(Geocities is being
very flaky and won't let me edit this entry--so things are looking very weird on this
24 July 2002
The good news: I've lost another 2.8 lbs, bringing the grand total
to 71.4 lost. Holy shit. Look at that. That's SEVENTY pounds and then some. How in the
world did I carry all that weight around for all those years? Think about it. I stagger in
the house carrying a jug of water for our water cooler--and that weighs 25 lbs.
Rock salt that I hate to have to carry (and thank goodness haven't
in several years) comes in 40 lb bags.
I've hefted 25 lb sacks of dog food that filled the back seat of the
Suddenly the weight of things has become very important to me.
"I used to carry around the equivalent of TWO of those!"
I'm amazed that I was able to get up out of a chair at all. No
wonder I felt like I was going to die when we walked across London.
But it's gone. Gone, I tell you...gone!!!
God and my willpower willing, it will stay gone.
I didn't get up to the club this morning, because of all the work I
had to do last night (yes, I got the review written; no, I didn't find Dr. G's
paper--fortunately it wasn't the disaster that I thought it would be). When I finally went
to sleep, I had the choice of sleeping 3 hours and then exercising, or sleeping 4 hours.
It wasn't a difficult decision to make!
But I was feeling guilty about it. I'd missed, now, two days in a
row. Monday morning, I was driving Walt to the airport during the hour I would normally be
at the club, and then this morning I was sleeping.
So, when I got home from work, and realized that the weather, for
once, was not super hot and it was actually quite pleasant, I decided to go for a bike
ride. Not a huge bike ride, but 5 miles, which was just about right. I kept the pace
steady for 30 minutes, so I could say that I did "moderate exercise" for 30
I did my usual greenbelt trip, but this time did it backwards, which
means I went up the opposite side of the dreaded overpass (a longer uphill, but not a
problem--I'm dreading the overpass less and less these days). It was kind of fun
experiencing the trail at a different time of day. No early morning joggers or dog walkers
(but some passed out dogs lying in the grass in the warm sun). No cheery "good
morning people"...in fact, no people at all. It was dinner time and there were the
smells of dinner cooking from the houses as I passed them by. The ciccadas were
humming--or whatever it is that ciccadas do. A lazy afternoon.
As I rode, I was thinking about this whole biking thing. After
reading the reports by Haggi, Secra, and Jenipurr about the big ride in
Healdsburg this past weekend, I was so glad that I'd decided not to try it. 37 miles is
within my capabilities. 37 miles of rolling hills is not.
I began to think about what I hope to accomplish with all this
biking. I often feel frustrated with myself that I can't go farther, higher, faster. I
feel like a drag on Haggie when we go biking because I know she has far surpassed me in
her biking abilities. I'm still worried about getting up the dreaded overpass.
Then I thought about where I was when Olivia said "why don't we
get a couple of bikes and go riding on the weekends?" She had to drag me into bike
shops and I had all the enthusiasm that I did when shopping for clothes to enter the
convent, an act I knew I did not want to do but didn't know how to get out of.
But once I'd made it past those first couple of "I bought this
damn thing I'd better learn how to ride it" experiences, I discovered that I didn't
hate it. In fact, I was even liking it. The first day we went biking and I realized I'd
covered four whole miles without dying was the breakthrough. I could really do
this. It was the first athletic thing I'd ever done in my entire life that I didn't hate.
That I felt comfortable doing. That I actually enjoyed doing.
Haggie is young enough to be my daughter. So is Terri, if I'd
started having babies early. David has been biking since he could walk. I'm nearly sixty
years old. No wonder I'm having a difficult time keeping up with the kids. I've
come a long way since February--375 miles, in fact. That's pretty good for someone whose
most athletic thing to date had been walking around the San Diego zoo.
So I'm not going to sweat it any more. I'm going to do what I can
and not feel guilty that I'm not ready to do a century ride, that I'm not doing better
over hills (yet). I've come so far that riding 25 miles--of flat roads--seems like
nothing. That's tremendous progress in just a few months.
I'm just going to keep rolling along at my own pace and watching the
other guys do their sprints and be happy that I am making progress, just not quite as fast
as I might have made it 30 years ago.