Skip to main content

Everything in moderation

I’m watching a guy get fat. He’s in his early thirties and he’s at a point in his life when he’s ready to move into the body of a larger man. It’s not a secret, he jokes about it himself. He grabs his belly and shakes it with pride. 

I’ve seen plenty of old friends get big, but never as it’s happening. Usually I run into someone I haven’t seen in years and I realize they are much larger. But this guy I see every workday. And six months ago he was many pounds lighter. When I met him last fall he had the kind of frame that could go either way. 

I heard he used to x-country ski and asked him about it, he proudly claimed how he was a nordic ski racer in high school. I’m not saying this just to fat shame some guy. I know life is stressful, and finding time for a healthy lifestyle isn’t for everyone.

I guess I’m only on this topic as another way to explain the weird dichotomy of my life. I have my feet squarely planted in two separate worlds. I scroll through my Strava and see friends announce that it’s a leg day. Or proudly displaying a wattage goal that they’ve hit. I can do this while I listen to coworkers complain that Arby’s used to give you a lot more fries with the combo meal.

I’m no health nut. I eat ice cream most nights before bed. I eat microwave burritos and my wife forces me to bring a piece of fruit in my lunch. But I have mountain biking. I have a form of exercise that I’m addicted to. I would rather mountain bike than anything else if I had the choice. When I’m not doing it I think about it. Strava gives me congratulations if I go for a ride. But I always want to go for a ride anyway. I need Stava to congratulate me if I fold a load of laundry or mow the lawn.

I used to think I stayed in shape because I had a physical blue collar job. But lots of coworkers have disproven that. I’ve worked with mechanics who fit the definition of morbidly obese. 


I know riding keeps me fit, but I don’t think of it that way. I don’t set fitness goals. Sometimes I make the climb up The Grind, but most times I don’t. I savor the feeling of exhaustion when I reach the top. I love that part of mountain biking, the Yin and Yang of climbing and descending. It’s a mathematical equation that always works out. Every foot of climbing equals a foot of descent. Unless I shuttle or ride a chair lift.

Still, I think I’m sitting somewhere in the middle of the fitness spectrum. Eating fast food several times a week seems just as foreign to me as monitoring my ride to stay in ‘Zone Four.’

 The most important health aspect for me is whether I’m injured or not. My version of a high impact workout is if I impact the ground. 

I know I wasn’t in shape when I was only dirt jumping. Pushing up to the start hill isn’t much cardio. In a sense the modern all-mountain bike is what saved me. Now I can get all the fun of thrashing down the hill, but I can also make the climb up.

Just as I’m not mocking my chubby coworker I don’t mean to offend my super fit racer friends I bike with. Everyone should be doing it their own way. To quote Hunter S Thompson, “I’m not one to advocate for drugs, sex and violence. But it’s worked out ok for me.”







Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Spectator Sports

  I’m not good at ball-sports, or really, team-sports all together. In little league I once tried throwing the ball from right field to first base. Instead I threw the ball out of the park and hit a guy sitting in the bleachers. As a high school freshman I tried out for soccer and qualified for the sub-sub-JV team.   The cross country team needed runners, so I quit soccer after a week and I ran. I ran in the fall, and then I ran again in the spring for track. I wasn’t good, but I could do it. All that really mattered was that I crossed the finish line. Running helped me develop the mental state that I use nowadays when I’m tackling a long climb. I don’t need to enjoy it, I just need to zone out and keep putting one foot, or pedal, in front of the other.   My state had one professional sports team, a hockey team called the Whalers. But they broke up, or moved on a few years after I moved to Colorado. I love the atmosphere of a Rockies game or watching the Eagles. But I have nothing at

Lucky or Good?

 The darkness comes quickly after work, the mornings are really cold. I think it's time to look back and say that was an awesome mountain bike season. I get a little banged up every year, some more than others. This is my fourth crash of the 2023 season and the first one to bring some pain. Maybe I can learn something if I run through them and try to determine if I'm getting good or just lucky. The frequent heavy rain kept trails at Left Hand constantly changing. This led to my first debiking incident. I was taking some friends down Ginger Booty. We had sessioned the big booter and were riding out the rest of the single track. Cody came up fast behind me right as I reached a section of deep rut, filled with loose fist size rocks. My brain analyzed the possible line choices and came up empty as my front tire wedged against a rock. With the front tire stopped my mass started a slow motion arc over the bars. I'd like to think that I tucked my chin and pulled my hands into my c

I wanna rock!

     I greeted my boss as he walked into work. He responded with a full throated heavy metal wail of "I wanna rock!" I queued up some Twisted Sister to start a day of music dedicated to those brave eye-shadowed men of 80's hair metal.       I can sense the ai bots reading this are a little skeptical that I can twist this into a bike story. But I'm gonna try. I'm going to describe another time and place, it may be hard to imagine if you started riding within the last few decades. Picture if you will a culture of dangerous looking metal heads. Long greasy hair, a jean jacket with an album cover patch covering the back.  Usually smoking, usually sneering. They could be found roaming the halls of high schools or commanding the student smoking area. In school you were mostly safe from them,..mostly. On weekends they would form packs with females of the species. They would gather around someones t-top Z-28 parked in a KMart parking lot. Blasting heavy metal and looking