Just some morning ramblings…
I was on a bike ride today, and as I was pumping along some lyrics came to my mind, “Life’s for the living, so live it or your better off dead”. How many years did I live as a dead man? I sat and watched endless hours of tv, played computer games until my mind went numb. I let the world slip by me like I was allergic to concrete. I let my weight climb so high that doing anything was becoming a seemingly impossible task. I was dead…
Yet, I turned it around, I dropped from 450 down to 250, I was living life to the fullest! But, it was short lived. Slowly, at first, the weight started to creep back up. 280, 290, 300, 330, 340, finally finding myself around 360! I was living like a dead man again. I felt dead inside, and my outside was beginning to match it. But I always held on just a little bit, I would bike occasionally and every time I did, I felt that taste of life again. I recently recommitted myself to improving myself in multiple areas, from spiritually to physically. Yet I always feel like the boy who cried wolf. How many times have I “recommitted” to this journey just to fail again? To many to count. This time though things feel different. I’m not living like a dead man anymore, I am living life. I feel it every time I hit my daily step goal, when I take in a moment of quiet meditation in the mornings, and when I ride my bike.
I finally feel alive again.
Keep On Rolling,
Big Boned Biker
It was a wonderful day out, and I had plans to go bike riding! I love days like this, feels like spring has come(though in 2 days we are suppose to get a snow storm), birds are chirping and the pedals are moving. At drop off for LB 1’s preschool, I saw my friend Brian, and he made the mistake of mentioning that he didn’t have any plans this morning. Instantly I pounced on the chance, and invited him for a short bike ride. I promised to take it easy and we would just do a short little ride, and he believed me. Muwhahahaha.
I rushed home, got my youngest ready and went out to the stable(some might call it a garage). I started the process of getting everything ready. Brakes, check! Tire pressure, check! No weird rattling noises, check! All systems go and prepare for launch.
After hooking up the trailer, and making sure I had everything ready to go, Brian arrived. He seemed both excited and apprehensive. I knew though, deep down inside, that once we got going he would love it. I know in the past he had joked he could only bike a mile or so, I figured we would go out and be back real quick. That’s ok, we all have to start somewhere and I didn’t want him to over do it, never wanting to go out again.
We started out and I could quickly see that he wasn’t enjoying it. Did I mention this was a windy day? Like 50 mph gust type windy day? We went about a half mile and he asked to pull over, and I figured we would be turning around. I took that moment though to mention a few “pointers” for riding, sitting on the pelvic bone not the tail bone, don’t ride using your heel as you want to use the ball of your foot, I think I also mentioned posture and keep the shoulders relaxed. As we started back up again I also realized I had forgotten to tell him something important, how to switch gears! He was in a high gear as the bike was last used on my trainer, and with this head wind it must be killing his legs. He switched gears, sat right, moved his foot, and instantly I could tell he was enjoying himself more. We rode past the park and finally made it to the bike trail. What was nice is that with all the trees and the position of the trail, it really cut out the wind! I saw a smile on his face and was pretty sure I had him hooked.
As we went along I told him when we hit mile marks, and how fast he was going. I could tell that he found that encouraging and that he was surprising himself with what he could do. There was even a few times I had to catch up with him as we hit some decent speeds(I think at one point 15mph). We reached a shelter area and decided to take a quick rest, we had ridden over 3 miles and had to get back in time to pick up the kids. The way home was very smooth and when we did get hit by the wind, it was luckily at our backs. As we got back I could tell, I could see the look in his eyes, he was hooked. If we hadn’t been on such a time crunch, I think he could have done the full ride to Chesterton and back. I also look forward to having a new riding buddy, because you can never have to many of those!
Keep On Rolling,
Big Boned Biker
So now it is time for a new challenge! This one is inspired by some recent self-discovery which I will get into in a bit.
From Today Sunday August 23rd until September 24th the challenge is to exercise for 30 min. every day. The intensity and what you do is dealers choice, and if you already work out daily, add an extra 30 min.
Many of you might be thinking that it is impossible/impractical for you to exercise EVERY day for 30 min, but I guarantee you it is not. Exercising is more than just hitting the gym or jogging for 5 miles! It can be playing with your kids, walking around the mall, building a life size replica of the Star Ship Enterprise (letter of your choosing) out of Popsicle sticks! Ok maybe not that last one, but you get the point. Though, when will you find the time? Do I really need to say it? Do I? As a character on the big bang theory might say “if you have time to lean, you have time to exercise!”, it’s about prioritizing our time. The other thing is, if you can’t do 30 min at once, can you do two 15 min or three 10 min? It’s ok to do it that way too! I know when I first started 30min wouldn’t have been do able, and if that’s the case, break it up to what ever amount you need to in order to get through the 30.
Here is my before picture(Taken after my first 30 min work out):
Take your own and if you want to share it feel free to post on my Facebook!
What brought this about? As I wrote before I was doing really well, empowered and on top of the world. I quickly found myself laying face first in the mud (cake?) and struggling again. Why did I do so well the previous weeks, and do so poorly now? There is ONE thing that stood out to me, and it’s something I have been dealing with along time. I am a computer gaming addict.
I have been getting on my computer the moment my kids are in bed, sometimes even before, and I won’t get up (outside needing to take a Bio break for bathroom/food/drink) till 12-1am. 7:00ish-1am I am on the computer. That is a part time job. If it’s the weekend and we aren’t busy, I’ll be on it all day as well. I can easily put in 40 hours a week of gaming, and when I am not gaming, all I think about is gaming. Building a new design in Space Engineers, or what quest should I run next in Guild War and so on. If left to my own devices I would, and have, game non-stop. It is effecting my health and my relationships, as I don’t want to do things with others when it might take up gaming time. I worry/freak out if I won’t be able to log on to get my “daily” reward on GW2. There is an upcoming trip to Raleigh NC for the National At-Home Dad Network annual convention, and I almost wasn’t going to go. Reason being? I won’t be able to log in for my daily reward. A trip I have been looking forward to since last year, missed, all over a stupid game. About a month or so ago, I felt the game was taking up to much of my time and I deleted it. I said goodbye to my guild mates, and in less than 24 hours I was back on again. It is addicting being someone else, in a world that you “control”.
What does this have to do with my challenge? For about 2 weeks I wasn’t playing my game very much, just logged on and got my daily, putzed around, and done. Not only did I feel focused, I felt happy and alive. I was wanting to do things, and be with people! I started playing again, and the more I played the more those happy thoughts disappeared. Spending time with my wife or working out on my bike seemed less enjoyable than slaying centaur or mining some ore on a distant asteroid. My hope is to try and find a balance between the different areas of my life. I made my personal goal to workout after the kids go down for the night and before I do any gaming. 30 min on my trainer and perhaps add in some running during the week when my oldest is in preschool.
I am focusing on my after picture, how amazing I will feel when I get to take it and say that I accomplished this small goal!
Big Boned Biker
Sorry if this post seems scattered brained, I am starting to come down with a cold, but that won’t stop me 🙂
The day started like any great day should, with a lovely breakfast in bed (I had already eaten some of it before I thought to take the picture). Much better than the oatmeal I had been planing on having hands down. Looking outside, the weather was cloudy and looked like it could turn to rain. There went my plans for a bike ride with the family, I had been really looking forward to it too. We spent the morning just chilling out around the house, watched a movie, my oldest helped me switch out the pedals on Katrina (I decided to put the original ones back on her), and had a quick-lunch. Fun times, fun times.
I decided at this point to check the weather report and it said it was supposed to clear up and be sunny. Sure enough, having stepped outside to check, the weather was getting nice! It’s at this point when I asked my wife if she REALLY wanted to go for the ride I had planned. Surprisingly she was still up for it, and so I began the laborious process of getting ready. In case you don’t have kids, getting ready for anything isn’t a 1. 2. 3. task. It’s more like:
You get the idea I think at this point. Add into this I need to get the bikes/trailer all ready too, we worked up a sweat before we even left. The fun part of that is my landlord is fixing up our house, and is storing the supplies in my garage. The very front of the garage, and it’s a PITA to get the bike and trailer out of there now. Mind you, when you asked I thought it would be a couple of buckets of paint, not 3 ladders, a door, lumber, plywood, and a few things that I don’t know what they are. Our back porch/playroom is also filled with windows too, so can’t store them there either. I digress though, and after getting the tires all pumped, the trailer hooked up, and helmets all rounded up, it was time to get going. Oops, wait, someone needs to go potty. Ok now it’s time to go!
A few key points to remember, this is my wife’s second time on a bike since middle school, my wife has a medical condition that can cause her to faint during an intense workout, and finally her first ride was a total of about 4 miles. We decided to take the bike trail up to Chesterton, IN, which is only about 10 miles each way. Ya, that’s about 20 miles! We were set for a fun-filled time, and our adventure started early. We were heading to the trail head on some quiet suburban roads and we had a left hand turn to make into the park where we would meet the prairie dune land trail. A truck was behind me and I signal very clearly that I would be making a left hand turn. I begin to make my turn when half way through it I realize the truck had tried passing us! Had I been 2 seconds slower I think I would have been hit. I brushed it off, I was pulling the kids and didn’t need them to get upset. Truth be told though, I was rather rattled by this, with a flash back to a news article I read a few weeks ago. One of the folks I rode with on the tri-state bike ride was hit by a car and died! This happened about 15 miles from my home, this is one of my biggest fears with cycling.
Every made a promise to a kid, and instantly regret it? Ya, I sorta promised we would stop at a park on the ride. In the mind of a 4.5 year old that means we will stop at the first park we see, as well as every subsequent park that we pass. I knew that if we stopped this early we would never get anywhere! I did the reasonable thing though, I told him that the park was full. It had 2 kids playing in it, and someday if he reads this, I’m sorry, sorta. Something that you should know about this route, is that we pass by about 5 parks. That isn’t counting the fact that when we turn around we pass them again. To make it up to him though, I told him we would stop at the dragon park on the way home. It’s the nicer of them and its about 2 miles from home. This seemed to work better than I had expected, leaving me to solve the next problem.
“THAT’S MY TRANSFORMER! HE WON’T STOP TAKING IT! STOP IT!” is what I heard from behind me. A 4.5 year old trying to reason with an 18 month old doesn’t typically get the result that he would like. Just for the record, we brought 2 toys for them to play with. This went on for about 20 min, finally ending when one of them zonked out. This was followed shortly by the next one, this lasted until Chesterton.
I loved the fact that this gave my wife and I a chance to just chat. It reminded me of when we dated, those ideal conversations that had nothing to do with anything important. We made it all the way to the end of the trail without stopping for a break. When we did stop for a quick 10 min break before turning around the boys woke up, a bit crankily unfortunately. It was getting hot out and my they both looked very warm. We decided to give them a quick cool down with some water, and they both seemed to be in great spirits afterwords. A happy child, is a happy daddy.
The ride home was uneventful until we got to the park, the dragon park. When we arrived it was empty and the boys were having fun playing. My youngest ,just happy to be free from the restraints of the bike trailer, was just running around with no real objective. About 10 minutes into it a family shows up with their kids, about 6 of them (I think it was 2 families together). It was quickly apparent that it would be best if we just left. If you ever are looking for something fun to do, I suggest you try to get a toddler and a preschooler to leave a park after 15 minutes! We finally got them wrangled, my youngest being exceptionally fast for having little legs! We headed home, where everyone decided to enjoy a nice summer time snack of peaches and watermelon. Before I could enjoy my snack though, I put the bikes away. Katrina first, followed by bulls-eye (the trailer), finally Tallulah. As I lifted her up to carry over the mound of supplies in the garage, the back wheel came right off! Sometime during the ride it had come completely loose, while hooked up to the trailer filled with 66 pounds of kids and diaper bag(not sure which weighed more). To say I was shocked is an understatement, because I had checked them the last time I rode. Moral of that story, you can’t check your bolts/screws to often.
So, for father’s day, I didn’t get a card, I didn’t get a present, I didn’t get a little trinket to sit on my desk. I got the best damn gift I could ever ask for, a memory!
Big Boned Biker
Today was a tough one, dealt with some cranky kids and really just wanted to snack! I did well though, I stayed within my points. I had a doctor’s appoitment tonight and on the way home stopped for a soda. While I was there I remembered I had some poitns left over from dinner..CANDY TIME! I spent some time going through and finally settled on some sour gummy worms. As I walked up to pay for my prize, I thought “Am I hungry, and if so will this help”? Yes, I was hungry, but no gummy worms wouldn’t help. I put down the gummy worms, with reverence I hung them back on their shelf. Instead, I ate some leftovers from dinner for the same amount of points.
Overall I would call that a good day!
Burn baby burn….had a great workout tonight, though I wish I knew how far/fast I was going. I have a bike computer on my bike but it runs off the front wheel sadly. Today was pretty good, went and visited a friends church, lazed around the house, just a nice chill-axing Sunday. We had dinner planned out, baked bbq pork chops, mashed potatoes, fresh broccoli(for steaming). When I went to cook it though is when it all flew down hill. The pork chops were thicker than I had thought they were, so they did cook right. This lead us to order out for dinner…and the tracker will tell the rest of the story.
I wasn’t going to post this, I realized how easy it would be for me to fake it, none of you would ever know! I honestly feel ashamed to post this, which despite how it may seem, isn’t want this is about. I am not looking for sympathy, I am looking for change in myself. Right now, this moment, will stay etched in my mind. I don’t like this feeling, the food wasn’t that good, it wasn’t amazing, it is NOT worth feeling this shame, regret, and tummy ache(can you tell I have kids?).