Tag Archives: Bike MS

Goals for 2012

 

I shouldn’t say that everyone makes a New Year’s resolution.  In fact, I think that the majority of people that make resolutions either want to a) lose weight or b) stop smoking.  Well, as it is, I have already quit smoking several years ago, so I guess I fall into the former category.  But instead of making specific resolutions, I am going to make lifestyle changes with specific achievements that aren’t necessarily goals, but if I achieve them it will be a signpost, if you will, that I am achieving the things that I want to do.

1) Goal: Get back in shape.  Lose weight, trim down, lower blood pressure.  These are all reasons that I would like to get into shape.  The last couple of years I have had halfway legitimate excuses for not exercising (recovering from three separate surgeries, after all.)  I still should have eaten better than I did.  So eating less, less junk fast food, regular exercise will be on the list. 

Signpost: Ride in the BikeMS Pedal the Plains.  I was excited to participate last year, but back pain sidelined me from training, and back surgery ultimately kept me on the sidelines.  If I do finish, I am contemplating getting a zipper tattoo on my scar to remind me of both last years disappointment and this years achievement.

2) Goal: Be mentally healthier.  The day to day moments of the last couple of years have really kept me down, despite those momentous moments that would otherwise have put me in great spirits.  Lifestyle changes will help, along with staying up to date on my medications and exercise. 

Signpost: Getting a job that I really enjoy.  Going for more money might not even be particularly important at this point.  I need to do something that doesnt add exponentially to my stress.

3) Goal: Read.  As I have stated before, the last half of last year, I started reading again.  My goal for my 35th year was to read 50 books.  The count now stands at 23, with most of those being back loaded at the end of the year.  I amended that to say that I was going to read 10 classics.  I still may be able to hit both goals.

Signpost: War and Peace.  It is in hand, and it will be conquered.  I am looking forward to finishing but not for the satisfaction of finishing itself, but for the satisfaction of a well told, incredible story.

4) Goal: Write.  Reestablishing this blog has been a good step.  Writing is an outlet, no matter if it is the truth or fiction.

Remington Typewriter

Image via Wikipedia

 

Signpost: Having a rough draft of a novel done.

Well, that’s it for me.  How about you?

 

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Filed under life, perspective

Two-Wheeled Love Affair

For a six-year-old, there probably isn’t anything that presents as much freedom as liberating your bike from its training wheels.  I remember having a tough time getting the hang of riding a true two-wheeler, although it probably had more to do with my confidence than anything else.  I would pedal for a few feet before putting my feet on the ground.  My dad would swear that I did it, but I was equally adamant that I didn’t.  My friend across the street had gotten the hang of it, and he was a year younger.  That lit the fire of determination for me.  Nothing like a little bit of peer pressure to get you going.  What finally got me going for good was our slanted driveway.  I climbed on in the garage, stood on the pedal to get me going, and have never looked back.

I can remember each bike that I have owned.  The first was red and white.  My sister had ridden it before me, so I had dad take the necessary measure of removing the basket in front.  Instead of tires, the wheels were made of hard plastic.  But it did its job taking me up and down our street.  As I became more brave I learned that those plastic wheels could make really cool skid marks if I got up a good head of steam and hit the brakes.

My next one was a true beauty, and looking back as an adult, a classic.  A Schwinn Stingray.  Red again, with ape-hanger handle bars and a red banana seat with a sparkly finish.  With real tires, this baby could take me around the block with no problem whatsoever.  All these years later I wish that I still had it so I could pass it on to my kids.  I don’t think that I am alone in my Stingray nostalgia.

I was getting a little bigger, and my next bike was a light blue mountain bike.  The tires were nice and wide, to take me off the beaten path.  Speed wasn’t much of a concern.  The best part about this bike was multiple gears and hand brakes.  I’ll never forget the day I went riding with my friend and he informed me that we rode about nine miles.  Nine miles!?  How cool was that?

Next up was a blue Diamond Back hybrid type bike.  Not a mountain bike, but certainly not a road bike either.  This was the first bike that I took on a sanctioned bike ride.  Riding 25 miles with my dad (and many others) was so fun.  Although in a couple of years I would be getting my driver’s licence, I didn’t think driving could be much of a step up in terms of freedom.  I could disappear for a summer afternoon if I wanted to.  When I was 15, my trusty steed did buck me off.  I knew that I broke my arm because I heard the pop.  I walked it about a mile home, informing my parents that we needed to make a visit to the hospital, but first we had to go find my glasses, which I hadn’t realized until then were missing off of my face.  We got to the spot and looked and looked.  Finally we rang the doorbell of the nearest home.  The gentleman that answered was apologetic–apparently this all took place while he was mowing the lawn–he hadn’t seen my glasses until the were a tangled mess of wire.  My bike and I weren’t on speaking terms for about a year, but we did eventually make up, and it still holds a place of honor in my garage.  I did learn one important lesson from that mishap.  Before that day I never wore a helmet.  Even though no company in the world can make a helmet that doesn’t make me look like a complete dork, I always protect my brain now.

My current bike is a road bike that I have had for three years now, I think.  Purists would probably scoff, but it is a Schwinn that I bought at a department store.  None-the-less it is lightweight, fast (at least for me) and nice to look at.  Now that I have kids, my mom bought me a trailer to take them on rides.  Trying to coax them in the first time was a little difficult (along with getting them to wear helmets) but once we were finished there was an equal if not more amount of coaxing needed to get them out. 

This year I have set a goal to ride in our local Bike MS ride.  150 miles over 2 days, by far the most for me.  But truly I love to ride, and knowing it is for a good cause helps with motivation.  Click on the link on my sidebar to learn more.

Until then, I will be seeing you on the trails.

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Filed under bicycling, bike, exercise, fitness

Growing old before your time…

INTRODUCTION AND MENTAL FITNESS

I never realized that depression would feel quite like this until I was deep enough into it that I realized that is where I am.  I had admitted to myself on particularly bad days that I was depressed, but I didn’t think I was “clinically depressed”, whatever that was.  I’ve never felt the deep pits of despair, never even considered ending it all.

But all of a sudden I realized that I just wasn’t interested in anything. Going out, being with friends, reading, writing, playing music, listening to music, exercising, cooking, photography–all those things that used to help define who I am just didn’t seem all that much interesting.

Luckily I’ve had my family with me–Lovely Wife, Little Guy, Baby Girl–who do still matter.  In particular, Lovely Wife has been so supportive in helping me realize what was wrong and facilitating getting help for me.  Long after many spouses may have thrown up their hands in exasperation, she is taking those vows seriously.

Along with that jerk Depression, his good buddy Anxiety is always there with him working in tandem.  It seems like whenever I have a handle on one of them, the other decides to crank himself up to sabotage my mood. 

As of today, I am starting this blog as a journal on my journey back to health.  I hope to pick up some readers along the way–those of you that can help or encourage, or perhaps be helped and encouraged by me.

PHYSICAL FITNESS

A few years ago, when Lovely Wife and I were a newly minted married couple, I had discovered the joy of working out–specifically running.  I used to think that “Runner’s High” had to have been an oxymoron.  But that summer, as the days went by, the miles piled up, and the scale went down, I learned to really take enjoyment from the activity.  Then I suffered a bout with back spasms, and have been off the exercise rails pretty much since.   Messieurs Depression and Anxiety haven’t helped the cause.

So part of my journey will also include physical fitness.  There are many boogey men that getting in shape will help me keep locked away in the closet.  The word “Moobs” comes to mind.  So does the phrase “Type II Diabetes”.  In order to be accountable in this area, there has to be a quantifiable measurement, so *gulp* here goes: 273 lbs.

As part of my total fitness goal, I have signed up for Bike MS: Pedal the Plains.  Multiple Sclerosis is a disease that affects more than 400,000 Americans.  Not only will the ride help me towards my fitness goals, but the money raised will be going to a great cause.  I encourage everybody to click on the link in the sidebar to visit my page and make a donation.  If you are in my area, I also welcome you to join my team.

ON A LIGHTER NOTE

I have decided to always end with something a little less serious.  The subject will change, but expect some common recurring subjects.

One of the things I love is music.  On a great tip I have recently been listening to Ray LaMontagne.  This particular song reminds me of where I am right now. 

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Filed under anxiety, depression, fitness