Saturday, September 20, 2008

Thalia Comes Through

Bless her heart, she always does! (Thalia is the green bike, in case you've forgotten.)

Two things: Today is my 27th wedding anniversary. Sigh. Heart ache.
I had swimming on the schedule as my fitness activity for the day.

But I worked all day. I always work on Saturdays, but I knew enough not to take today off, for sure. Keep busy. Then I thought I would drive straight to the pool, then do some yoga at home. Somewhere in there I would eat and fold those wrinkly towels that are still in my bedroom (see the Martha post). Then I could hold my school work in front of my face, pretend I was reading, and really fall asleep. They the day would be over, and I would have survived it. See? I can do this.

Here's what really has happened so far. Right outside my office -literally, RIGHT outside my office- is the Fox River Bike Path. While getting my car out of the parking lot (not always easy.... homeless people frequently have cars, but they aren't always mobile. It becomes a navigation problem, driving around the "stopped where they died" vehicles.), I saw a cyclist. A real one -the helmet, the gloves, the shoes, the whole thing. And he was working it. And I thought, "for crying out loud, I could go for a bike ride." What I really want is to be alone, anyway.

So Thalia and I went for a spin. I can't quite get over the notion that an hour on the bike isn't a real ride. Part of it is that Thalia is such an uber-bike, that riding almost feels like cheating. I'm hardly working. But my life just doesn't have 8 hour stretches in it that are available for biking. And don't tell Thalia, but I'm not quite willing to give up those other activities for her. Well, I'd give up my job, but I'd have to replace it with another one, so what's the difference?

But darn it, an hour long ride is long enough for a little fitness effect and a lot of cobweb-clearing in the old brain. I can get through this day. I know I can.

Heart ache, for sure. But a little smidge of heart song as well.

And I had another thought that's unrelated to these others, except for biking and homeless people. When I bike, I too have the helmet, the shoes, and the gloves... all of which is a little silly for short rides. But as I've mentioned, I have arthritis in my hands, and the gloves really help. Most of the people I work with have really compromised health. But they also contribute to their own misery, just a little, by not ever moving in an intentional way. They would say (and I'm not blaming them, at ALL), given arthritis, that they could no longer ride. I say I'm a cyclist who has arthritis, so I wear the dorky gloves. I'm still trying to figure out how to make fitness inviting for this population.


jill said...

Dearest. Darling. Adored Andrea -

Will you please stop letting the perfect be the enemy of the good?

An hour on a bike is a FINE length of time. Hell, I haven't spent 20 minutes on my Bianca-the-Bianchi in the last month.

But... John the uber-cyclist has crashed on test rides. He had a car make an illegal left in front of him, whereupon he hit the car - he broke his collarbone with his chin on that one, got a concussion and lost a day. That was three miles from where he lived at the time.

In other words, a helmet is NOT a stupid thing to wear for a spin across a freaking PARKING LOT, let alone an hour across the prairie. If you have the pedals that require the shoes, it's dumb NOT to wear the shoes. And if you have arthritis in your hands whyever would you not wear gloves? I don't have arthritis, and a ride without gloves can be punishing.

In other words, dearest - STOP allowing other people's voices (real or imagined, Dave's or anyone else's) to tell you what to do. Your life and my blood pressure will both thank you for it.

Lisa :-] said...

Ummm... (don't quite know what to say after that first comment...!)

What I was going to say was, congratulations for getting through a difficult day in a positive way. You could have crawled into bed and pulled a pillow over your head...

You are amazing.

Barbara said...

Congratulations on surviving this milestone. And on doing exactly the exercise you wanted to do!

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