Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Oh Well

The weather has been perfect lately drawing me outside, luring me to do a little more than take care of the few flowers I grow. When I was cleaning out the storage shed, I looked at my bike and decided it was time to get my butt on it. I finished sorting through and cleaning the shed and rode to the pet store to get some cat food for Oh Well. I had a FREE coupon for a free 3.5 bag of cat food and I was sure I could use my old backpack to hold my water and cell phone. I thought the ride would do me good.

I had not been near my bike since last year and last year I only rode a few times. What I am trying to say is that I did not realize was that I almost needed training wheels last year but eventually after I lowered the seat and could touch the ground I mastered riding straight with little traffic buzzing by me. Mostly I stayed in the bike lanes. Last year I rode blocks out of the way to just to avoid the traffic on the main streets.

Three days ago I decided that I would brave it do whatever I could using my bike. I need the exercise. I live a few blocks from the ‘downtown’ district of my mega huge city and nearly everything is within riding distance. I even rode to the local social security office to drop of some forms for Tess. Anyway. Back to the pet store.

I loved the free feeling of the breeze blowing across my arms and face. I consciously though about how much cooler it was riding the bike than it was sitting at my computer. My mind drifted and at time I enjoyed myself and relaxed into the ride. I huffed and puffed and finally I arrived at the pet store in one piece. I held my breath several times but I made it to my destination totally unscathed.

I looked around for a secure place to lock my bike but there was none to be found so I asked if I could bring it inside and park it by those huge dog cages off to the side in the front. Of course, they let me and if they had not I would have walked it through the store back to the cat food isle. Could not find the right Indoor Cat Mature Senior Sensitive stomach blend that Oh Well devours in a 3.5 lb bag. Lucky day, the Science Diet representative was there and gave me a coupon for $3.00 off the 8.5 bag since they were out of Oh Well’s blend. The bag barely fit inside my big ol’ bright red backpack but I managed to get it safely zipped in. As I picked up that now 12 lb back pack every muscle in my neck and upper back screamed NO. What was I to do? I told myself it was a beginning and I could do it.

I knew that a friend of mine had recently bicycled on the islands off the coast of Washington state, with 25 lb. full backpack, for over 250 miles. She crated her bike and flew it to Seattle, built the bike and started riding to the ferry. When we were in high school we played sports together, we were highly competitive. I increaesd the self talk and told myself 'If she could do that I could do this.' Two kids later for both of us and she is stronger than she was 40 years ago. I am at the bottom of my game with all that. My friend said she could cross biking the Washington Islands off her bucket list. I want a bucket list and I want to cross things off it.

I made it home in one piece with the cat food safely on my back. I smiled as OH Well waited patiently for me to open the bag completely so he could sneak a couple of morsels out of the open bag. Immediatley upon arrival home I iced both my neck muscles and my lower back . I did it. I met my first challenge.

What’s the long and the short of this. I need a new more comfortable backpack if I am ever going to transport anything else ever. I probably won’t run out looking for one anytime too soon but I won’t quit riding the bike, I just won’t go grocery shopping or to Wal-mart. I mentioned I rode my bike to the social security office to drop of a form. I folded the one piece of paper I needed to turn in and put it in my pocket. Less than 1 oz.

I am changing my eating habits too. I have cut sugar and carbohydrates out of my diet almost completely. I know I get some carbs just because they are everywhere. I definitely have increased the calorie burning activity lately too. I don’t jump on the scale everyday but when I did weigh myself and saw I was down a pound I celebrated by drinking a bottle of water. Patting myself on the back.

Be good to yourself.

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