xmlns:og>='http://ogp.me/ns#'> Pedals & Pencils: January 2010

January 31, 2010

Heart of a Warrior

I'm pretty sure I'll never be one of those girls who bounces out of bed at the sheer prospect of riding my bike.  Don't get me wrong, I love riding my bike.  I just also love burrowing in my warm cozy bed.  Because my love of cycling can be so easily trumped by my bed, I resort to trickery.  I round up the troops and make them ride with me.  I might stand myself up, but I won't leave a friend hanging.  So this morning, I set out in the good company of Terry, That Laura, Nick and Abby.

This morning I ate the cycling breakfast of champions: oatmeal, skinned grapefruit and a banana.  The last time I rode, I had eggs for breakfast and almost had a reversal of fortune on the side of the road up to Shasta Dam.  (Note to self: Eggs are not a good cycling food.)  But back to this morning, I slipped on my Team Fatty gear, dismayed that the fatty part, while once ironic, is now just truth in advertising.  I'm working on that.

The weather today was so perfect, blue sky, cotton ball clouds and barely a hint of wind.  It was warm enough that I didn't even need tights.  We headed out to Millville Plains, my most favorite place to ride.  You can see for miles and miles at the top of the Plains.  The cows grazing there must be the happiest in all of California.  My favorite tree lives there, too.  She was all sticks and bones standing guard over the plains, but I know she's secreting away green buds for me underneath her black skin.  Spring is coming, spring is coming I told her as I whipped by.

My legs were strong most of the ride leading me to believe that maybe, just maybe, my spin instructor isn't entirely evil.  My legs were strong enough, but my heart, my heart was fierce.  I had the heart of a warrior today.  It pumped away pressing uphill, screaming downhill, and keeping time on the flats.  It was glorious and I smiled so much my teeth hurt from the cool air.  Not even the five putrid dead skunks I passed or the pair of pitbulls that chased me could dampen my joy.

Thirty three miles into the ride and three miles from home, my legs began to ache.  The sort of ache that feels like my bones are hollow and might shatter any second, but I've had this ache before and I know it passes if I just ignore it.  Well, I complain about it and then ignore it.  Same difference.  I willed my legs to circle me back home.  At home I rested in the front yard.  Not even the fact that I'd locked myself out of my house could ruin this ride.  I waited for a friend to arrive with spare key and as my legs pulsed complaints, my heart was steady, calm even.  I sat there making a sweaty print on my walkway and realized I'd just had one of the best rides of my life.  Now that just might make me bounce out of bed to ride next time.

January 30, 2010


January is almost gone and I wonder why it left in such haste.  Wasn't is just Christmas like five minutes ago?  When I realized I'd not posted a single thing in January, I was dumbfounded.

For the first time ever, I made some resolutions.  I've always thought new year's resolutions were ridiculous.  If I want to make a change, why does it have to be January 1st?  What's wrong with December 17th or even July 3rd?  This year I was inspired by a friend who'd been looking to change her life.  She wrote down some things to help her do that.  She keeps them with her on a tiny paper in her wallet.  The thing is she didn't write down huge, impossible goals.  She wrote down little attainable things that would make her daily life better.

I was inspired to do the same and I'm proud to say I think about my mini-resolutions every morning and I'm doing a pretty good job at keeping them.  They're not going to end world hunger or anything miraculous like that, but these small goals I've set for myself are making my life incrementally better, more satisfying.

One of my mini-resolutions is to record the things I cram in my piehole.  I don't have to stop cramming, but if I bite it, I've gotta write it.  You'd be surprised at what a deterrent that is.  It's just not as fun to eat a block of cheese knowing I'm going to have to write it down.  The whole being disgusted with myself thing wrecks it completely.

Another of my mini-resolutions is to ride my bike or go to spin class at least once a week.  I'm loving being back at spin, dripping giant sweaty pools onto the floor as I grunt my way back into a less doughy frame.  I love the torture of hovering over my bike as my quads light on fire and I invent bad names for my spin instructor.  I love pressing my heart to the limit as beads of sweat leak from every pore, including the tops of my arms.  I leave spin class drenched.  And stinky.  And happy.

I've lost 10 pounds so far, leaving only a gazillion to go until my knees don't violently punch my stomach when I ride.  I gave my fat pants away.  No good can come of having a closet full of fat pants ready for me to expand back into.  I'm starting to court my skinny jeans, to beg their forgiveness for abandoning them for who knows how many months.  We are not yet back together, but I feel a reunion coming soon, very soon.