I’m a cook and in my line of work we have to “taste and adjust” constantly. Apparently I’ve “tasted and adjusted” up 80 pounds in the last few years. Between my age and the extra weight, I’m to the point that when I drop something, the only way I’ll make the effort to pick it up is if it’s at least a $20 dollar bill or a minimum accumulation of 5 items. It’s not the getting down there, it’s the getting back up.

So I decided to buy a bike and start riding to work. Get the blood pumping, wake up, plan my day while enjoying a cool morning ride. Riding a bike is a piece of cake, right? Pedal a little bit, coast most of the way. Whistle, sing a few ditties (I know a lot of Irish drinking songs). Arrive at work refreshed, alert and ready for the day! What a great idea I was thinking (all self-congratulatory) as I wheeled my path to better health and happiness out of the local K-Mart. Well, my first clue that this was maybe not one of my better ideas should have been when I got winded just pushing the bike across the lot to the car.

This morning was my first ride to work. Left the house a little after 4. First block is downhill. Easy. Nice chill in the air. Singing a little Oh Happy Day to myself. Smiling. Almost giggling. Proud of myself. Definitely one of my better moves. Hit the second block and start pedaling. Uphill. Halfway into that block, I can hardly breathe and my heart is about explode. I keep pushing on. Push, push, push on. I feel like I’m moving in slow motion. Keep grinding. Keep going. Don’t give up. You can do this I’m telling myself. My legs are burning. My eyes are watering. I’m sweating profusely. My breathing has turned into wheezing. I’m dizzy and I’m pretty sure I’m on the verge of full cardiac arrest, but I’m not giving up. Not yet. YOU. CAN. DO. THIS. After what seems like an eternity, I can finally see it……..the end of the second block. I half fall off the bike and decide to walk for a while. Try to get my heart rate back down to oh, say, 200. Apparently the entire path to work is uphill. Note to self: should have scoped that out ahead of time.

So I end up pushing my brand new, shiny bike through a part of town not known for being the safest place to be at 4:30 in the morning. It wouldn’t be a surprise if my bike got jacked. Hmmmm…….I’m looking over my shoulder, watching and listening for the slightest indication that I’m about to get jumped and be relieved of the wheels of death. Nothing. No takers. Damn the luck! Thirty-five minutes later I arrive at work, completely exhausted and sweaty. Longest, roughest two miles of my life. So much for starting the day pumped up and refreshed. I took the bus home.

click on the picture.


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