Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Finally back on the bike

A stationary bike, anyway. We still have sheets of ice on our streets, and today wind gusts hit 60MPH today. Not ideal cycling weather.

Last night, went to the YMCA and did 5K on the rower and half an hour on a stationary bike. I’m a slow cyclist, so when there’s no miles on the readout, I usually count stationary riding at 10-12 MPH.

I was mostly concerned about keeping my cadence high and steady. To complete 100 miles, I need to be able to spin at 70-90 strokes per minute for eight to ten hours. I’ve got a long way to go, but some time to get there. The next step is to set up the spreadsheet to track miles.

I usually try to avoid the “health and fitness” mags, but while I was on the rower, the woman next to me left her copy of Shape on the floor next to me. It was hard not to be drawn to the cover -- impossibly buff woman with long blonde windblown tresses in a shiny green bikini. Half-in, half-out of some kind of swim coverup as if they caught her in mid-striptease. I think Cracked.com got it right. No one looks like her. Not even her.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Protecting the ones we love

Thanks to a change in meds, I’ve been having muscle spasms in my neck, headaches, dizziness, weariness. It’s wearing off slowly, but I was flattened for a few days.

By Wednesday, I’d reached the point where it felt better to move than to not move, so I went to the YMCA. I love the Y for many reasons, but among them is that it feels body-friendly, age-friendly, ability-friendly.

Still, I felt inadequate. I managed the elliptical slowly on the lowest setting for about 20 minutes before I gave up. No arm motion -- it hurt too much. A little dizzy each step. Another 20 on the treadmill, also at a painfully slow pace.

The voice in the back of my head told me I looked foolish -- a slightly oversized woman in very oversized sweatpants barely moving. The voice told me I was lazy and unmotivated. That I wasn’t getting a “real” workout. Soft. Weak. I hate that voice. I have to stand outside myself sometimes and imagine that voice speaking to a child I care about. That’ll get the ire going.

Even though I doubt anyone else noticed what I was doing or not doing, I imagined others around me thinking those thoughts.

It’s just as silly of me to imagine what others are thinking of me as it is to look at a person’s size and imagine all their bad habits. If they are thinking those things, but keeping them to themselves, then I guess they’ll have to live with their own negativity. And if they feel the need to share those thoughts, I will have to shield and defend myself as I would do for a child I love.

Why yes, I did fall off the planet

I started this blog in one of my typical fits of hypomanic ambition, followed by one of my typical phases of dropping off the planet.

But that’s not the real reason it’s been so long since I’ve posted. The real reason is I made a true and total ass of myself on the internet. In the comments on another blog, I crossed the line between sharing my experience and inflicting my opinion. I’m not going to point you to where I did it -- I was embarrassed enough already.

It’s easy to be harsh -- intentionally or unintentionally -- online. It’s easy to forget that there is a person with their own valid experience on a keyboard elsewhere. It’s hard for them to “get” what might be intended as an oddball sense of humor without seeing your face.

Plus, I come from what I describe as a family of true believers. People who don’t just write a check to a cause, but get arrested marching in the streets. I count both birthers and truthers among my nephews. It makes for interesting family gatherings. We talk about the weather a lot.

I’ve rethought things. I deleted a few posts that did not feel like my own voice, that felt like I was trying too hard. I’ve recommitted to finding my own voice. Perhaps not many will read it, but at least it’s my own.