Here Is a Blog Post

August 16, 2013

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David made me go for a bike ride today. Okay, maybe he didn’t make me. He suggested it, as a fun activity we could do while CJ was at camp and Hugh with a sitter (in other words, a very rare moment). When I said I thought a joint bike ride could maybe end badly since he is in great shape and I am not, he said, “No, no, no. It will be a short and leisurely ride.” To which I replied, “Is that something you are capable of?” (I’ve been in a snit recently. See below.) Then he said it would be romantic for us to go for a bike ride. Ha! Funny what constitutes romance after thirteen plus years of marriage. Or maybe it was a joke.

So David clipped his riding shoes into his nice road bike, and I put on running shoes and hopped on my mom’s old clunker of a hybrid, which has rust on the handlebars and makes a clicky sound with each turn of the pedal. And off we went. I haven’t been on a bike ride in…well, a while. Let’s leave it at that.

It was immediately clear that David was going really easy on me. He was doing a lot of coasting which, both literally and figuratively, is just not his thing — David does not coast. I know that he would really love for me to get into cycling. I know he has visions of us taking hours-long rides through the marshes and to the beaches. (I’m not sure where our children are in these visions, but we’ll let that go for now.)

It’s true that I have been a little lost in the exercise department since I ended my short-lived running career due to extreme knee pain. I believe the words of my awesome chiropractor/sports injury guy were, “You are too old to take up running. You should ride a bike.” Feeling the pressure from both of them, I decided to give it a try.

Biking immediately felt so different than running. Before the knee stuff happened I was planning to stick with running and train for a 10K but the truth is I always found running to be immensely challenging — even running a 5K was a huge hurdle for me. But I guess that was part of what made it so rewarding, too — that feeling of accomplishment that comes with doing something you truly did not think was possible.

Biking was not like that at all. Once we got past the trafficky part going through the downtown, where I was afraid that someone would open their car door on me, I quickly hit my stride. It was a leisurely stride for sure, and I won’t be calling you for any Pan Mass donations any time soon,  but it just felt so much more enjoyable than running! We rode past some farms and a man on a tractor waved to us and I waved back and smiled, unlike when I ran past people and tried to at least lessen my grimace. I was able to see the scenery in ways that I miss in my car, and I was just pedaling and taking it in. When we had to turn around due to time constraints, I was actually disappointed. I had forgotten my grouchiness.

About my snit: Actually, I’ve been somewhat “off” all summer, just unable to get in a groove with writing or exercising or anything else. I’ve always been an over-thinker and I obsess over how I spend my time and what I have to show for myself. Then it comes to a head and I become irritable about weird little stuff, like that we don’t go to the beach enough, or that all my earbuds suck, or that Orange is the New Black isn’t quite as good as I want it to be, or that CJ comes to find me an hour after bedtime to tell me she is sweaty.

And then I see a story in the news like the one about the family of Martin Richard, the eight-year-old who was killed in the Boston Marathon bombing. Martin’s younger sister, who survived the blast but was severely injured, has finally gone home from rehab (with a prosthetic leg), and I just think: Wow. I am so unbelievably lucky and fortunate. And even though I still believe that sometimes we are allowed to be grumpy about the stupid crap for a little bit, it is good to have a reality check. A little reminder to not waste too much time on that garbage.

And that’s how I felt on my little ride. It wasn’t perfect, but things do not need to be perfect. This blog post is not perfect (hey, I heard you snort) and I’m going to post it anyway. Actually, this blog post is a lot like my bike ride: fun, therapeutic…and over.

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