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For the last five years I’ve taken my trainer to the office and ridden there, during lunch, in the off-season.
This year things haven’t quite worked out as they had in the past. Sadly, I just can’t easily fix what’s keeping me from my normal trainer time… so I improvised.
No more noon rides, I put in my 45 minutes on the trainer after I get home, around 5.
That’s my commitment to fitness.
I can whine and lick my nuts on the couch, or I can get busy making use of what I’ve got – and let’s be clear, I’d need a whole lot of yoga to… well, let’s stay on track here.
I thought it would be interesting to break that down fully. There are 168 hours in a week. I only need seven of them to stay fit through the off-season. Only twelve in-season.
Digging further, I need 50-ish for work and 42-46 for sleep. Call that 101 on the high side. That means I’ve got 67 hours left to fit in my seven hours for fitness (and sanity).
I can make that work. For me, it’s fit and happy or…. not.
A little more than a week ago I was fawning on about our extended summer and how nice it’s been for cycling.
Yesterday, it was cold enough that there was a little snow mixed in with the rain. No chance I’m riding in that. I’m an enthusiast, not nuts.
So I set the trainer up in the living room, placed my Trek in it, and fired up Star Wars The Force Awakens. I threw a leg over, clipped in, and got to crankin’.
I missed cycling season two minutes into it and it’s not even entirely over yet. Still, sweating it out watching a movie beats freezing one’s tookus off in the rain – and the trainer definitely beats going on a real diet. So be it.
It’s a rare day that we know that we are up on the last great day of a season. Rarer still, that the day lands on a weekend. That the last perfect day of the cycling season arrived on a Sunday is like winning the lotto – a second time. That’s exactly what happened this year.
We rolled shortly after the sun came up, we had a decent breeze from the south. We had a small group to start, just Mike, Matt, Mrs. Bgddy and me. We picked up Phill and Brad along the way and met Greg, and Dave and Sherry on their tandem, shortly thereafter.
I ended up pocketing the arm warmers and rolled the rest of the ride in comfort, only wearing a short-sleeve jersey and bibs. This late in October, that’s exceptionally rare…. Perfect.
It was a perfect way to spend a perfect morning with friends. Just short of 56 miles on the day. The pace was perfect as well, about 18.6 – not too shabby for a windy day.
For men: 66 + (6.2 x weight) + (12.7 x height) – (6.76 x age)
For women: 655.1 + (4.35 x weight) + (4.7 x height) – (4.7 x age)
For me, once you include the special multiplier, the number works out to 2,952.
That’s how many calories I get to eat in a day. Sometimes I go a little over, sometimes I’m under.
I am, obviously, outrageously active:
1.2 points for a person who does little to no exercise
1.37 points for a slightly active person who does light exercise 1–3 days a week
1.55 points for a moderately active person who performs moderate exercise 3–5 days a week
1.725 points for a very active person who exercises hard 6–7 days a week
1.9 points for an extra active person who either has a physically demanding job or has a particularly challenging exercise routine
I picked “A very active person” even though I’m probably “extra active” – better to err on the low side, I figure.
My number, should I choose a sedentary lifestyle, would be slightly over 2,000 calories. Great if you love eating twigs, leaves and seaweed. Not so much if you’d like to fire down a burger now and again.
*Obviously, riding a bike or running is no guarantee you won’t end up playing pill roulette. Bad things do happen to fit people. On the other hand, without fitness and an intelligent diet, your chances of blowing an ungodly amount of your monthly income on pills increase exponentially. Sadly, that choice is quite real.
I was in the middle of an awesome 50 mile ride with some friends yesterday and something occurred to me… I realized how thankful I was for being fit and that I’ve stuck with cycling.
It’s not about the fact that I still fit into the same clothing sizes from my youth, because I can’t. I’m much thicker today than I was 25 years ago – and my wife would tell you that’s a good thing.
It’s not that I can whoop all over a bunch of other cyclists, because I know a bunch of guys who can eat my lunch – I don’t get into the arrogance like that, anyway.
What I was thankful for, as I was cruising down the road with my friends, was that I get to participate in the first place. I ride with some really great people, and if I hadn’t put in the effort earlier, none of the good times I’ve had over the last five years would have been possible – and I’ve had a lot of good times.
For that, I am grateful.
I was standing in line the other morning with my mints and small coffee in hand, waiting to roll out to the office. I eyed a maple/peanut encrusted donut as I was putting my five ice cubes into by coffee cup but walked away empty-handed. It wasn’t easy, of course.
So there I was in line and the guy in front of me steps up to the counter, places three cans of Monster energy drink on the counter and asks the attendant for a pack of smokes.
Three cans of Monster and a Pack of smokes?
All I could think was, “Da-a-a-m-m-m-n”.
He was a younger kid, of course, maybe in his late 20’s, but he’s going to find out what old feels like in a hurry if he doesn’t watch what he’s putting into his engine.
I am not always so well equipped to handle situations like that. Sometimes that crap can look tempting, when I’m weak.
For those moments I have a prayer that I repeat in my weakness (before temptation, preferably, but during works in a pinch):
“God, please give me five seconds of sanity before I do anything stupid.”
That’ll about do it, and it puts everything in proper perspective. My sentiments toward putting crappy fuel and cigarette smoke into my body are pretty simple:
Uh, that would translate to “no thank you. I’ll take the coffee and tin of Altoids (peppermint)”.