Time management is not one of my strengths and if organization is the key to success then I am absolutely doomed to failure but one thing I got in spades is commitment. I’m an old workhorses who’d rather burst an aorta than declare, “Neigh!” and one thing to which I am committed is personal fitness. Committed to the tune of a daily bike ride, a run and/or a fitness class, and that “and/or” means that I do at least two of those things nearly every single day. Or at least I did until mid-March when COVID 19 precautions shut down Orange Theory Fitness (OTF) and made this old workhorse paw the ground in frustration. Did I quit? Me? Never. But there were some changes made.
As OTF classes are now spelled O-U-T I focused my strength efforts on pull-ups, both palms facing and palms away, crunches, and a whole lot of stretching. The pull-ups are great, the crunches and stretching needful, but since my home strength workout is a sorry substitute for a 55 minute OTF class I upped my two daily activities to three. Whoa, Nelly, I ain’t horsing around!
Most days three-a-days are easy to organize. I start with the strength and stretch, cycle energetically the long way to work and sedately take the short way home, but as a part-timer it’s the days when I don’t work that force me to be more self-disciplined, and, knowing that variety is important, on my days off I try to substitute a half-hour run for my short bike ride and throw in a medium length, high intensity ride to complete my trifecta.
My corporate cupcake goddess is a Monday through Friday kinda gal and Saturday April 25th we shared a day off. We agreed to run “together” mid-morning (She’s a much faster runner than I) and then cycle in the early evening after I completed a remote, ZOOM fueled play rehearsal.
The morning went as planned. I completed my strength regimen while Durga slept and then we ran 3.1 miles/5 K together. Sort of. I ran 5 K but she kept getting way ahead of me and then backtracking to where I was like a yo-yo, an interesting, if emasculating, accommodation.
Late in the afternoon I was ready to ride but my hothouse flower declared that 59 degrees Fahrenheit/15 C was too chilly so I was off for a solo ride. Though I’d have preferred to ride with my beloved I wasn’t terribly disappointed with her decision to stay home. Pound for pound Durga is much stronger than I and she can outrun me by nearly 20% but she refuses to learn how to ride a bike. Properly, that is. She doesn’t know when to shift, uses too hard of a gear, and tends to ride frustratingly more slowly than I so I kitted up, topped off the tires on my go-fast bike, and headed out the door for a “quick” 10 mile/16 Km ride.
I was hitting it hard (hard being a unit of effort rather than speed) and as I reached my midpoint I had a reasonable chance of averaging 17 mph/27 kph. My heart was going extra bumpity-bumpity as I dug in deep with three miles to go when I turned into a neighborhood and checked my average speed. Slower than I hoped but still respectable, I redoubled my efforts in an attempt to make old workhouse Keith say, “Yay!” rather than nay. I was off like, well, a racehorse. Until.
When I cycle I wear bright clothing and have daytime bright, intermittently flashing head and taillights, and as I flew down a flat straightaway a black Escalade in front of me slowed. Slowed? When I say I “flew” I mean I was traveling 20 mph in a 25 mph zone, who’d this guy think I was, a motorcycle traffic cop?
I come to an intersection and the Escalade stops. STOPS!? No turn signal, just s-t-o-p. Wow. Wow! I was pissed. “Get out of my way!” I screamed inside my head. “Move!” That’s what I was thinking as the Cadillac’s driver side window lowered and a lovely blonde stuck her head out and said, “You’re my OTF buddy, aren’t you! I knew it was you.”
Bam. You know Proverbs 15:1? That bit about a kind word turning away wrath? Well a lilting greeting and beaming smile from a pretty face completely evaporated my wrath. I am so predictable!
Stacy, my mid-thirties OTF buddy, said, “Don’t stop, don’t stop! I knew it was you!” and after a brief pause I smiled, waved, and continued on my way. I didn’t achieve the average speed I’d hoped for but it was a good ride.