It dawned on me the other evening that one aspect missing from my life here versus where we were in New Jersey is physical activity. At our previous site, we both were mowing (okay, it was with a zero-turn mower, but it was still something somewhat physical), I had a walking routine in place on the property, there was snow to shovel in Winter, I had flowerbeds and veggie gardens to create and tend, and so forth. Here we are performing no grounds maintenance, we do no building walk-thrus, the site does not lend itself to the creation of flowerbeds or vegetable gardens, and I am not straying far afield to walk the property due to the current stray dog issue.
Although the terrain here is flat, I am definitely not inclined to get out on the road with my bike in light of the experiences Dave has had, i.e., chased by dogs on almost every ride, run off the road by vehicles and the near-misses he has encountered from negligent/careless, or even – shall we say – drivers who apparently hold cyclists in contempt. Read all that as this being a higher than normal hazardous area for cycling. He has had a guy lean out of a vehicle and yell at him, and a woman followed him down a road and . . . well, behaved bizarrely. Yep, we’re living Deliverance.
So . . . the other evening I asked Dave to set up my bike on the turbo (stationary trainer) so I can get some physical exercise. I believe the lack of physical exertion is one reason I have been in somewhat of a spiritual and emotional funk here. Being the awesome husband and best friend that he is . . .
My Trek set up in Dave’s office aka “the bike shop”
Riding indoors is not as fun or as stimulating (no, I’m not talking about the sort of stimulation one feels being chased by huge, snarling dogs!) as riding on the road, either alone or with buddies; however, one can do some things to help in this regard. There are computer programs and even web sites that feature a program that simulates road riding or even racing. Dave enjoys that. Some folks have been known to read or listen to audiobooks.
I listen to music.
Years ago, I had a stationary trainer and found a CD which provided me with a good workout routine . . . high-rhythm warm-up tune to get things going, followed by songs which maintain my pulse rate and varied in exertion levels, peaking with a flat-out effort and then a cool-down period. I’ve used this same CD for over 12 years now, including during my breast cancer experience. Following surgery and throughout radiation treatment, I was not physically up to cycling on the road; however, I could use the trainer effectively and with no ill physical effects.
This kept me “sane” and helped maintain my physical strength/energy levels. It also made me a stronger cyclist by the time my wheels rolled on pavement again.
In case you’re wondering what that CD is . . .
Promise you won’t laugh? Really? Cross your heart?
Okay . . .
Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
Oh man, you promised.
I could explain the routine to you, but it probably wouldn’t make any sense except to a cyclist. Suffice it to say, it gives me a thorough and sensible workout.
It also is taking me back to my “roots,” if you will . . . back to finding and calling upon not only my physical strength, but also my inner strength.
Some folks are content and fare well with essentially sedentary activities, and I have some of those, too; however, I have . . . I need . . . to have a balance of sedentary with pushing the physical envelope a bit. Finding not only the physical strength but that inner Warrior strength.
Oh yeah. This will work. Definitely.
Peace, ya’ll . . .
“I hope the Great Heavenly Father, who will look down upon us, will give all the tribes His blessing, that e may go forth in peace and live in peace all our days, and that he will look down upon our children and finally lift us far above this earth; and that our Heavenly Father will look upon our children as His children, that all the tribes may be His children. And as we shake hands to-day upon this broad plain, we may forever live in peace.”
– Red Cloud (Makhpiya-Luta), Oglala Sioux chief, late 19th century
365 Days of Walking the Red Road
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I am a Warrior