Thinking about it
I don’t know what I had in mind when I started my Journey. I wanted to lose weight. I wanted to be more fit.
I set what I thought were modest goals. I wanted to lose 75 pounds and be able to ride the 40+ miles of the 5-boro bike tour. I am certain I didn’t consider just how life changing this Journey would prove to be.
I was so tired. Tired all the time. I never slept well. Even when I felt well I felt lousy. I didn’t realize how horrible I felt most of the time.
I just knew I had to do something to change or be prepared to die. No, that is not overly dramatic. Fifty-year old men who are more than 100 pounds overweight are living on borrowed time.
I really hated it, being fat, being out of shape, the joke about my size, even the jokes I made about my size. I hated it.
I really just wanted to lose 75 pounds.
I didn’t set out thinking I would write a blog and 500 people would sign up to follow it. I thought the blog would serve as motivation for me. It never occurred to me that anyone would take inspiration from my stories of angst and struggle.
I certainly never thought anyone would call me an inspiration.
I know the numbers well by now. I have looked at them, written about them, talked about them…
So many of the numbers are in the past now.
The numbers that tell a Doctor that his patient is on the slippery slope. The numbers that SHOULD tell the patient to wake up and get to work.
Blood pressure off the charts.
Heart rate that sounds like a drum roll.
Weight that sounds like a side of beef
When I was 36 years old and hospitalized with an irregular heart beat that was causing me to be dizzy and out of breath….
When I was 47 and in the hospital again for the same reason.
When my Doctor, time after time, warned me about what I was doing to my body….
Why December 27, 2011? Why that day. Why not until that day.
What changed in me?
I keep thinking about this. I need to know why, what…
I keep thinking about it and I never seem to get closer to the answer. I only know that something was different that day. Something, as I pushed out-of-the-way the pillow I used to support my belly when I slept, something,. as I swung my leg to get the momentum to sit up in bed to take my blood pressure pills, something as I struggled to get out of bed and stand up first thing that morning, something changed.
I keep thinking about it because I am afraid that the something, whatever it was or is, will disappear.
Something changed that day. Someone changed that day.
I am riding this weekend. I have not ridden since the July 4th weekend as the weather and my schedule have gotten in the way; mostly the weather.
I will ride a little early tomorrow morning, maybe a quick thirty miles. Sunday will be my bigger ride day. 16 miles to the shop, 30 miles with the group.
Each and every ride I take has meaning to me. Each ride is a victory. Each ride means I am not HIM anymore.
Every time I mount the bike and click in to the pedals I am continuing the Journey.
The meaning is more than I can express. As I struggle up a hill (and I still struggle more than I should) I find motivation in the idea that what I am doing at that moment, cycling up a hill, may be hard for me right now but it was impossible just a short time ago.
I lead rides now. I could hardly stay with the rides a year ago. Now I lead them.
The meaning of all this is deep for me. I will never lose my sense of wonder.
What does it mean when I get on my bike? It means I have turned it around. Not just my weight. My life.
Riding the bike as I do, with strength and power and skill… No I am not up to the skill and speed of some of the other riders, many of the other riders, but I am a world from where I was when my belly kept me from pedaling.
Riding the bike means I am on the Journey and the Journey is taking me places I only dreamed I would go.