Sunday, June 08, 2008

14 miles and what do you get?…

I was out on my bike yesterday. By the end of the day, I’d put in 14 miles. What the hell was I thinking?

My fat gut, for one. Listen, if I’m going to have to keep this job where I can’t focus on developing my career skills (because I was sold a creative project management role and ended up in menial data entry) and I can’t focus on my writing (because I’m packed into a small cube space with two other employees and my boss), I’m going to have to start focusing my energy somewhere else. Since I quit smoking in December, getting healthy has become important to me and I figure that’s a good place to put my energy.

At least, I did until I was six or seven miles out. Then, all I could think about was what torture devices these bikes are! And my bike isn’t that great, either. I see these guys on their recomfy bikes and think, “That’d be a nice place for a nap…” Mine has a seat that you just can’t sit on for long and handlebars and that at just the right spot to be painful when you try to shift your weight forward.

But I was also thinking about how I used to do this with far less complaining. I’d take the river 8-10 miles down to the Newport Beach or Warner an easy 10-12 miles to Sunset Beach. This isn’t that new… trying it when I’m old and fat, well, some things you just shouldn’t want to discover.

But then, I got to the farthest spot out, where I decided to turn around, up by Yorba Regional Park. There was a little “rest stop” off the trail, with shade and benches and water. I stopped and peeled off my gloves, removed my helmet, took off my backpack, and started guzzling water. Nearby, a group of four older folks, easily in their 60’s, were taking a break from their ride, and they all looked like they were invigorated rather than beaten. Okay, okay, I thought. I get it. Every term we use to describe ourselves or our condition is fleeting. Old? Fat? Crappy job? I could die tomorrow so I best make the most of the time I have. I’ll keep at it and I’ll do the best I can at my job… and I’ll look for another one. The miracle of life often comes in the little pains of daily existence.

Speaking of little pains – the day after a 14 mile ride is filled with miracles!!!

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