Monday, November 28, 2011

i want to ride my...BICYCLE!

No offense, but I'm not a big fan of people social networking about their exercising.

"Went for a loooong ride after work! I feel great!!"

"Burned 673 calories on my jog through the neighborhood today!! I feel amazing!!!"

" I did 3 hrs of cardio followed by 5 hrs of lifting and lost 18 lbs today!! Hooray for me!!!!"

Shut up. I mean, good for you, really...but shut up.

I realize that sometimes it's not easy to get off your ass and exercise, and we could all use a little encouragement and support. But it's a lot cooler if you just do it and not constantly report it.

In my crotchety older age, I've become somewhat resistant to exercise stats. Calories burned, pounds shed, miles logged, and weight lifted--I don't care. I suppose I've always veered away from most stats. It's okay to know what you are accomplishing when being active and it's acceptable to use these numbers when setting goals, but I've really never considered them something to advertise. It just sounds a little braggadocios.

Now, if you have been keeping your workout regimen to yourself over the course of how ever long it's taken you to drop X amount of weight, and then suddenly you rock the facebook page with, "Dropped 20 pounds! Booya, bitches!!" I don't have an issue with that. I am proud of you. It's the constant updating--especially with the folks who are already in awesome shape.

I digress.

I realize the importance of being active. I say "being active" instead of "exercising" because the term appeals to me more. It makes me want to get out and do shit. "Exercising" makes it sound like work to me. It conjures up images of lists with exact motions and reps that you have to do in an organized workout facility that you paid way too much to join and a contract that you can't get out of, even though you hate going because of all the meatheads and judgemental assholes.

"Being active" can be walking your dog through the neighborhood, hitting a close-by trailhead at lunchtime, walking upstream in waist-deep water while chasing hungry trout, or riding your bike like you did when you were a kid...which is what I did today.

It's stupid, but I suppose I get a little intimidated by venturing into a new "sport". Even fly fishing--which I've been doing since I was a little kid--can still seem a bit overwhelming when chatting about it with the nerds of the sport. I don't need every gadget ever made to be good at it. That's probably part of the reason I haven't leaped into riding my bike too seriously. I have friends who are diehard about it, so when I get invited to go or we start chatting about it, it intimidates me to the point of not doing it. I have a bike--a bike that cost a thousand dollars ten years ago. I'm still pretty proud of it, but to see what my friends ride make my bike look like a K-Mart Huffy. Stupid, yes. Couple that with the fact that due to my lack of riding, I'm sadly out of shape and don't feel like watching them riding circles around me while I puke.

But today I got out. I was intrigued by a lake about two miles from my house that I found on the map. I had no idea it existed. So I decided to dust of the seat, air up the tires, and head over to check it out. I cruised over to the empoundment (which actually kind of sucked) and kept on going. I trespassed onto private lakefront property, blasted through two golf courses, flew through a handful of neighborhoods I didn't know existed, jumped a barbed-wire fence into a public open space, hit a dirt bike trail, climbed the dam of another new lake, darted down rock hills, hopped about a hundred curbs, shot through a tunnel where a creepy old troll-looking lady was smoking cigarettes, rode through the park, and back to my garage.

I felt like I was ten. I kept wishing my old gang would've been with me.

There was still that sense of freedom I remember having when I was a kid, riding through subdivisions, across trails, over curbs, wherever my bike would take me. And even at age 37, I felt that ornery rush you get from breaking the rules. No Trespassing? I'd like to see 'em catch me.

And after it was all said and done, I ran upstairs to my computer to see if I could actually track how many miles I had actually ridden. Yea, I know. But I was happy. Not only from accomplishing a decent workout, but from playing.

I don't ever remember worrying about how many miles I rode or how many calories I burned when I was a kid. And although that's probably a good thing to know when you're knocking on 40, trying to lower your cholesterol, drop your waistline an inch or two, get your lungs back so your kids don't run you into the ground--I'm not going to advertise it. I'm just going to do it again.

Once again, no offense.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

You Asked For It.

Well, I asked for it. For years I've been yearning for an occupation that allows me to be mobile--very mobile. A job that totally accepts me throwing fishing rods in the truck and taking off (as long as I get my work done, of course).

I'm not going to go on about how great being an Outdoor Industry Sale Rep is, because I don't know yet. On paper it sounds right up my alley. But I've fallen victim to gushing about a new gig before, only to go back and read my entry after all hell's broken loose at the job and I've walked out a month into it. Makes me feel silly. Granted, I'd like to think that I'm a little more mature these days, but you never know how a new job's going to treat you once the new wears off. I basically don't want to jinx anything.

"I want to travel to places I've never been...and get paid for it!" Sound familiar? That is precisely what I've been whining about for the past five or six years.

Well,'s this for your first week on the job? First day: Fly into LaGuardia for a sales meeting in NYC. Day numeral two: Catch the red-eye out of JFK to LAX for another sales meeting in Santa Monica. Couple days there, then I get up at 3am to catch my flight back home. Two days later, I have the pleasure of driving from Denver to St. Paul. Yea, Minnesota. Took me two days to drive it. Luckily, I have friends that live about halfway between the two destinations. I get a free place to crash...they get cold beers bought for them. Everyone's happy. Oh yea, then I had to drive back.

This was the first actual week for me working from home. I kind of felt like a fish out of water. I've never worked from home, so I'm still in Dolly Parton mode (that's 9 to 5...keep up)--and sort of waiting for asshole customers to walk in my front door and start asking me stupid questions. Then my co-workers had to remind me that I'm completely new, completely mobile, and that I basically needed to relax. Okay. I can do that...I think.

Tomorrow it's off to Kansas City, where eventually April and I will be moving to (providing I stay at this gig a while). The travel back and forth from Colorado to the Midwest will be a bit challenging, but after the (eventual--maybe) move back to the "Paris of the Plains", my travel should become second nature. Shit man, you said you wanted to travel! You're traveling!

At any rate, this job has me being mobile. It has me doing. It is forcing me to see new places (not that there's much "forcing" going on...), it's allowing me to eat at new places, meet new people, the whole nine.

Plus, this 'move' back home has already got me making plans. Spending more time with friends and family is the main plan. Oh, don't worry about me forgetting Colorado. I plan on visiting quite frequently. I'll consider it my third home...right behind KC and my truck.

So far, doing is work...but it's good.