3 weeks at the gym and its already getting old. I feel like I have years of drudgery to look forward to. Well, I think it’s really that I’m not fit enough to really do much, or well, yet. Like run, without stopping, fast, for more than 10 minutes at a time. I know I’ll get there. But it’s wierd when having done this oh, so many times before, I never really had much of a result before having quit. So subconsciously I’m plodding to the gym 5 times a week and eating better without really having any expectation that this phase will ever pass. That’s because I’ve never kept at it long enough for it to have an effect!
As a related side note, I think I’ve lost about 5 lbs since starting. I’m using the gym scale, and often with my workout clothes and sneakers on. It was 225 when I started. Last night it was 220 on the same scale. Until I see a definitely dip into the 200 and teens, I probably won’t feel like I’ve really accomplished much, other than starting, and working on the process. I know logically that after a few months I’ll start craving the gym, and exercise, but it ain’t happening yet. Right now I’m fumbling my way through gaining some basic strength, building my core, and increasing my endurance so I can do more than basic activities without panting (at least I’m past that stage!).
So I’m already thinking about the fun I’m going to have hiking and playout outside this summer. Remember my fitness vacation idea? I already have plans to go hiking just about every weekend during spring/summer/fall. Serious 1000-2,000 calorie burning hikes (just guessing here, not really sure, but sustained activity for 6+ hours should be at least that, right?). Really – you try walking switchbaks for several hours, all uphill, and see if you don’t get fit as hell! Well, I also used to bike. A lot. But I haven’t done that much in the last few years.
Here’s a little background. I never really learned how to ride a bike when I was young. I sorta learned in my 20s, but sucked at it. Then I started hanging out with a friend when I went back to college at 28. I made good friends with one guy from some of my tech classes (I called him my angry asian young man). He was bike crazy. And restaurant and cooking crazy. When we weren’t going out to a Seattle restaurant for dinner, we went cycling. We lived pretty close (15 minute walk apart). So we’d meet up regularly and go biking on the Burke-Gillman trail from the University District up to Bothell. 1 hour each way. I guess about 30 miles round trip. Then we went a little further. Then one summer we did a big 60-mile loop around Lake Washington. Up to Bothell, around to Kirkland, south to Renton, and up north to the start. It took me 7 hours and kicked my butt. But I did it. And I had one of those starter bikes with the thick frame, and a cushy seat. I was told to get used to this for a while, but a couple thou’ miles on it before I got a road bike. But shortly after “the big ride” (I only did one), I stopped cyling.
So I had to move, and moved further away, he graduated and left for grad school, and I stopped cycling as much. After a while of this, I decided I needed to do more and decided to “upgrade” to a road bike. I was also on a money diet (I’m in the midst of paying off $45,000 in debt), so an expensive, brand new bike was NOT in the budget. Instead, I found a bike that fit my frame (pretty darn small, I’m 5’4″) on craiglist. I got it for $200. But did I start using it? Well…
…You can guess the answer by now, right? Of course not. It was really uncomfortable to ride. All hunched over like that. There’s one major flaw with a road bike. The position and a big belly do not go well together. I’d hit my belly with my legs while pedaling, and man was it uncomfortable and hard to breathe in that position. Plus, the shifter is halfway down on the shaft (it’s oldschool), NOT on the handlebars like I was used to. Plus the handlebars make me really nervous. I can’t sit upright, and my hands got kinda numb.
I want to get the shifting moved up and maybe a new handlebar, maybe more upright and maybe not technically “road bike” style. J also tells me that once I lose weight, I won’t notice the discomfort as much. All I know is that I miss cycling, and I don’t like this bike yet. Maybe I need to work on fixing up my old all-purpose bike. It has a bit of extra rust on it, having lived outside for a year. But luckily I’ve cleaned the bird’s nest out of the storage sac on the back (I kid you not). If I fix it up, I know I’ll use it. It will not be as fast as a road bike. but then, extra effort to keep up (as I am competative, I will definitely put pedal to the metal!) will be extra calories and good muscle workout.
I gotta do something. I miss going for 2-3 hour hardcore cycling sessions on the weekends in summer. I miss tooling around , being able to go from Alki to Ballard in 25 minutes without a car. Plus it will be something to do without spending most of a whole tank of gas ($40 a tank!) getting out to the mountains or sitting inside in a hot, smelly, boring ol’ gym.
What do you do to change it up?