Damn health, today I would like to kick being healthy right up the bum!
If you have been reading this blog regularly you will know that I have been trying, really trying to get healthier. I’ve been running since August (although admittedly not so much over the winter) and been hiking and walking and camping and just generally being very outdoorsy. I’ve been planning for a while to start cycling to and from work. My work is only a 10 minute drive away from where I live, so I was thinking that given I am a beginner it would probably take me half an hour to 40 minutes to cycle there and I was OK with that, my plan was to cycle to work twice a week, and on the days I don’t cycle I would run after work with Mike.
Today I decided a test run on the bike would be a good idea, I knew that some of the route had a cycle lane and there were parts I would have to get off my bike and cross roads so I wanted to give it a go so I knew what I would be in for next week when I cycle to work for the first time.
So I donned my running gear (I figured it would be just as good for cycling), put on a very bright pink rain jacket, strapped my rucksack to me and covered it with an extremely bright yellow bag cover, plonked on my helmet and got ready to go. A few last words of encouragement from Mike and I was on my way.
I watched Mike walk back into the house and I tried to get on my bike – first fail. I couldn’t get on and stay on…hmm this wasn’t going to be fun at all. There is a bit of a hill…well a mound near the entrance to the house so I decided to just walk the bike up the mound and told myself I would be cycling up there in no time. So I get to the top of my road and now to cycle down hill – this was easy, I built up a lot of speed and even got a bit worried that my brakes wouldn’t work – they did, I was fine.
As I didn’t really fancy turning right onto the busy main road ahead of me, I decided to cycle along the path until I got to a crossing a little further up the road then I would dismount, cross the road, and start cycling again. I went ahead with my plan. I cycled along the path, past some teenagers at a bus stop – I thought they were sniggering at me, who wouldn’t be laughing at a bright pink and yellow blob on a bike with a space ship for a helmet attempting to cycle? I ignored them and carried on. I dismounted, and crossed the road. Once on the other side, I looked behind me to check there was no traffic and then started to cycle on the road – up hill. Fail number two.
It really wasn’t going very well at all. I had made sure to quiz Mike thoroughly before I left the house about what gears I needed to be in for certain situations. Gears on bikes confuse me. Mike told me to just think of it like a car and to drop down to a lower gear when I was going up a hill to make it a little easier. I’m sure this is the right thing to do, but it really wasn’t working for me. I dropped down into a lower gear, and my little legs started peddling extremely fast but I didn’t seem to be going anywhere. I was cycling very slowly, uphill on a very busy road.
Paranoia set in – fail number 3. I started to think that all the drivers in their cars were either a) laughing at me or b) getting pissed off with me. So what if they were? You might say that, but this sort of thing matters to me.
My heart started beating faster and faster as I continued to peddle and seemed to be getting nowhere. I couldn’t breathe. I decided to stop.
I didn’t want anyone around (there was no-one around) to realise how unfit I was so decided to make my little rest look as if I was looking for something. I fiddled with my mobile for a bit and then decided to call it a day.
I crossed back over the road, mounted the bike and started to cycle home.
I reached the steep hill which I had built up such speed on just 5 minutes ago, there was no way I could bike it up here. I got off my bike, and dragged myself and the bike up hill.
Finally I got home, I let myself in through the garden gate, propped my bike up against the wall and plonked myself down on some stacked garden chairs. I had a little cry. I felt like crap. I had built this up so much.
There are so many people around me at the moment trying to get fit, and for good reason too – I want to be like them! I have my reasons for wanting to do this, and I am really trying but today I just felt like I had let myself down.
This evening, as I always do when I feel a failure, I have tried to make myself feel better by eating crap. I polished off a packet of chocolate raisins and had pizza for tea. I don’t feel any better, just a little bit sick.
I think its safe to say I’m not ready to cycle to work next week. I’m really hoping I will get there eventually, but I’m not feeling all that optimistic about it.
The one good thing out of all this, is Mike – my amazing husband. He puts up with my nags and my moans, and today when I came home after failing my attempt at cycling, crying as I came through the door, he just wrapped his arms around me and gave me the best bear hug ever. He told me to put my pyjamas on, then put a blanket over me and made me a cup of tea.
Well tomorrow is another day, and I shall try to put today behind me and go for a run. I’ve got to run, no excuses.