“My first ride of the season is always a bit weird” were the last words that I said to Chris as I headed out on my bike. About eight feet later, I turned a bit too sharply and…
Chris was standing on the front porch, cracking up as he witnessed my debut bike ride.
I’m a trooper so I pulled myself together and headed out once again, carefully maneuvering my way around the potholes and puddles. I decided to take Chris’ suggestion to make it a relatively short ride so I didn’t exhaust myself. Chris has occasionally been my one-man rescue team when I haven’t eaten or hydrated myself well before a ride. The consequence is that my body slows down after about an hour of pedaling and I’m not able to push it anymore. It’s a humbling moment for me and usually an inconvenient one for Chris as he has to jump in the car and pick me up on a lonely road far, far away from home. This time, I came up with a proactive strategy and a reasonable distance.
I managed to make it home in one piece.
I really don’t enjoy first time out physical activity. Actually, it’s probably more appropriate to say that my body doesn’t enjoy first time out athleticism. I always do more than I should. Whether it’s cycling or more recently, volley-ball, I come out of it hurting badly and anticipating about two days of pain. You wouldn’t believe how much I whined about my volleyball injuries for the past couple of days. (Chris suggested that I write that!) I throw myself into these physical challenges and although I “show well,” my body just doesn’t appreciate the effort I’m giving – in fact, I think my body actually resents it. The muscle memory is there but the muscle ability isn’t.
I think it comes from an ongoing internal struggle with the aging process. Don’t get me wrong – I love where I am in life right now. My mind is OK with my age but I honestly feel great loss of the agile, quick responding body that I once had. I’ve always been a very athletic person and I want to continue being physically active…but I need to stop throwing myself into every activity as if I was twenty years old.
I know that I am going to want to slalom this summer. I am dying to get up on one ski from the water and fly across the wake. I will compromise and start on two skis. I’ll go from there and see what happens.
Meanwhile, a good soak in Epson Salts and warm water does wonders.