Kazatasupa (kazatasupa) wrote,

Dead legs.

A couple of years ago, out of shape and depressed, I started riding my mountain bike and was startled to realize how much I enjoyed the experience.  I was 306 pounds at the time and started with a leisurely 1 mile journey to work every morning.  It wasn’t long until I was bombing up and down local skidder trails and logging roads and after four months, or so I had reduced my weight by almost 50 pounds.  I was happy, in good enough shape to backpack (my favorite activity) and suffering fewer of the aches and pains that come with aging (I’m 44 now).  We had a mild winter that year, and my biking daily began in January and lasted until almost June.  By June I was riding 8 miles to work (I had developed a “course” through town), and up to 23 miles on other outings, but it had started getting too warm and I was a swampy mess when I would get to work.  I started to scale back my morning workout and, because I don’t tolerate the heat very well, I chose not to torture myself under the oppressing afternoon sun.  While I still rode my bike every day, I wasn’t pushing myself to stay in shape.

In July my wife and I discovered that we were expecting.  We had been trying to conceive for a couple of years and I had given up hope that we would get pregnant.  I was making the case to adopt.  Having been adopted myself, I felt like I had a unique perspective on the mind of the adoptee and that my experience could be a great be benefit the psychological growth of an adopted son/daughter.  My wife’s pregnancy put an end to the adoption talk.

I spent time researching what to expect with a pregnant wife and how to handle being a first time parent.  I had an idea of what was coming, but the truth is – nothing can prepare you for pregnancy or fatherhood other than the experience itself.  Even though my wife doesn’t read this blog, I endeavor to be as delicate as possible when broaching this subject because it’s always easiest to place blame on the other when you are in a relationship.  I had difficulty dealing with the changes that were happening with my wife during and after the pregnancy.  I won’t go into details, but simply acknowledge that I often struggled to find a good balance of nurturing her growing needs and giving her space to grow with the changes in our life.  I think I tended towards “hovering,” because I wanted to be near her and supportive at all times.  I sacrificed myself in many ways when it wasn’t called for and I let myself go in the process.  Over the last 21 months I stopped riding and began eating in excess to deal with stress of life.  While basking in the glory of bringing a beautiful new life into the world, I was also falling into a darkness and finding myself overwhelmed with family matters that were out of my control.  I knew I had gained most of my weight back, if not more but was afraid to step on the scale to see.

It has been a long winter, and I had been mentally preparing myself to begin the painful journey of getting into shape again.  The first break in the weather came a couple of weeks ago, so I hopped on my 2004 Diamondback XSL Trail and started pedaling myself to work with the idea that I would commute to work in the morning and take a longer trip after work.  Unfortunately, 1000 feet from my house, I heard a “pop” and my tire started rubbing against the frame.  I hopped off the bike to inspect and found my frame fractured in two locations.  The bike had died on pavement at 6 miles an hour.  I was slightly dejected, but felt fortunate that the frame didn’t break while flying down a hill on an isolated forest road.  A wreck at 30 miles an hour could have been horrific.

Fast forward a couple of weeks:  I have purchased a new mountain bike.  This one is  a Trek X-Caliber 7.  It’s not full suspension, which is hard on the tail (my butt hurts a little), but it has bigger tires than a standard  bike and the larger surface area allows the bike to naturally absorb some of the bumps on trail.  I am really out of shape.  I weighed myself on Saturday: 320 pounds.  It’s Wednesday and I am already down to 307.2.  I carry my weight well at 6 foot five inches, but my ideal weight is about 220.  So, that’s my goal.  I don’t care how long it takes to get me there.  A year, or two would be fine.  My goal is to finish my life with good health.  I want to see my son through his 30’s if possible and help him succeed when life gets difficult.  It’s going to take a concerted effort to push through summers (when I usually get lazy) and to motivate myself through the winter months (gym time when I can’t ride a bike).  My diet usually falls in line with my physical activity.  I eat less when I am happy and working out releases endorphins that keep me happy.

I use the strava app on my phone to track distance and time.  I live quite close to work (about 1/3 of a mile) and have difficulty getting out early, as I am always running behind in the morning.  I ride my bike to work, but only have enough time to get ½ a mile to a mile in.  I have given myself a half an hour ride after work.  This allows me a decent chance at some cardiovascular activity and I am home early enough to get my son out of Marie’s hair while she finishes making dinner.  Monday I was able to go 3.7 miles and yesterday I did 4.4 miles.

Even though I have dead legs, I am very much looking forward to my post-work ride this evening…
Tags: adopted, adoption, biking, exercise, fatherhood, out of shape
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.