Man have I been bit by the green eyed monster lately. It is a vicious beast and strikes when you least expect it. I joined a rather large Facebook group for road cycling, and I noticed that everyone had nicer bikes, nicer wheels, and Garmin GPS units. I had never felt the need for a fast bike because my weight would be a limiting factor. Nor could I justify dropping $2k on a wheel set, that just seems crazy to do if you aren’t an actual racer(which most of these people aren’t). But, a nice Garmin gps bike computer, now that looks fun! I sort of felt like Ralphie from a Christmas story as he admired and coveted the Red Rider double action bb gun with the thing in the stock to tell time.
So I started plotting, and planning on how I could make one of those beauties mine! I looked at prices online and the $400+ price tags would mean that new would not be an option. But what about used or refurbished? After all refurbished is better than new! I looked around and after comparing models settled on one for $190. It was amazing, it would tell me how fast I was going, how far I was going, and even give me directions on how to get where I was going! YES! YES! YES! I MUST HAVE IT! Now at this point I almost felt obsessed about it, I imagined how sleek it would look mounted on Tallulah. The way the lines would complement the cockpit view. I would be able to travel to unknown parts without worrying about anything. Life would be grand! Besides, from what I read, how could I be a real cyclist without one?
The other night while driving home, I decided to tell my lovely bride about my lusting for this amazing piece of modern technology. Her response was surprising, I expected her to frankly just laugh at me and say “nope, you have enough stuff”. But instead, she opened the dialogue about WHY do I want it? I explained that it would allow me to free up my phone in case of emergency, it would tell me my information, and it had GPS so I wouldn’t get lost. Her reply was pretty smart , it went along these lines “Why do you need a gps? You ride the same routes all the time. Your phone works fine and you carry battery packs. Why do you really want it?”. It was at this time I realized I wanted it because everyone else had it. I didn’t NEED it, it was a want. IF the worry was about freeing up my phone, I could buy a cycling computer for half the cost and it would work just as well. This left me feeling a bit down and deflated.
Deep down I knew, I knew the reason I had to have it, it was because I see these people who ride, always talking about their Garmins, and they seem happy. In my mind I equated happiness with stuff, but that night I realized happiness isn’t about stuff, it’s about moments and experiences. They aren’t happy because they own a decked out bike with a fancy computer, they are happy because they are riding. Happiness comes from within yourself. Happiness is free…
Happiness IS FREE…..
I was called a name today, some thing that really strikes me to the core. It honestly was a name I had heard before, but had been able to always shrug off. This time however, it really got to me. How could someone call me it? Even better, WHY would they? I never understood, and I am not sure if I ever will.
The labels we use towards people are, in my opinion, hard wired into us. We LIKE to label, we like to organize, categorize, and put things where they go. We call someone a bitch, so we can put them in the bitch box, or we call someone a fat-hole, so we can label them as such. Nice neat little boxes for everyone and every thing. After all everything must have a name and everything must a have a place. The name I was called though, puts me in a category that really bothers me, even though it shouldn’t.
The name I was called? I was called a “friend”! My first thought is, they know me right? They must be mistaken, I don’t make friends. In fact, I am 199% sure I just annoy everyone, and they simply put up with me, hoping I will leave soon. I am talkative, opinionated, fat, and rather annoying in general. Still people keep calling me that name! Trying to label me and put me in a box.
I will impersonate a child, a boy, about 10 years of age. The setting, mid 90’s in central Florida, suburban area. This child, being overly hyper often found himself in trouble during school. Due to this trouble he was placed in a separate class for other similar children. Think of it as a jail for school kids, with all the “bad” kids lumped together. In this class our character, frank, was not well liked, teased and bullied everyday. One day another boy in the class, Peter, came up to befriend frank! Despite being mocked and bullied by Peter in the past, frank accepted this friendship. Frank told himself that people change and maybe it was finally time for him to have friends.
They talked often, and soon Frank found out that Peter lived in the same sub-division! Peter invited him over one afternoon to play some video games and hang out. Frank was excited, no one ever ever ever invited him to do things! In fact one year no one even showed up for his birthday party, but that is a different story. Frank got on his bike and started off towards Peters house, but being out of shape it took him a little longer to get there. Arriving out of breath near his house, he got of his bike and started looking for the house number.
“Hey Fat Fucker!” Frank heard Peter yell. Turning towards the noise he saw a group of boys in from of a garage, laughing and pointing at him. In the center stood Peter, his hand clutched something, and soon Frank was going to find out what it was. As Peter started walking towards him, he brought up to his shoulder the item he was carrying, a lead pipe.
“Hey look, fatty showed up! Perhaps we should beat the fat out of him?”
What happened next though was not to be expected. Instead of running away, like most people would, Frank started walking towards him. “Bring it on!” he shouted. Peter was shocked and stood still. Frank had about double the weight on him, and perhaps the lead pipe didn’t seem like such a good idea. Peter started backing up, Frank kept coming a bit closer.
“You want to start something? I WILL finish it, now let me leave or else!” Frank shouted with a commanding tone.
Peter and his crew decided that today wasn’t a good day to “die” and all went back into the garage. Frank got back on his bike and started home. Yet before he got home he stopped by and empty playground. Dropping his bike to the ground he went and sat next to a near by tree, and cried. He realized, from that day forward, no body could REALLY be his friend. NOBODY EVER!
Thus ends the sad tale of Frank, whom in case you didn’t know was really me. So when people call me friend, it is always hard for me to accept it, and I struggle when it seems that so many people actually like me. Though slowly, I will learn that they mean it, and to accept it.
Well today I had a chance to take 2-3 hours for some bike riding, which I made sure to take advantage of(instead of gaming). I have been having some struggles lately with my weight loss, and last weeks gain was no exception. I knew it was time to make a re-dedication to this journey, and this ride was part of that.
I decided to try for 30 miles today, and came close with a 27 mile ride. While riding out to the trail I was thinking long and hard about this journey. Why have I REALLY been struggling? Was I giving up? Am I simply at a point where my body says no more? I think it really comes down to my mind set that started when my wife stopped weight watchers. One of my biggest anchors was now gone! Yes she still supports me, but she is sick so much with this baby that I often times find myself alone. When I am alone I am more inclined to make poor choices. When I make poor choices I feel bad. When I feel bad I make poorer choices. When I make poorer choices I feel badder….you get the idea.
What can I do? As I arrived at the trail head I looked up and saw this black bird trying to fly into the wind. Despite its desire to go forward it simply could not, it was at one point flying backwards making negative progress. Still it never turned around, it kept pushing on into the wind, determined to make it happen. BAM it hit me! I AM THE BIRD!! No matter how much I may slip up, fail, or slow down on this weight loss journey, as long as I still face the wind and push on I WILL succeed.
As I kept riding, I felt like my bike was dragging. I know I have not been riding as much as I should be but really?? I finally get off the bike and find out my bike seat had slipped all the way down. I fixed it and it was back to normal from there. Maybe I need to do the same thing right now, take a good hard look and fix the little thing that is slowing me down. I pushed on and hit my longest ride to date, and I can’t wait to beat this record as well.
Keep on peddling,
Big Boned Biker