OK, yes, my next post was supposed to be about strategies to overcome Marthaholism, but to be honest, I’m still digging myself out of a bad spell so don’t currently have much to say about it. Instead, you get to hear me process today’s exercise nightmare.
I decided to bike to work. Our new Youth Pastor has been doing it all week and encouraged me to do the same touting it’s benefits for personal health and the environment. I only live four miles away, so I thought I’d give it a go.
Getting there was great: lots of downhill, but just enough peddling to make it a comfortable work out. Granted, the whole way I feared the ride back as it would be 3pm on a hot June day and mostly uphill. However, I arrived to work invigorated with just the right amount of serotonin released and anticipating a good day, until…
When one bikes to work, there are many items you should bring: water bottle, change of clothes, extra deodorant, hair brush and so on. One thing you don’t need: your keys – unless you’re the only person in the office for most of the day.
I peddled around the building a couple of times in denial, removed my bike helmet to feel the cool breeze through my hair, took a long pull from my water bottle and faced the inevitable fact that I had to turn right around and go back home.
It sucked. Yes, the incline was not constant, and yes, it probably got no more extreme than 15, 20 degrees, but I’m an out of shape mom in my 40’s, so had to get off and walk twice – which did nothing for my ego, let me tell you. This humiliation made me defensive and bitter. Stupid sanctimonious new Worship Pastor. Never trust a man who makes his living hanging out with teenagers, has an immaculate office, and makes his own veggie burgers. Besides, he’s 10 years my junior and only had to bike half the distance. Oh, and he’s from Chicago – the home of Capone, Governor Dailey, and the Bears. I mean, seriously!
All that to say, even though it was 9 in the morning, it got real hot real fast. Half way through I felt warning signs that something in my chest – heart, lungs, an important artery – was going to explode. If that wasn’t enough, I had just waxed my face the night before so the sweat made it sting like I was undergoing a very precise jelly fish attack.
Still, I made it. Yes, I took the easy path through the park and cut through my neighbor’s yard to avoid that last big hill. I also took the epidural during childbirth – more evidence that sometimes survival of the fittest refers to the smartest and not the strongest, so back off self-righteous, veggie burger eating, tree hugging masochists. I may not be fit, but I have personality. I’m relate-able. Loads of people like me. Only California and Boulder like you.
Stumbling into the house, I went straight to the kitchen and plunged my bare hand into the death by chocolate ganache cake I had baked for a coworker’s birthday. Hey, I was late on my morning meds and they have to be taken with food. Don’t judge me.
Soon after, I had to go upstairs to change my clothes. It was a brutal, cruel climb, similar to using your last energy to reach the top of Mount Everest only to learn it’s actually the next to last peak. Going up almost broke me, but coming back down was worse; my legs gave out so I had to do the butt slide to the main floor. What are those muscles in the front of your thighs? Whatever they’re called, we won’t be on speaking terms for quite a while.
Sorry, but I don’t see myself biking to work anytime soon for several reasons:
– I love my van. It blows cool air in my face and gives me all the exercise I need. After all, shapely right ankles are really the most important feature on a woman, right? And yes, I’m not doing my part to help the environment, but buying gas stimulates the economy, so I’m still a good person.
– It’s three hours later and my face is still red as a beet – either because of the humiliation or because my cardiovascular system is in a total panic, neither of which is a kind thing to do to myself (Although it is nice to have some color since all of my make up melted off).
– I have carried, pushed out and fed four people from my body, and gravity has been pulling on it for 43 years. It’s not like biking to work will make what’s drooping down snap back up.
– God gave us clothing to cover our physical flaws and the only person who sees me naked is middle age and going bald. Who exactly am I trying to impress here?
So, I’m giving up on biking and going back to my first love – walking. It’s good for you and no one gets hurt. Still, the day wasn’t a total loss. I now have a killer workout playlist!