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The One-Legged Cyclist

October 7, 2009

Once upon a time, in another life, I was an athlete. Not the greatest athlete that ever lived, not quite world-class; but active, committed and pretty darn good. Throughout junior high & high school, I ran track, played soccer and raced bikes (even going to Nationals.) I continued cycling my first year of college, but eventually petered out…

Today, I’m sad to say that while I do have a mountain bike, I no longer even own a road bike. Sadder still, I haven’t been on that bike since my daughter was born. She is now 4 years old. (Yeah, I know!)

I’m educated; I’d like to think pretty intelligent…well read on all sorts of topics, including health, quality of life and longevity…; and I know all about the need on so many levels for a strong, healthy body. Add to this the fact that I had my child at the somewhat advanced age of 35: and I desperately what to be an active mother that not only sets a good example for my daughter, but stays active so that we can enjoy each other as I age.

This is why my home is packed to the gills with exercise equipment. Treadmill, stationary bike, free weights, resistance bands, balance balls, medicine balls, yoga mats, pilates accessories, and DVDs coming out of my ears. I’ve got the gear and I’ve got the best of intentions. Unfortunately, I am also one of the all-time, best-ever, excuse-maker-uppers. (At this I’m truly world-class.)

Case in point: yesterday I set aside the time & a goal of 90 minutes on the treadmill. Piece of cake. That’s just two thrilling episodes of Buffy! But before the climatic fight scene in the first episode, I was dying. (Allergies have hit me hard this week.) So I wimped out at less than 40 minutes. But hey, some workout was better than none, right? And I had a good excuse (don’t want to over-do it when you’re sick, right?)

Two hours later I drove by a pack of cyclists trudging up a very steep hill, the girl at the back had an odd stroke that caught my eye. Yep, a one-legged cyclist! Not even using a prosthetic, just the one leg :: She was working twice as hard as all the rest, but she did it & she kept pace. Color me  impressed.

But…at the same time…I felt like a massive failure. Loser points for me!

I felt pretty crummy about myself for a bit. But then I resolved to use the one-legged cyclist as my rallying inspiration next time I feel an excuse coming on. Today’s going to be different.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 12, 2009 11:19 am

    90 minutes is a serious goal. What about 25 minutes, then up it every couple of weeks? Once you get to 90, you won’t even care that you started at 25.

    • October 12, 2009 11:40 am

      No, I usually do 90. It’s just that it’s pretty easy to convince myself I’ve got a good enough excuse to stop. But hey, a year or so ago, it was pretty easy to convince myself I had a good enough reason to not even start. So you’re right: baby steps!

  2. junkymcfunky permalink
    October 7, 2009 1:38 pm

    Good post – keep writing!

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