One more thing on my laughably long list of hobbies is cycling. I used to be pretty serious about it. I have two super-nice bikes and all the goofy-looking paraphernalia. I used to have permanent greasy chain marks on my legs all summer. I've even ridden two centuries (hundred-mile rides). I got into it because Eric is into it-if he had more time, it would be his exercise of choice. Someday I dream of Eric and I cycling together, except he goes really fast and I don't, so we wouldn't actually be cycling together...but I digress. I got back into cycling when I sprained my ankle really badly about 6 years ago. I stopped cycling regularly because it just doesn't fit into a seminary teacher's life. Or a mom's life for that matter. The best time to ride is super early in the morning before the cars are all over the road, and it takes forever to get out the door to cycle-on with the teeny-tiny shoes, the gloves and the helmet, then get the bike off its hangers in the garage, check the tires, make sure you have a spare tube and your tools, etc., etc. Plus, cycling is non-impact, so you really have to do it longer and harder than running to get an equal workout. Not happening for me. But oh, how I love the feeling of being on a bike. Zooming down Murray Hill Road, topping 30 mph...that's a rush.
In the mean time, in a desperate attempt to start doing cardio work (in any form) regularly again ( I haven't run in about a month) I signed up for a cycling class at the gym. I respond really well to appointments and outside accountability, and I had apparently already forgotten about last week's near fainting spell. Eric reminded me about that later. So swathed in fearless oblivion, I got out my goofy shoes and my funny-looking padded pants, got myself over the to club, figured out how to adjust my training cycle and rode my guts out. It was so surprisingly much fun. I felt fine. Certainly I missed the wind in my face and there was no place I could politely spit (I have trouble with that when I run on treadmills, too--What??? You don't spit when you run???) but it was a serious workout. I worked hard and stuck with it for the whole hour and felt great afterward-I was wobbly-legged and red in the face, but I loved really pushing myself. The class atmosphere helped with that. No one knows how you have your bike adjusted, so you really are only competing against yourself and your mind. There was the challenge of that whole mental thing. When I'm out on a road, 5 miles from my house, if I want a shower, I have to ride home. In the class, I had a couple of moments when my brain tried to get me to jump off because it knew that I only had to walk out to my car to go home. I didn't though. I am a great starter but not always the greatest finisher, so every time I finish something hard like that class, I am happy I've made a little progress. I am going to try and take a class every week. Wednesdays at noon. Come ride with me. You don't even need the goofy paraphernalia.