Getting In Shape For A Big Trip

Posted: 18th August 2011 by LadyBikerTravel in Uncategorized
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It’s countdown time to my next big riding weekend. Just a little over two weeks to go. I’m getting excited. I’m also getting in shape!

A few weeks ago, I got rid of a lease car I’d been carrying around my neck for four years. Its outrageous payment and accompanying insurance was like an albatross dragging me down but I’m free now. Free as a bird with one perfect bike and no car payment.

Funny side note, when I turned in the car at the dealership, I rode up on my bike and my son followed behind in the car (quite a ways behind because he got lost). When I got there, a couple of salesmen were all over me asking if I was trading in Coco for a car. Haha! I said “Not just ‘No’ but ‘Hell, no!'” They thought that was really amusing and laughed about it for a while…until they realized I was completely serious and wasn’t going to be driving off in another payment…I mean another car, no matter how hard they pitched it.

So now that I’m financially free of the burden of a car payment (did I mention it was an outrageous payment?) I have some disposable income which I am disposing on myself. That means I’ve rejoined a health club so there are no excuses for not working out. Too hot? They have air conditioning. Too dark? They have lights? Too bored with my routine? They have every conceivable class and piece of workout equipment available. No excuses. And I haven’t made them.

This week, I attended my first Yoga class in about 18 months. Now, Yoga is something you can definitely do at home, but that doesn’t mean I did it. It’s also something you don’t just pick back up after a year and a half like you’ve never been away. Sure, it’s a bit like a good friendship from childhood that revives quickly and easily, but it’s not completely without effort. In this case, lots of effort. In fact, yesterday was the first time I’d ridden Coco (a relatively heavy bike for me) after a solid hour of Yoga and I was a quivering mess for the entire ride home. My arms were shaking and my legs felt like jelly. Means I worked hard.

Next morning, I was sore in places I didn’t know I even had muscles to GET sore and I felt it on the ride today. Why does this matter? Because a long, hard day of riding followed by a night of rough sleeping on the ground can make you sore. I’ve got to be ready for that when the time comes – ready to ache and keep right on going. No point in complaining since no one will be with me to hear. And I won’t be able to post about it since I’ll have to maintain the farce that every single moment is perfection. I have to do that since I’ve been telling everyone who was a little uncertain about the trip that roughing it isn’t a problem. I relish the challenge, live for the hard times. Carpe diem and all that.

The truth is, as with most things in life, being in the best shape I can be in makes just about everything else I do more enjoyable. I enjoy my food more, I sleep better, I enjoy my rides more, I feel better about myself and I think I look better now that I’m exercising more regularly. Add eating sensibly (enough to lose 20 lbs) and there’s no reason I shouldn’t feel terrific. I KNOW I look better on the bike than ever and, most importantly, I’m confident and happy.

Sure there are a lot of things that contribute to my immensely good mood (like a fabulous guy who is pretty much perfect in every way); taking care of myself is just a part of it. I’m not sure if it’s the chicken or the egg. Do I feel better because I’m taking better care of myself or or am I taking better care of myself because I’ve been feeling so good? Doesn’t matter. The whole package  makes for better days…and better rides. I’m so ready.

Next posts will cover route planning and packing gear. I can hardly wait! Until next time, wheels down and eyes ahead.