sunday was the arrival of the head cold.
Still, I did over thirty for the weekend and I am proving to myself all over again that I get this. I get the fact that fitness requires an effort. Weight loss and maintenance requires an effort. It is the rewards that make it worth it. And if you love the activity as I love cycling it hardly really feels like effort….
I was 50 and fat.
I was 51 and working towards the goal.
I am 52 and lean and fit and still working towards the goal.
I can’t wait to see what the coming year will bring….
Never too late to turn your life around.
Missus took this picture of me on Sunday. I think it is the best picture ever taken of me.
Why I Ride
As with others, I ride for the sense of freedom, the sense that I am both within myself and extending myself, pushing myself past the limits I have imposed on myself.
I ride because I can at once focus intensely on one activity while freeing my brain to think, imagine, fly…
I ride because I was 320 pounds and I will never go back there. I ride because riding is the place I go when the temptations grow strong. A ride quells the urges to eat and burns calories to boot.
I ride because I was never a good athlete but I can ride. I can handle the bike well, I can sprint, I can ride fast, I can ride far..
I ride because I was out of shape and riding helped get me back to a place of health and fitness and mental and emotional well-being.
I ride because when I am out of the road, 20 miles from home and listening to my breathing and the wind and the steady whirr of the tires on pavement, my mind is freed of all concerns but the ride, the cadence, the speed, the distance. I am able to escape to a place of rhythm and pace, a place of personal challenge and inner focus.
I ride because a bad ride is better than sitting in a chair and staring at a computer screen. I ride because the release it gives me makes me a better person.
I ride because when I was fat it was what I could not do.
I ride because when I ride I remember I am not fat any longer and I have the tools to never be fat again.
I started to ride a bike when I was 8 years old. Despite their best efforts, my father and my two brothers all failed in teaching me to ride. Finally, on a bike with two flat tires that I dragged out of the back of the garage, I taught myself to ride.
I rode until I was in my mid-thirties and then for some reason I drifted from it. I got heavy. Then I got fat.
Now I ride so that will never happen again.
I ride because I am never so much ME as I am when I ride.
I have already mentioned that I am signed up for or plan to sign up for a number of rides this year:
- The Five Boro Bike Tour May 5, 23013, 42 miles (Signed up)
- The Bergen County Bike Tour June 2, 2013, 45 miles (Signed up)
- The Ride 4 Autism June 8, 2013, 62 miles (Signed up)
- The North-Fork Century August 25, 2013, 100 miles (Planned)
- The Hub On Wheels Ride September 22, 2013, 50 miles (Planned)
- The Ashford Metric September 29, 2013, 62 miles (Planned)
- High Point to Cape May September 1- 3, 2013, 220 miles over three days (Planned)
I may add more, probably will, as the year moves forward.
There are some rides I want to do but a variety of issues make them impossible. One is the ride in Montreal. I can’t do it this year and it breaks my heart. Next year come hell or high water….
Fun to be at a place in my life and in my health and fitness where I can plan these rides and know I will be able to do them….