Thursday, April 25, 2013

It Was the Buff Guy's Fault

In my recent quest for fitness and health, I've taken up tennis and biking. After 4-5 weeks, I can proudly admit that I still totally stink at tennis--although I do enjoy playing. Surprisingly enough, I also enjoy meandering flying down the bike trail in our area. The particular trail I use has a 7-1/2 mile loop if I follow it through one time. The trail actually goes further than that, but it goes out of the woods and along a busy street. I'm uncoordinated enough that I worry about falling off my bike and into traffic. I'm also compassionate enough that I don't think all those people headed to work need to see me riding along beside them. It's not a pretty sight.

At any rate, I accidentally biked twenty miles today (that is not a typo). I'd only planned on doing thirteen, but then I ran into a problem. Each morning as I haul my bike out of the truck, I decide just how many miles I'm going to bike that day. My number depends on how much time I have, and whether I feel full of energy or if I feel every single one of my forty plus years. (Never mind how many plus.) The point is to make my decision, and then stick to it until I accomplish my goal. I freely admit that, in the past, I often would "try" to do a certain amount of exercise, but then wimp out long before reaching my goal. Hence the reason I need to lose so much weight. (I'm sure it has nothing to do with the amount of sweets I consume.)

This time around, I've determined that I can add miles after I start biking, but I can never do less than the amount I set in my head. This morning I set out with the number 13 in mind. I try to double up on certain sections of the trail (re: parts where it's fairly level) in order to get in my set number. Today I was going to do a loop between mile markers 11 and 12, so that I could add a total of two miles to that stretch of the trail.

I was biking along, looking for the mile marker when I happened to pass a Very Buff Guy jogging in my direction. Very Buff Guy was also very shirtless. I did not gawk. I took a moment to very briefly appreciate God's creation as I passed, and then went back to looking for the mile marker.

Unfortunately, the mile marker came up right after I passed Very Buff Guy. If I turned around here, would it look like I was trying to follow him? Worse yet, I'd eventually have to pass him again since even someone like me on a bike tends to go faster than someone jogging. I did NOT want Very Buff Guy to think I was angling for him to give me attention. It's not just that I wasn't interested, but as I mentioned, I'm not very coordinated. I enjoy riding, but it's not necessarily a pretty sight. Plus, I was sweating profusely and worried about anyone having to be downwind of me for very long.

So in the interest of not giving the wrong message, I continued in the same direction, determined to make up those two miles somewhere else. By the time I got back to the trailhead, I still had 1.5 miles to go in order to make my goal for the day. As I turned around and headed back to the next mile marker, I did some math in my head. Doing one more mile out and back would give me 13-1/2 miles. That was over my goal, but a mile and a half short of the fifteen miles I did on Tuesday. I quickly decided to ride two more miles and then turn around, so that I'd do a little better than I did on Tuesday.

I should have realized all that math would catch up with me. I was getting tired, and really hoping the next mile marker was around the corner when I looked up and realized Very Buff Guy had turned around and was once again jogging toward me.

Just beyond him was the mile marker I was looking for as my turning point. What were the odds?!? I reluctantly biked on past the marker. After all, I reasoned, I was only another mile from the point where I turned away from the busy street. Why not add another two miles to my total?

I was almost at my turning point when I realized I was coming up behind another Very Buff Shirtless Guy.

Are you kidding me?!?

The next mile marker was just beyond him, and I would have to turn around almost immediately after passing him. Once again I risked sending the wrong message (or just embarrassing myself by falling off my bike as I made the turn.) I slowed down, thinking I'd let him get past the mile marker, but after awhile it just looked like I was tailing him. Eventually, I turned a little short of my goal and headed back down the trail.

Cutting off that tenth of a mile bothered me, so I biked a little past the trailhead again, just to make sure I made up for it. Then I crossed the street to my truck, loaded the bike and headed home. As I congratulated myself on what I had accomplished that day--not embarrassing myself ranked almost as high as the amount of miles I'd done--I realized that once again my math had been faulty. I was trying to make up time, but since I can't add correctly, I'd actually gone 20.5 miles before I was done.

I'd be proud of myself, except for the fact that I can hardly move. Those extra miles really did me in.

Stupid Buff Guys!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Curve Ball Hodgepodge

With baseball season in full swing, Joyce throws us the weekly Hodgepodge, which includes a few curve ball questions. So hey, batter, batter, batter, batter--swing!

1. April showers bring May flowers...what have you been showered with this month?
Mostly water. A little bit of soap. Shampoo and conditioner.

2. What is the nature of compassion?  Is it learned or innate?  Can compassion belearned?  If you're a parent is this something you've purposely sought to instill in your children, and if so how?
Hello! I warned you there were a few curve balls, didn't I? This is a deep one, so here goes. There are times for compassion and there are times when you have to tell your kids people to suck it up and don't call me unless you're bleeding so badly a bandaid won't fix it. The real talent lies in knowing which time calls for which response.

3. Do you prefer to watch romantic comedy or romantic drama...or are you rolling your eyes saying bring on the action flicks?
With all the testosterone in this house, it's not a movie unless someone gets shot in the first five minutes.

4.  It's April which means baseball season is officially upon us here in the US of A. Humphrey Bogart is quoted as saying "A hot dog at the ballgame beats roast beef at the Ritz." Agree or Disagree?
I can handle either one. What I don't agree with is a hot dog at the Ritz. That's just not appropriate.

5. What's something in your community or city that needs fixing or improving?
Well perhaps we should do something with the HOA nazis that feel the need to have our city police sit in unmarked cars, watching for residents who don't make complete stops at stop signs. Like there isn't any crime going on anywhere else in the city?

6. Share a song you enjoy that mentions flowers or a specific flower in its title.
I can't even keep flowers in my yard; how am I supposed to find them in a song?

7. April 22nd is Earth you believe there's life on other planets?  That wasn't the question you were expecting was it? 
And in case you weren't sure, this would be the other curve ball. The answer is no. No matter how much some might wish it were otherwise, we are the most intelligent created beings in the universe.

When I look at examples of our so-called intelligence, I find that kind of sad.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I tried to explain female mood swings to the boys this week. They weren't getting it until my nineteen year old interpreted: "It means keep the house clean this week, and don't tick Mom off." 

Not quite what I was getting at, but I'll take it.

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