One of the reasons I ride a bicycle, or exercise at all, is that I believe it gives me energy, maintains my body, keeps my joints and guts and mind all working the way they should. God made us to function, to move, and to be alive means to move.
I don’t always feel that way when I get home from a long day at work. After getting up at 5 AM, making the long trek to the office, nose to the grindstone all day, and negotiating the maze of tollway traffic on the way home, it honestly requires a bit of effort to resist the temptation to flop down on my bed and close my eyes. If I do that, the tired buzz grows as I sink into the mattress, a fog that overtakes me and holds me like a magnet to the bed. It’s too easy to say no to what I know is best for me, which is to change into my bike or workout clothes and get my butt out the door. Sluggishness takes over far too easily, tells me that I am just too weary to function for the evening. I go over in my mind what the rest of the week looks like, tell myself that I will have the time to ride the next few evenings. After all, a nice nap and a home cooked meal will give me the rest and recuperation that I need.
Sometimes that is true. Sometimes I do need a night of food, brew, and couch TV.
(note — I went without TV intentionally a good part of this year when Comcast decided to rape me. The time without the tube was very good. I just recently decided to connect an antenna.)
I resist the call of the nap more often than not. When I forego the bed plop, change into my bike clothes and head back out the door, the transformation from weary worker to refreshed and energized as the blood begins to circulate is amazing. Just a few turns of the pedals brings me out of the haze, my mind once again awake and rejoins my body. I much prefer it that way, my mood transformed by the activity.
Last night I came home after a second day of overtime, a fog descending over me as I trudged up the stairs to my condo. I didn’t realize how tired I was until my feet hit those stairs. My plan was to take advantage of a picture perfect evening, still and cool and cloudless. I allowed myself to be pulled to the bed, an ahhhhhh escaping from my lips as the pillow’s comfort instantly absorbed some of the fog. Just a few minutes, then I will get on the bike. Ten minutes later, my eyes opened, the evening’s light through the blinds in my bedroom beginning to dim.
I didn’t want it to be one of those evenings. I didn’t want to finish off the evening with the dread that I wasted an opportunity to ride. A quick review of the remainder of the week’s schedule revealed that I wouldn’t have another chance to get out for a ride until Saturday. So I practically sprung out of bed, changed into shorts, tee shirt, and a fleece pullover.
I am so glad that I did. The ride was a casual, medium paced jaunt along the beautiful forest preserve paths. Lakes, an old stable, peaceful forests all greeted me in the waning light. My fat bike is equipped with an adequate LED headlight and tail light, just enough to guide me home. My energy transformed, my soul comforted, I returned home to grill some chicken, enjoy a mindless movie (The Night of the Living Dead… this guy likes zombies).
Resistance works. Now just to completely resist that bed magnet!