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.


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